Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Westing Game” as Want to Read:
The Westing Game
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Westing Game

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  156,323 ratings  ·  10,278 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 thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead ... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!
Paperback, Penguin, 182 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Puffin (first published June 1st 1978)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Westing Game, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 confi…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
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  156,323 ratings  ·  10,278 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Westing Game
karen
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 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
Wil Wheaton
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
...more
T
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
carol.
The Westing Game is first full-length mystery I remember reading. Well, besides Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew books. But the one mystery that I could still have told you general details about the plot. It might have been the cleverness of the mystery or  it's absence of gore. It could have been identification with the shin-kicking protagonist, nicknamed 'Turtle.' It could have been the clever signals of winds and atmosphere that run throughout the book. Whatever it was, Raskin's story stayed ...more
Jen
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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.

 photo sensitive_zpsz2a9ougx.jpg

the book itself is a delightful lark. a lot of fast-paced fun, but with a su
...more
Evgeny
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
A group read with my pantaloonless buddies.

Sixteen very different people were invited to reading of a will of multi-millionaire Samuel W. Westing.
Millionaire
The guy stated he would be killed and whoever finds the murderer would get all his fortune. He provided the participants (or players as Westing called them) with different clues to help, but in my humble opinion they only provided additional confusion.

Coming back in time somebody worked really hard to make sure these sixteen people come to live in th
...more
Isaac Blevins
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game is a mystery book written by Ellen Raskin in 1978. Sunset Towers is a new apartment building on Lake Michigan, north of Milwaukee and just down the shore from the mansion owned by reclusive self-made millionaire Samuel W. Westing. As the story opens, Barney Northrup is selling apartments to a carefully selected group of tenants. He claims that chess is not allowed in the building. This is a big clue, as Sam Westing loved chess. After Sam Westing die
...more
Idarah
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fullsizeoutput_753

“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 ch
...more
Britany
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
...more
seth
Nov 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Diane
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, childrens
This was one of my favorite children's books, and I decided to reread it by listening to it on audio. What a delight! The mystery held up really well, and Diane the Adult had fun following the clues being dropped. I had forgotten some of the twists in the story, which made it even more fun, and I was happy with the ending, which I had conveniently forgotten.

I can't remember how old I was when I first read this book, but I do remember loving it so much that I wrote a letter to the author on an el
...more
Mary
Jul 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Divine Anas
"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?"

16 UNLIKELY HEIRS ON THE HUNT OF A MURDERER AMONG THEM? The Westing Game begins.
description

I never would have thought that this is a children's book. Because honestly, the ingenuity of the plot t
...more
MissBecka
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.
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
...more
Jessica
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.
Becky
I read this with some friends who eschew pantalones. I'd never heard of this book before, despite it being a book for children that was available when I was a child. I think, had I read this way back when, I likely would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did reading it now as a woman who once rode a dinosaur around town, probably.

The premise is such: A very rich man leaves a will naming 16 people as his heirs, but only the one who solves The Mystery(tm) will inherit all of the money that exists
...more
Madeline
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
...more
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!
Max
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Charles Finch
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Duh. 100 stars. The best. Read it whenever I remember to.
jessica
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
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
Vivian
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-odyssey, ya-na
Entertaining solve the puzzle win the prize mystery.

Here is a book that is very, very good when you view it from within its genre's boundaries, Children's Literature, but if you try and analyze it outside of it then it starts to fall apart. Told from Turtle's perspective, prepubescent female, we are pulled into the game of the town's richest citizen, Sam Westing. He's dead and one of the players present was responsible!

Solve the mystery and win his fortune.

There's a good deal of point-of-view
...more
Tung
Apr 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Toph
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
...more
Courtnie
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
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
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1)
  • Number the Stars
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Walk Two Moons
  • The View from Saturday
  • When You Reach Me
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1)
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Censored Science: The Suppressed Evidence
  • Holes (Holes, #1)
  • The Egypt Game
  • The Parker Inheritance
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Tale of Despereaux
See similar books…
395 followers
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

Related Articles

Thirty-four years after the publication of her dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood returns to continue the story of Offred. We talked wi...
358 likes · 58 comments
“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.” 65 likes
More quotes…