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The Westing Game

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  89,845 ratings  ·  5,595 reviews
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, one things' for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!

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Paperback, 182 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Puffin (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
this is what i am going to do: i am going to take a red panda, and i am going to learn genetics and i dunno - neuroscience. and welding. and i am going to take a little bit of my brain, and a little bit of everyone's brain here on goodreads.com (you'll be asleep, you wont feel a thing) and then i am going to moosh it all together, and put it in the brain of the red panda. and then i will have the perfect book-recommending resource. because if i had had one of these when i was little, then it wou ...more
Tricia
This book sounded like it would be lots of fun, and I read it hoping for a great mystery. In the end I think there were too many characters, and not enough information to make any of them seem real to me. I never really got why they were who they were, except on the most basic level. Each character was just glossed over, and even though they were described in a basic way, there was nothing to really draw me in or make me care about them.
Jen
Nov 13, 2009 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: elementary girls with long hair
I think I first read The Westing Game in third or fourth grade. I checked it out of a public school library in Missouri. I loved it, returned it, and checked it again a few months later on another weekly library visit. Two things: 1. Why should children only go to the library once a week? My education would have been brighter and fuller had I just stayed in the library. Other kids could have had more time with the restroom pass, but instead I hoarded that thing and sat on the white raised seat ...more
Isaac Blevins
Mar 20, 2008 Isaac Blevins rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children, children at heart, puzzle fans
Shelves: ya-literature
I read this little book for the first time not as a child - but as an adult. I was looking for a book to kick off our Junior High book club and picked up the Westing Game to see if it might be a good place to begin.
I wish that I had found this book earlier in my life. What kid wouldn't be captivated by wonderful characters thrown together to play a game hosted by a dead millionaire? Don't get me wrong...Mr. Westing isn't a vampire or a zombie - he's just decided that his heirs need to do a lit
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Wendy Darling
A well-written, twisty puzzle of a mystery, filled with fantastic clues, unforgettable characters, and countless red herrings. Turtle Wexler will always be a hero to me.
Jessica Donaghy
Dec 29, 2007 Jessica Donaghy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
As a child, I probably read this book as many times as I watched the movie "Clue" (brilliance), and that is a lot! I loved (and still love) anything with a clever girl as a protagonist. Turtle can stand her ground among Nancy Drew and her ilk. Raskin's cast of characters feels somehow simultaneously real and fantastical, and the mystery is juicy enough to keep you hooked until the final moment of checkmate.
seth
Unless you love driving chainsaws through your innards, please do not read The Westing Game. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin, is an extremely horrible clue-chasing mystery. The books main events take place in a 5-story apartment called Sunset Towers and the Westing Estate. The book takes place in Michigan around 1975. When reading the Westing Game, it is no more fun than jumping off a cliff for fun.
Barney Northrup, a sixty-two year old salesman, is selling apartment spaces in Sunset Towers to
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Tung
Yes, this is a children’s book – a Newbery Medal winner from 1978. This was also my absolute favorite book from when I read it as a third grader until I was in middle school and discovered fantasy fiction. I saw it in a used bookstore and decided to press my luck and re-read it, hoping it wouldn’t disappoint me as other childhood favorites had done upon a re-reading (I’m looking at you, Hitchhiker’s Guide…). It didn’t. The Westing Game begins with sixteen seemingly random individuals invited to ...more
Book Review Team
The Westing Game is about 16 heirs competeing for Sam's Westing's inheritance. This book is a clever mystery full of excitement, danger. and suspicion. There are 8 teams, each team has a set of clues and together they must understand them. Together you must find out who Mrs. Westing is and who killed Sam Westing. You too may strike it rich, who dares to play...The Westing Game. We really loved this book it keeps you on your toes and every little thing matters. If you like a suspenseful, exciting ...more
Megan
I first picked up this book in high school, if I remember correctly, from the high school’s library. I fell in love almost immediately, and when I recently saw a copy at Half-Price Books I picked it up so that I could own it.

