The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin


The Westing Game was a book my daughter close for finishing her summer reading sponsored by the Berkeley Library. It is a puzzle mystery and I enjoyed reading it today and working out at least some of the puzzle early in the game. In it an eccentric head of a paper manufacturing company dies and summons 16 heirs to hear his will. They are put in pairs and each pair given a different set of clues. They have to solve the puzzles to win $10,000 a round. The final winner gets the multimillion dollar estate.  Among our characters we have the beautiful blonde Angela, engaged to marry a medical intern, her mother, a wannabe interior decorator, and her father, a podiatrist and bookie. Her underappreciated and not as attractive younger sister is nicknamed turtle. We also have Mr. Hoo, a Chinese restauranteur, his much younger second wife from Hong Kong, and his medal winning track runner of a son. The son is friends with another high school student with a brother Chris who is confined to a wheelchair with some kind of neurological disease. His parents run the Coffee Shop downstairs in the apartment house. We also have the doorman Sandy, a 62 year old Delivery Boy, a secretary on crutches, a cleaning woman in black who is often praying and talking about sins, and the lawyer Mr. Plum. The group is rounded out by a woman judge. I don’t want to give the story away, but have fun solving the mysteries. Someone is a bomber, and someone may be a murderer.

ISBN 0-14-240120-X, 182 pages. Winner of the Newbery Medal, Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, and an ALA Notable Book.

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About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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