Monday, September 12, 2011
Book Review - The Westing Game
Ellen Raskin won the Newbery Medal in 1979 for The Westing Game. My girls book club read this book over a year ago and they still mention it when we are trying to determine our next book. They always say they would like to read another mystery like The Westing Game. Aside from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, this is still the girl's favorite book. I keep being surprised by this fact. The book doesn't fit in with their typical favorites.
The book was written over 30 years ago, there is no romance hook and the main character is a bit younger (or at least acts younger) than the girls in my group.
Even with all these "negatives", the girls loved it. Now, I know these really aren't negatives, but for young teen readers, they could be.
The mystery in The Westing Game is so well done, that it overrides any other considerations. We read this book over three meetings, so at each club meeting, there were lots of questions to discuss. The girls really enjoyed trying to solve the mystery as they read the book.
The premise is convoluted. Sixteen people, seemingly unrelated in any way are convinced to move into Sunset Towers on the shores of Lake Michigan. A few weeks later they are called to a reading of the odd will of Samuel Westing. They could become millionaires, depending on how they play the game laid out for them. The sixteen are divided into 8 teams and each team is given initial clues. The winning team wins his fortune!
Excitement, danger and suspense follow.
I highly recommend this mystery, but don't take my word for it. I've got five girls who think it is one of the best books they have ever read!