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The Westing Game

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  124,435 Ratings  ·  7,819 Reviews
Sixteen people were invited to the reading of the very strange will of the very rich Samuel W. Westing. They could become millionaires, depending upon 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 set of clues were alike). All they had to do was find the answer, but the answer to what?

The Westin
Hardcover, 185 pages
Published June 1st 1978 by Dutton Juvenile (first published 1978)
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Gladius Other than the race to win the game, Turtle had to break free of her sister's shadow. Their mother always liked Angela better, and Turtle lacked…moreOther than the race to win the game, Turtle had to break free of her sister's shadow. Their mother always liked Angela better, and Turtle lacked confidence because of that. The greatest challenge she confronted was her confidence in herself. Maybe the book doesn't support this, but I do. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mark-harmon
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 (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
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Isaac Blevins
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
One of the best Newbery books I've read. The characters are super distinctive and Raskin is very witty. An example:

Turtle forgot the rules of the court and hurried to her mother.

"Who did you see, Mom? Who? Who?"

(Terrified by the who's, Madame Hoo slipped away.)

(view spoiler)

5/5 stars.
Apr 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
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
Jul 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Fun murder mystery. I suppose that it was written for middle graders, but this adult still enjoyed the whodunnit.

Sixteen heirs to a fortune must puzzle out the benefactor's murderer to win the millions. Reminded me of Agatha Christie in a way. Lots of eccentric characters and all of them suspecting of each other.

More clever than funny with a strong ending. The ending is what really pushed it past 'just okay' for me. I could see this being brilliant for an early reader and will happily collect a
Book Review Team
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Y. C.
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition




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
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
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A clever, engrossing and funny mystery and a good introduction to the genre for young readers.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Lindsey Lynn
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a middle grade/mystery novel about a group of 16 randomly selected people to play a part in a rich man's game. It all starts with a will and millions of dollars at risk. This hodge-podge group of people are summoned to a mansion to take part in a dead man's game. Everyone wants the money but are they cunning enough to see the bigger picture?

You get a wide variety of characters and view points throughout this book that come a bit unexpectedly but in a wonderful way. There were characters
Trinity Irwin
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't enjoy rereading books, no matter if I thought they were great. But, I could read The Westing Game over and over again, never getting bored. It has such a carefully structured plot and a wonderfully delicious set of characters. I cannot stand when authors can't bounce between different characters with smooth transitions, but Ellen Raskin did it with absolute grace. It's a children's mystery, but a person of any age could enjoy it as much as I did ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A re-read. Still as much of a gem as I thought when I was in fourth grade, and there aren't many books I can say that about. The last scenes get me every time.
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love mystery books and I mostly read Agatha Christie when I'm in the mood for a good murder mystery novel but I'm glad I picked this one up for a change. It's a very entertaining and engrossing read. Full of great humor and wit. The storyline is intriguing and the plot-twists are very well-crafted. It has a variety of quirky and interesting characters and all of them are fully developed.

The style of writing is original. At first I found it somewhat confusing because the author switches rapidl
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.
Sarah Grace
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 12+
Wow . . . this is . . . brilliant! Such a fun book, and exceptionally written! I think it is meant more for middle grade ages, but all ages will love it! Witty,, mysterious, and yet heartwarming too, this is a book that will quickly become a favorite!
Emma Grace
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-reading
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, kindle
HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE? So clever, so fun, amazing ending. Love.
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, children, classics
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
Book Concierge
Oh, my stars …

Sam Westing is a wealthy but secretive and intensely private industrialist (think Howard Hughes) who manipulates a group of seemingly unconnected people into all living in the same apartment building. A couple of months later his body is found in the Westing mansion, which the apartment building overlooks. All these people are invited to the mansion for the reading of Westing’s will. But it’s far from straightforward. The 16 heirs are paired, seemingly randomly, and each pair is g
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: award-winners
Author Ellen Raskin sounded more interesting in the introduction by Ann Durell than almost all of her characters. Turtle Wexler was a hoot, but the rest were pretty flat, there were too many of them and their relationships to each other and magnate Sam Westing (making them heirs) took way too long to discern. Many reviewers have compared this to Agatha Christie, but I don't see it, except possibly for the book's basic premise.
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Vera (GirlySunglasses)
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of ya, young adults, middle schoolers, fans of mystery, whodunnit,
Yes! I did it! I finished this one in one day!

From GoodReads:

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!

This young adult mystery novel was one of the most fun experiences I've read
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YA Teen Book Club...: book this month 1 2 8 hours, 48 min ago  
HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: The Westing Game 4 16 Aug 21, 2017 07:41PM  
What made this so special? 21 95 Aug 14, 2017 08:42AM  
Turtle Alice Tabitha-Ruth Wexler 3 34 Aug 14, 2017 08:35AM  
The Westing Game Point of View 2 13 Aug 14, 2017 08:34AM  
Chris' Dialogue 2 6 Aug 14, 2017 08:31AM  
questions in the westing games 4 5 Aug 14, 2017 08:29AM  
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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 about Ellen Raskin...

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