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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
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The Westing Game (original 1978; edition 1997)

by Ellen Raskin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,915235525 (4.14)2 / 202
Member:megaden
Title:The Westing Game
Authors:Ellen Raskin
Info:Puffin (1997), Edition: REP REI, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Mystery

Work details

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1978)

  1. 110
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (infiniteletters)
  2. 30
    The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (bezoar44)
    bezoar44: The Mysterious Benedict Society features a team of kids working to solve puzzles and unravel a dangerous mystery at a claustrophobic boarding school; the Westing Game pits several teams of kids and adults, residents of an apartment building, against one another in a race to decode a will and solve several related mysteries.… (more)
  3. 31
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (chinquapin)
  4. 10
    The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (cmbohn)
  5. 00
    The Clock Without a Face by Eli Horowitz (sduff222)
  6. 00
    The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman (foggidawn)
  7. 00
    Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (infiniteletters)
  8. 00
    The Spider-Orchid by Celia Fremlin (sietsmareadinglist)
  9. 01
    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (SFRFS335)
    SFRFS335: Both books are amazingly written.
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Showing 1-5 of 235 (next | show all)
Summary: A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!
Critique: This is a book full of twists and great mystery! This book keeps you guessing at every turn! I love mystery books!
Craft Element: After reading the book you could make "Wanted" posters for the Westing heirs. Illustrate your posters using physical descriptions from the novel, and include information on your poster about what makes each character suspicious. Another activity to consider is a Web of Heirs.
Each of the 16 heirs of Sam Westing has some kind of past connection to him. Using Judge Ford's notes on each heir, create a web with Sam Westing in the center, showing all of the connections between Sam and his heirs. Include as many details as you can, and show the connections between the heirs as well.
  Summer18 | Sep 23, 2016 |
A bit slow to start, but the ending was great. At first I started and stopped until I finally sat down and read through it. I read it in a couple hours so if you apply yourself its not too bad. I loved the ending. It was very satisfying. ( )
  katcoviello | Sep 21, 2016 |
I know, I know. I'm one of the handful of people who wasn't impressed by the book. Clearly a chess parable, which was cool, especially for my son, who is a chess lover. And it was most interesting at the end, natch. But I found it hard to muster the interest to continue reading each time I picked it up. I connected with no one. There was a lack of warmth, a quirky humor that just didn't work for me. And I have read some reviews justifying the lack of connection other readers have sensed based on the fact that this is a children's book. If anything, the fact that it's a children's book makes it that much more baffling that the characters are completely sans emotion (save, perhaps, for Angela). But why should you feel emotion for a mere pawn, or a bishop, or a crafty knight? Clearly, an emotional connection is not the point. This is the literary equivalent of a Sudoko puzzle. If you like sudoko or anagrams, you'll probably enjoy this book. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Clever and fun little mystery about 16 heirs coming together to play a rich man's game. Memorable, if not deep, characters and a very satisfying end. Good short read. ( )
  trile1000 | Aug 29, 2016 |
I read this as a kid and rereading now as an adult, I am amazed at how sophisticated the writing and structure is. I wonder now what I really got out of it as a child reader! As the editor notes in the introduction, Ellen Raskin wrote for the adult in the child. I had to read it twice to catch all the clues, nuances and red herrings. It all ties up neatly in the satisfying conclusion. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Aug 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 235 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellen Raskinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durell, AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
for Jenny who asked for a puzzle-mystery and Susan K.
First words
The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!
Quotations
Clues, they had to work on those clues. Behind closed doors. Whisper, someone may be listening.
Remember: It is not what you have, it's what you don't have that counts.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Sixteen people were invited to the reading of the very strange will of the very rich Samuel W. Westing. They could become millionaires, depending on how they played the game.

The not-quite-perfect heirs were paired, and each pair was given $ 10,000 and a set of clues (no two sets of clues were alike). All they had to do was find the answer, but the answer to what?

The Westing game was tricky and dangerous, but the heirs played on, through blizzards and burglaries and bombs bursting in air. And one of them won!

With her own special blend of intricacy, humor, and upside-down perceptions, Ellen Raskin has entangled a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot. She then deftly unravels it again in a surprising (but fair) and highly satisfying ending.

Haiku summary
Would you play a game

against a dead man for a

large inheritance?

(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014240120X, Paperback)

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will...and what a will it is!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:50 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

(summary from another edition)

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