Friday, December 4, 2009

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin

Thumbs way up to the ceiling!

This is one of my favorite books.  I read this for school in 6th grade and then spent a year searching every Goodwill in the Twin Cities area for it.  I hadn't had a chance to reread it since my children were born, but recently took the time to revisit it in preparation of sharing it with my oldest, who is 9 (who loved it too).

The book starts with a group of strangers moving into a new apartment complex- some of which have children.  A famous businessman, Sam Westing, is found dead.  Soon after, they are all summoned to the reading of his will, which says that one of them murdered him.  The will outlines an elaborate "game" which the "players" need to follow to discover the identity of the murderer and get the proceeds of the will.  The book primarily follows the attempts of the kids to solve the crime, and a girl named Turtle in particular.

Paging through this mystery, even as an adult, is a treat.  It's one of those rare books that you reach the end of, then immediately want to reread it to see how everything unfolded in light of the information gained in the last chapter.  This smartly written book is like a logic puzzle in prose and an excellent choice for readers- young and old alike.


  1. Amy,

    If you're searching for any book, please ask. I have multiple copies of many well-known children's books, in anticipation of come wearing out due to the magnitude of use they get around here. Periodically, I also weed out and get rid of the ones I have too many copies of, so I can put you on my list of "people who might want my extras" if you'd like!

    BTW, we liked this one, too. It's been several years, tho' since we read it. I don't really remember anything but that we liked it. I'll have to pullout one of my copies. (I say copies, for there are several. Sorry.)

  2. Mary- I should clarify. I spent much of 1986 looking for this book as a 6th/7th grader who only had 49 cents to spend on the book. Thanks, though for your offer to go on your discard list!