“The Westing Game” is a wonderful, clever and engaging book. It’s a murder mystery, a puzzle, and a treasure hunt, all in one, centered around the unique cast of characters that inhabit Sunset Towers apartments. The reader essentially becomes a participant in the mystery as
...more
Tamara
Alright, I finally read it. The copy I read has a copyright date of 1978. So it was kind of interesting to read a book that was born the same year I was!

Amazingly, the fact that it was such an old copy was slightly distracting. The changes in stylistic trends is quite obvious. I didn't realize how much of the way I read is based on how things are organized and addressed in type and breaks and alignment.

I'm not used to reading mysteries, so for me this was a little hard to follow (quite sad, huh
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Lisa

CLAP.

CLAP.

CLAP.

Well done, Ellen Raskin. Quite the clever little yarn you've spun. I can see little middle-school-Lisa reading this book and taking notes and trying to win the prize. Alas, I didn't even know this book existed then. But reading The Undertaker's Gone Bananas gave me the hankering for more mysteries involving kids finding corpses and getting in deep with the grown-up business of murder and finger-pointing. I'll keep it short. After all, it's not what you have, it's what you don't ha
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Mary
I don't understand why this book won a Newbery Award. It was confusing and sort of awful. Additionally, for today's reader, it felt extremely dated and had some remarks in it that I would call "un-politically correct."
It all starts with a group of eccentric people of all ages who quickly become involved in a mystery game involving a large inheritance. The person who first solves the mystery wins the inheritance. Clues are given along the way, but I'm not sure whether or not the reader was suppos
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Y. C.


I first read this in grade eight and thought it was the smartest book ever. It was ingenious and full of twists and plots and I adored the main character Turtle. It's one of those books where everything just connects in the end, all loose strings are tied up, and upon closing the back cover, it leaves the reader with a feeling of satisfaction.

It's an amazing book, even after all these years.
Shaffleoppleplutika Xeliet
This book is one of my all time favorites. I love the plot twists and the ending is great, although I won't spoil it for you. The characters have a lot of personality, the book is funny, and it keeps you turning the pages every time you read it. I really recommend this book to anyone who enjoys unexpected turns, mystery, and basically anybody that enjoys a good book. In my opinion, this is a must-read.
Deborah
This was a WONDERFUL, charming read. I read it to my son's 6th grade class (a very tough crowd) who actually loved it, interacted with it and begged for more books like it.
meeners
happened to email a friend the other day about some old, nostalgic childhood reads; was about to recommend this book to her, when i realized i could remember almost nothing of the plot or characters, nothing but the memory of me reading this book in 4th grade and falling immediately, irrevocably, unshakably in love with ellen raskin. that's it; that's all that remained.

some ten years later, and here i am reading the westing game again but also, in a way, for the first time. the ghost of the pas
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Joy
Jan 06, 2008 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: older children and adults
The Westing Game is one of my all-time-favorite mysteries. Mr. Westing is found dead in his mansion, and in order to win his fortune, sixteen would-be heirs must compete to win the Westing Game. Full of complexity and suspense, the plot lays all the clues before the reader but still manages to keep the solution secret until the very end. Funny and scathing in its portrayal of its characters, this is no warm and fuzzy fairy tale. In this cast of antiheroes, everyone is suspect and no one is truly ...more
Jennifer
To me, this book is so my childhood. I remember reading it over and over again growing up and somehow it never got old... the ridiculous antics of the characters, which were somehow realistic despite the fact that they're obviously caricatures, the mystery behind it all, and the constants twists and turns of the plotline. And behind all of it, my joy at being able to cheer on the most obnoxious character of them all, because I connect with her. Somehow it never gets old to me, I'm still always s ...more
Beth
The writing is straightforward, but the plot is anything but simplistic. An eclectic group of persons gather for the reading of a will. Sam Westing, multi-millionaire, has a mystery for them to solve — the winner receives the entire inheritance. But what, exactly, are they supposed to discover? And, though it’s only a game (the Westing game!), is one — or more — of the heirs in real danger?

The author herself describes this as a “puzzle-mystery” in the dedication — and it truly was like a jigsaw
...more
Leanne
What a surpisingly delightful little puzzle of a book! And it made me giggle more than once, too.

