Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin
Published: Dutton, 1978
Pages: 182

When 16 heirs gather at the will reading of local business tycoon, Sam Westing, they don't know what they are getting themselves into.  The heirs get pulled into an elaborate game in which only one can win the 200 million dollar inheritance prize.  Turtle Wexler, resident shin kicker and the youngest of the heirs, is determined to win this game.  However, when they are all split into pairs it becomes evident that they must work together to find the answer to the question poised in Sam Westing's will.

I first picked up a copy of this book in middle school intrigued by the cover and the idea that it might be similar to the board game Clue.  This book has quickly become one of my all time favorite books, having read it several times over the course of these last 8 years.  

Ellen Raskin excellently weaves clues to this engaging mystery throughout this novel, taking the narrative in so many different direction, the reader can't even guess what will happen next.  Different view points and clue revealed at the perfect moments, makes this book suspenseful and also entirely entertaining.  The characters are not lacking in humor at all, especially the dearly beloved Sam Westing, who created this ridiculous game in the first place.  I laugh every time I read this book, even though I know what's coming next.  With so many hidden backgrounds, this cast of characters truly begin to find out who they are.

My favorite character Turtle Wexler, just happens to be one of the smartest girls her age.  At 13, she already knows how to play the stock market and win.  She's also very fond of her braid, heaven forbid someone tugs on it.  That's where the shin kicking comes in.   Aside from her general 13-year-old ways, she is clever and insightful.  She knows that there is something more going on with the Westing game and she's prepared to figure it out. 

There is a reason Ellen Raskin won the Newbery Medal for this book.  

Stars: 5/5


 A supersharp mystery. . . . Confoundingly clever, and very funny.
               -Booklist, starred review

No comments:

Post a Comment