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The Westing Game

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  147,279 ratings  ·  9,626 reviews
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!

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.
ebook, 192 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Puffin Books (first published June 1st 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)

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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  147,279 ratings  ·  9,626 reviews

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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
Wil Wheaton
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun, and I know without hesitation what third or fourth grade me loved about it. I felt like maybe it dragged a tiny bit in the back half of the second act, but I think that's just me getting ahead of the narrative, and being a little out of the demo.

But if you're like 11 to 13? Holy crap, you're gonna love this book, and be on board with it pretty much from the first chapter. It was written in 1978, but it doesn't feel dated (other than the technology), and it ages very well. It has a di
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.
mark monday
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inbetweenworld
I just want to cut to the chase: the last three chapters, over the course of about nine pages, are some of the most moving I've read in a book written for kids. life, loss, death; growing up and getting old; compassion and empathy; sadness and mourning, sweetness and light. it's all there. such a generosity of spirit from Ellen Raskin. I would have loved to have known her. but I sorta feel I do, from those few pages.

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the book itself is a delightful lark. a lot of fast-paced fun, but with a surp
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 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Life, too, is senseless unless you know who you are, what you want, and which way the wind blows.”

What a wild ride this was, and so much fun! I don't know how I would have approached this as a child or young adult, but it made me laugh at so many different stages! My brain is still feeling a little tingly. I never knew what was going to happen next, and I have a feeling that exactly the way Raskin would have wanted it. Can't wait to read more of her books.

"She said that she wrote for the chil
This book was delightful.

I'm still reeling from the fact that the author wrote this straight through without knowing all the plot details or how everything would turn out. Sam Westing dies and leaves behind one final game for his 16 heirs who he has move into the same apartment building. A bit Agatha Christie mixed in and you are reading about this puzzle. Everyone is not who they say they are and the author slowly unravels the mystery.

For some reason, this took me far longer to read that it sh
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
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
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.
"Today I have gathered together my nearest and dearest, my sixteen nieces and nephews...I, Samuel W. Westing, hereby swear that I did not die of natural causes. My life was taken by me-by one of you!...Cast out the sinner, let the guilty rise and confess. Who among you is worthy to be the Westing heir?"


I never would have thought that this is a children's book. Because honestly, the ingenuity of the plot transcend
This was a great middle school mystery.
I wish I had known about this when I was a kid because I think 10 year old me would have been even more engrossed than 38 year old me already was.
i know this is meant to be a childrens novel, but that thought never crossed my mind whilst reading this. it actually reminded me a lot of the film ‘clue’ - its mysteriously engaging, wildly eccentric, and dangerously witty. a very quick and fun read!

3.5 stars
Kate Willis
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humor
This should seriously be added to the annals of “The World’s Most Brilliant, Strange Books”. I "solved" the mystery twice and was still wrong both times. :D I even had what I thought was a major spoiler to help me. I was still wrong! But in the end all the twists and turns made perfect sense, and I was left wondering how I hadn’t seen it all before. Also, this book has a grand total of sixteen point of view characters! I would usually call that a bad thing, but this author somehow made me care ( ...more
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.
Sarah Grace Grzy
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!
I checked out this audiobook on a whim when I saw that it was available, because it seemed like a quick, fun nostalgia read. I remember being assigned to read this book in fifth grade or sixth grade, and had fond memories of it as a brief, fun little puzzle of a story.

The Westing Game begins when sixteen people are called to the abandoned Westing mansion to hear the will of Sam Westing, recently deceased millionaire industrialist. In his will, Westing proposes a game: the sixteen people (his “h
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
Charles Finch
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Duh. 100 stars. The best. Read it whenever I remember to.
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
Elise (TheBookishActress)
This... iconic book. This may be one of the books I've reread most in my life. I love this book so much.

I don't even know what to say about this book other than it's one of my favorites ever. It somehow fits every age group - I appreciate it just as much now as when I was ten.

The Westing Game is a brilliant logic puzzle. It's a mystery with all the clues lined up, but you won't get the solution. Trust me, you won't. You'll just scream at the end when you figure everything out. I'm shocked that
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.
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.
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
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
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of 16 heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death, by participating in and solving a puzzle game, in order to inherit his fortune. These 16 heirs are all brought together under one roof as tenants of Sunset Towers which overlooks the mansion of the deceased millionaire.
Sharp, clever, witty and fun, this book is an absolute treat for people who love to read a good puzzle-mystery, complete with twists
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
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE? So clever, so fun, amazing ending. Love.
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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
“Life, too, is senseless unless you know who you are, what you want, and which way the wind blows.” 91 likes
“Smiling without good reason is demeaning.” 64 likes
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