The Westing Game

The Westing Game

Book - 1978
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IndyPL_RyanL Jun 02, 2021

One of the most ingenious and charming mysteries ever written. Perfect for all ages.

JCLJoshN Feb 22, 2021

I don't know how I missed this when I was a kid, but I would have loved it then. I love it now, though, so it all works out. It's a tricky business jumping around from one character's perspective to another's, covering every wonderful, eccentric character, while still keeping the mystery a mystery, but Raskin makes it work. The plot twists are still surprising, but the shifting perspectives got me invested in all of the characters, and in the end, the mystery is less important than the characters and how they grow and change, Absolutely wonderful!

Dec 12, 2020

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin, is an exceptionally written whodunit murder mystery of eccentric millionaire Samuel W. Westing. The story begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of the very stranger will of Westing. They could become millionaires, and all they have to do is find an answer. But an answer to what? It’s gripping plot, unique characters, constant uncertainty, along with the fantastic ending make this one of the best books I have ever read. It’s so good that I, not even being an avid reader, stayed up till 1 o’clock in the night just to know what happened. I recommended reading slowly, at times it can get confusing and convoluted; thankfully though this work is only 240 pages. Overall an outstanding composition by Ellen Raskin, this Newberry Medal winner will not disappoint any and all readers.

Sep 28, 2020

By Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game is a suspense novel in which heirs to a mysterious Sam Westing’s fortune must solve a puzzle through clues. This is a book full of twists and turns that will keep you awake and reading all night long. The sixteen heirs are housed in Sunset Towers, and when a character sneaks into the large and spooky mansion only to discover a body, the game is afoot.
This novel is a personal favorite of mine as it is one of the best suspense novels I have read so far. There are several allusions to patriotic phrases and people such as “America the Beautiful” and Uncle Sam. With detailed imagery and character development, Ellen Raskin has written this book with a certain charm that will captivate you.

Star Rating: 5/5
Age Rating: 9+

Sep 16, 2020

This was an okay book. Not great, but okay. It had a lot of twists that you have to keep straight.

Jun 07, 2020

I loved this book! It has a wonderfully complex plot, which admittedly confused me the first time I read it, but as I have reread it multiple times, I find something new every time. I would definitely recommend it.

Aug 17, 2019

Don't listen to the age recommendations that don't include adults - I'm 62 and loved it! Terrific variety of characters of all ages, clever puzzles, lots of humor, satisfying ending.

Jul 18, 2019

Not my thing (pace is too slow) but can’t deny it’s a well written mystery. It’s a very grown-up style for a children’s book. What I mean is that it reads like a classic, old-school mystery and has some pretty advanced twists and tricks. If you enjoy word play and riddles or brain teasers then you will probably love this book. Would absolutely recommend it to a tween or even teen that loves this genre.

May 04, 2019

I really enjoyed this book! My only criticism would be that sometimes it was confusing with all the characters. But all in all, I would definitely recommend this!

Mar 03, 2019

Enjoyed it so much. Smart and warm. The ending though could have been a little more realistic. It was too happy.

Jan 15, 2019

first read this in second grade. it was my favorite book for the next four years. really good book. I think it is best if you read it in elementary school. I am now in high school and still love it!

Aug 02, 2018

Pure genius! This book has been described by The Horn Book as "A fascinating medley of word games, disguises, multiple aliases, and subterfuges." Nailed it. What a treasure this book is for the middle grade reader who loves word puzzles and mysteries. A book you can read over and over and make new discoveries with each visit. Highly recommended!

JCLJackieS Jul 05, 2018

I didn't read The Westing Game as a kid, and I now realize how much I missed out! It had been on my "to read" list for a long time, since I read Figgs & Phantoms by the same author in about fifth grade. The characters are intriguing, and Raskin keeps readers guessing till the end, which is one of my favorite characteristics in a book. The pace is quick and the book is short, so the it can be read easily in a day, which is what I did. I recommend this to mid-grade children to adults who like mysteries.

JCLSamS May 11, 2017

I hadn't read this book since childhood and now, as an adult, I can say that it definitely holds up on a reread. Getting to know each eccentric character is nearly as fun as solving the Westing mystery, and the finale is wholly satisfying.

Mar 18, 2017

I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes series and most of Agatha christie's mysteries but i have never found anything like this book, it was so confusing and such a good mystery.

DBRL_KrisA Jan 09, 2017

I enjoyed this one. I think 6th - grade me would have really loved it. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but they're all pretty broadly defined; none of them has much detail. And the whodunit factor is surprisingly well done for this level of book; I've read a lot of mysteries but was still caught off guard when the mystery was revealed.

ArapahoeSteffen Nov 23, 2016
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ArapahoeStaff15 Nov 02, 2016

Smart, thrilling mystery. Clever plot and exciting narrative make this a classic must-read for any fans of mysteries, thrillers, or puzzle solving.

KATIE ESCHER Jun 07, 2016

I'm not sure how I didn't read this when I was a child. It's a good mystery with a lot of intrigue and second guessing yourself. It took me a little while to get into the book, but once it got going and characters got established, I flew through this book.

Akelley21 Aug 03, 2015

My class read this book and we chose characters before we read it to kind of "act" it out. I thought the author was very creative.

yellow_wolf_107 Aug 03, 2015

Very good . Love the suspense and the diversity and simalarities of the characters

Jul 15, 2015

Read it even as adult! you think you're smug and know everything and have your life figured out? Prepare to be fooled over and over again. You think you have figured out and predicted the rest of the plot?
think again because everything you come up with is nothing compared to the surprising end.
challenging, both mentally and literary. Strong creative vocabulary -for a children's book.

Jun 29, 2015

I love how every character has his/her own personality, and all the author really had to do was pair up the heirs in an unlikely way and let the characters bounce off each other.

Jun 01, 2015

It was a very good book, no doubt about it. But some parts were unclear and some information used to solve the mystery was not told to us until the very end. There are lots of characters and if you are not paying attention while reading the book you will have trouble understanding them. Some characters are other people and some characters are other things. (such as burglar, bomber, mistake).
Also, you don't know what the mystery is. But all in all if you paid attention while reading then you will find that it is a very good book full of twists and turns that you will not want to put down!

Dec 25, 2014

I read this book for a second time to remind myself of why I did not love it.

The plot is a mystery. A man shows up offering six different families plush apartments at regular prices. The apartment building can be seen from Sam Westing's mansion. Westing dies and the families are all called in for the reading of the will. But they win no inheritance unless they solve the clues they are given. The problem is, the don't know what the mystery is they are supposed to solve. Each group of pairs comes up with different takes on the clues. In the end it appears that nobody wins.

The reason I do not love this book is because it is a non-mystery mystery. The characters really have nothing to solve. Samuel Westing merely has them running around working like crazy to solve clues that have no answer. They do find out that all the pairs must put their clues together as a whole to find the answer, but even then they don't get the actual answer. It is one red herring after another! I felt like I was watching the movie, Clue with all of the optional endings.

The book wasn't horrible, just somewhat disappointing when you get to the end. The mystery makes no sense, the characters don't appear to get what they "deserve." Plus, the author switched back and forth between verb tenses which at times gets confusing.

Note: Violence and racism appear in the content

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