Friday, April 6, 2012
The Westing Game: Review
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is actually a re-read for me. But I didn't read it when I was young--although I wish I had. I know I would have enjoyed it. Our public library hosts a children's reading challenge every summer and during one of the campaigns my son, Kyle, won The Westing Game as his reading challenge prize. It was a little advanced for him at the time (he's not his mother's child when it came to reading)--but he loved the cover and wanted it and we decided that it was a book we could read together. So we did. And I thought at the time, "What a great book! Why didn't I find it when I was growing up?"
This year, I joined the Back to the Classics Challenge and one of the categories is to read an award-winning classic. So, I decided to go back to this Newbery Medal winner, refresh myself on the details, and write up a proper review for my blog. Here goes--
Sixteen people are chosen (apparently at random) to be allowed to rent apartments in the luxurious Sunset Towers apartment building. The assorted tenants come from all walks of life--a secretary and a judge, a doctor and an inventor, a dressmaker and two restaurant owners. And a bookie, a burglar, and a bomber....and one mistake. After living in the apartments for a while, they receive a notice that they are also all heirs of Samuel W. Westing--a man whose fortunes have been built on the Westing Paper Products Industry. But--in order to claim their inheritance, they will have to play Westing's game....a contest to find and name Westing's murderer! The heirs are divided into pairs and each pair is given a set of clues. Each set of clues is different. But two people hold all the clues--one will be named the Westing heir and the other is the reader. Can you solve the mystery before the heir does?
This is a well-written children's mystery. Lots of twists and turns and surprises. Pretty fairly clued too. I enjoyed it very much and only wish I had discovered it when I was younger--I probably would have given it four stars then. Three stars now--a very nice mystery.