Throwback Thursday: The Westing Game
Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to celebrate some of the reads we loved way back when...
The Westing Game
By: Ellen Raskin
Release Date: 1979
I only have a few vague recollections of The Westing Game - the main one is it completely blew my mind when I read it. I think that's because it seemed like such an adult book to me as an 11 or 12 year old. I felt different as a reader after I read this book, because formulaic plots were now as dead to me as the puzzle maker and benevolent benefactor, Sam Westing. This was unlike any other mystery I'd read. The cast of characters is HUGE (for a middle grades novel) and no one is what they seem to be.
The Westing Game centers around Sam Westing's death and the subsequent battle for his inheritance among his 16 heirs. Sam hasn't written a typical will, but has instead created a puzzle game, where his heirs will pair up to work together to reveal the identity of his murder. And with names like Dr. Denton Deere, Sydelle Pulaski, and Berthe Erica Crow among the heirs - you know you're in for a soap-opera-scale ride. And to a preteen, who was ready to move past standard plots, but not old enough for true YA, this was a perfect read right when I needed it.
Summary via Goodreads
A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one things' for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!