Book Review: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Saksham Mathur

Saksham Mathur, age 13, is a student of class VIII at Anand Niketan International School, Ahmedabad. He is deeply interested in science and its mysteries.

Saksham loves outings to exotic places. He is very fond of playing cricket and table tennis. In his free time, Saksham likes to dabble in creativity and finer arts. He also enjoys speaking from public platforms.

About the book

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Title: The Westing Game
Author: Ellen Raskin
Publisher: Puffin (an imprint of Penguin Random House India)
Publication: 2004 (25t anniversary editiion. First edition published 1978.)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0142401200
Pages: 192 (Paperback)
Price: Rs. 399

A highly inventive mystery begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of the very stranger will of the very read Samuel W. Westing. They could become millionaires, depending on how they play a game. All they have to do is find the answer – but the answer to what? The Westing game is tricky and dangerous, but the heirs play on – through blizzards, burglaries, and bombings, Sam Westing may be dead … but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

The Westing Game is the winner of several awards: the Newbery Medal, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, an American Library Association Notable Book and A School Library Journal One Hundred Books That Shaped the Century.


Ellen Raskin

Ellen Raskin was an American children's writer and illustrator. She was the author of several novels, including the Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game, the Newbery Honor-winning Figgs & Phantoms, The Tattooed Potato and other clues, and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel).

She also wrote and illustrated many picture books and was an accomplished graphic artist. She designed dust jackets for dozens of books, including the first edition of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time. Ms. Raskin died at the age of fifty-six in1984, in New York City.

Book Review

‘The Westing Game’ is a detective story written by Ellen Raskin. The book was written in 1978.

16 heirs have been chosen and divided into pairs by Sam Westing. The objective: Find the name of the heir who murdered him. The reward: Two hundred million dollars. As the game progresses, secrets are unveiled, and the truth shows itself.

Each of the 16 characters have a prominent and different personality, from Turtle, a budding teenager who like winning and kicking shins, to Sydell Pulaski, a secretary with a suspicious leg disease. As the pairs try to identify the murderer, the search becomes even more perplexing… and deadlier! A bomber on the loose; clues that make no sense; people trying to hide their past; a very unexpected ending, this book has got all the mystery you can dream of!

The deep plot compels you to read the book till the end. The wonderful variety of language and the multiple perspectives of all the characters prevents it from being monotone and makes it a very interesting read. The book is sluggish in the middle, which makes it boring. But don’t give up on it. The ending of the book leaves the reader very satisfied. A patient reader with a taste for mystery will love this book.


The mystery is how well you can write at this young age!

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