Is this too new to be considered a classic? Too bad, it's going in there anyway - I rarely read anything pre-2000s and my classics shelf is a little skimpy.
Michelle J
I have a hard time with books that give a lot of information that I have to remember because inevitably I will be interrupted or have to go tend to kids and what not. The Westing Game is one of those books. You have to keep straight the details of 16 or more people in order to figure out the mystery. I found myself having to backtrack a lot just to remember the details. I finally just skimmed the book to the end. It is not a long book but was taking a lot longer to get through than it should hav ...more
Selwa
Ah, The Westing Game, the kids book that is about a man who is murdered (or was he?) and the 16 heirs (or are they?) who could win his fortune (or will they?) if they can figure out who killed him (or something). Sorry for being vague ... it's a mystery, folks, and I don't want to give anything away. You'll thank me later! (Or will you?)

Moving on ... there's one thing you must know going in, and it is this ... this is not a book you read. It's a book you reread. So yes, I just read this book twi
...more
Ruth
I really got into this book. I was surprised at how well Raskin did at character development with such a short book and so many (16) characters. It very much reminded me of the movie Clue. I was writing down notes and trying to solve the puzzle as I went. Hahaha.

In the end, I was kinda satisfied. There were some questions that Raskin didn't even attempt to answer (I'll put them in spoilers below in case you've read the book and want to comment). The final chapter or two was too cute and neat for
...more
Autumn
Autumn Pelfrey
December 15,2013
period-3rd

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Mr. Westing believes his life has been wrongly taken from him. His will states that whomever discovers the truth behind this will inherit everything. The tenants of Sunset Towers are paired off and each given a clue to find out who took Mr. Westing's life and possibly inherit millions.


The handpicked residents of Sunset Towers all thought they were something special. Especially when they all received the same invite to the
...more
A.K.
I hate this goddamned star system, I really do. If I give four, does that mean it is eternally almost as good as The Golden Notebook, and just that much better than The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas? I suppose "eternally" is a trick wording, because come Ragnarök, Crispin Glover and I will be more concerned with repopulating the earth to bother with such trifles. I suppose, also, that the paper-cut agony of deciding precisely how many little gold things this thing is and what that meannnnnnnn ...more
Rhiannon
Sep 10, 2007 Rhiannon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Summary: Seemingly unrelated families and individuals receive invitations to rent in a new apartment complex. Two months later, a millionaire is found dead in a nearby house, and most of the building's residents are invited (through the dead man's will) to solve his murder for the opportunity to win his inheritance.

I was really impressed with this book - it has a large cast of characters that I found enchanting, and I felt like Raskin did an excellent job of giving all of them face time, so to s
...more
Trixie Fontaine
Fun immersion with delightful array of lovable characters. Ewww, that sounds gross. But I MEAN it in the best, most genuine way possible! Richly detailed, imaginative and even touching while still being light.

How about this: massively progressive portrayal of grrls, black chicks, the aged, and the differently-abled?!? Double EWWWWW! But it's so true and done so naturally without being preachy!!

Total classic -- I'm glad I didn't get around to reading this until I grew up. Good mysteries are usual
...more
Jasmine
So I've had a lot of conversations that started with "why are you reading the westing game" the answer for all of you out there is because I'm a cheater. I wasn't enjoying the YA so I picked up that a mistake had been made in recommendations and a juvie book was listed, I tend to like juvie so I started to read it.

it's good, it's like a kids version of What a Carve Up!. or the book form of the game clue. I highly recommend it. read it people it's lovely.
Kate
It's a shame that such a wonderful book has such a boring and dated cover. I think more kids (and adults, ahem) might pick up. I loved each and every one of the characters and the way Raskin made even the insignificant ones stand out at some point in the book. I was surprised at how I got a little teary-eyed at the end. Certainly, not a response I expected to have from a mystery novel. Well done.
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Ellen Raskin was a writer, illustrator, and designer. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up during the Great Depression. She primarily wrote for children. She received the 1979 Newbery Medal for her 1978 book, The Westing Game.

Ms. Raskin was also an accomplished graphic artist. She designed dozens of dust jackets for books, including the first edition of Madeleine L'Engle's classic A W
...more
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