Book Review: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

westing_gameI recently read The Westing Game as an assignment for my English class. Even though I read this book for school, I ended up loving it.

The Westing Game is an intriguing mystery written by Ellen Raskin. In this fascinating novel, Samuel Westing of the Westing Paper Products Corporation is found dead, supposedly murdered. His sixteen chosen heirs, including everyone from a doctor to an inventor to a judge, are invited to live at Sunset Towers, located at the edge of Michigan Lake. Westing’s will is read to his heirs, where it is revealed that they are to play the Westing game. They must play in order to name the murderer amongst themselves and inherit Westing’s 200 million dollar estate.

I found this book very interesting and well detailed, but at the same time it didn’t give away all the answers. The Westing Game was hard to put down, and the whole time I was reading it I was on the edge of my seat. The amazing twists and turns made sure that things were not always as they seemed. I was constantly guessing and formulating the solution in my mind, but I did find it challenging to keep track of all the characters. There were about 20 people introduced in the plot, which got a little bit confusing. However, it all became clear towards the end, and all in all, this was an enjoyable mystery with evidence that keeps you guessing until the very last page.

I love the fact that even though The Westing Game is a fictional story, it is believable enough that you could see it actually happening in real life. This book is great for grades 6 and up. Please note that the book has several old-fashioned stereotypes about certain characters and some drinking. Whether you have to read The Westing Game as a school assignment or if you are just looking for an interesting read, I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a brain-stimulating mystery.

-Alaina K., 6th grade

Creative Tribute: The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

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