Editor’s note: Have you read the 1979 Newbery Award winning title, The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin? If not, put this clever mystery on your to-read list. If you’ve read it, you’ll be able to picture the following script as an edge-of-your-seat awesome movie trailer.
This is a game that is worth two hundred million dollars.
[I, Samuel W. Westing, hereby swear that I did not die of natural causes. My life was taken from me- by one of you!]
Sixteen heirs, one winner.
[They were mothers and fathers and children. A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake.]
Who is the dead soul looking for?
[Who among you is worthy to be the Westing heir? Help me. My soul shall roam restlessly until that one is found. The estate is at the crossroads. The heir who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the…]
Who is the final answer?
[“Somebody’s in real danger, and I think it’s me.”]
For the two hundreds million, the answers are given.
[Wrong! All answers are wrong!]
What is the real purpose behind everything?
[“Uh—uh——UHHH!” His hand flew to his throat. He struggled to his feet, red-faced and gasping, and crashed to the floor in eye-bulging agony.]
That one- that person is the answer!
[Shhh! They were struggling with their conscience. Millions and millions of dollars just for naming the name.]
The heir who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the… what?
Who will be the one?
Welcome to The Westing Game.
-Wenqing Z., 11th grade