The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)

The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)

by Ellen Raskin


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A Newbery Medal Winner

"A supersharp mystery...confoundingly clever, and very funny." —Booklist, starred review


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, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Winner of the Newbery Medal
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
An ALA Notable Book


"Great fun for those who enjoy illusion, word play, or sleight of hand." —The New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating medley of word games, disguises, multiple aliases, and subterfuges—a demanding but rewarding book." —The Horn Book

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142401200
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/12/2004
Series: Puffin Modern Classics Series
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,190
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Ellen Raskin was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up during the Great Depression. 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 on August 8, 1984, in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page











Chapter 9 - LOST AND FOUND

Chapter 10 - THE LONG PARTY

Chapter 11 - THE MEETING

Chapter 12 - THE FIRST BOMB

Chapter 13 - THE SECOND BOMB


Chapter 15 - FACT AND GOSSIP

Chapter 16 - THE THIRD BOMB


Chapter 18 - THE TRACKERS

Chapter 19 - ODD RELATIVES

Chapter 20 - CONFESSIONS

Chapter 21 - THE FOURTH BOMB

Chapter 22 - LOSERS, WINNER


Chapter 24 - WRONG ALL WRONG

Chapter 25 - WESTING’S WAKE

Chapter 26 - TURTLE’S TRIAL

Chapter 27 - A HAPPY FOURTH

Chapter 28 - AND THEN . . .

Chapter 29 - FIVE YEARS PASS

Chapter 30 - THE END?

Sunset Towers

The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!

Sunset Towers faced east and had no towers. This glittery, glassy apartment house stood alone on the Lake Michigan shore five stories high. Five empty stories high.

Then one day (it happened to be the Fourth of July), a most uncommon-looking delivery boy rode around town slipping letters under the doors of the chosen tenants-to-be. The letters were signed Barney Northrup.

The delivery boy was sixty-two years old, and there was no such person as Barney Northrup. . . .

“In [The Westing Game] the author shows once more that no one can beat her at intrigue, at concocting marvelous absurdities.”

Publishers Weekly


SPEAK Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Copyright © Ellen Raskin, 1978

ISBN: 9781101157459

FOR JENNYwho asked for a puzzle-mysteryAND SUSAN K.


Until 1970, Ellen Raskin was considered an illustrator, not an author, although she had written the texts of her notable picture books, such as Nothing Ever Happens on My Block; And It Rained; and Spectacles. And until 1969, I didn’t really know her, although when I was the children’s-book editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston, she had illustrated Books: A Book to Begin On, by Susan Bartlett, and Come Along!, by Rebecca Caudill—as well as doing for us some of the one thousand book jackets of which she was so proud.

Our friendship really began in the smoking car (like the title character of Moe Q. McGlutch, Ellen smoked too much) of a Pennsylvania Railroad train en route from New York to Philadelphia, where we were both speaking on a panel. I stopped to say hello, and she said, “I’m sitting here alone because I’m so nervous. I hate speaking.” “I hate it, too,” I said, “and I’ve given up smoking.” In the depressed gloom that followed this exchange, the beginning of a bond was formed.

That same year I moved from Holt to E. P. Dutton. Their office was located at Union Square and Seventeenth Street, only a short walk from Ellen’s apartment on Eighth Street, and we got together more often. One day, Ellen confided that she had always wanted to adapt Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti, as a picture-book text. I thought of the lavishly rich visual details of the poem, and I longed to see how she would illustrate it. ”Would you do the book for me?” I asked. “Yes,” she answered. “Jean [Jean Karl, her editor at Atheneum] doesn’t want it.” Ellen was always candid. So she did do it—her first book for Dutton. One of her exquisitely intricate paintings for that book now hangs on my wall.

We often talked about our lives, and I particularly loved stories about her family and how she and her parents and sister drove around the country during the Great Depression so her father could look for work, an epic safari that took them from Milwaukee to California. “You should write a book about growing up in the Depression,” I told her.


Excerpted from "The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)"
by .
Copyright © 2004 Ellen Raskin.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A supersharp mystery. . . . Confoundingly clever, and very funny. (Booklist, starred review)

Customer Reviews

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The Westing Game 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1030 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Derek Sims More than 1 year ago
I tried reading this story with my fifth grade teacher, but couldn't find time to truely get into the story. Then, a year and a half later, I purchased the Westing Game and fell in love with it! Each character, especially Turtle, has a personality and background all their own, and Sam Westing plays his game exactly as I would have. This hands-down the best book I've read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Westing Game is so good!I lovede this book so much but i want Ellen Raskin to make a second!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As soon as I started The Westing Game, I lay in my bed reading it for two and a half hours straight because it was THAT good. The plot is irresistible, the characters are charming and intriguing, and the writing is excellent. READ THIS BOOK!!! It is definitely worth reading many times over, and it will always be one of my favorite books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a named beneficiary in the estate of Samuel W. Westing, your attendance tomorrow is required in the South library of the Westing mansion at 4p.m. for the reading of the will. This is the letter that changed the lives of 16 Westing heirs. The The Westing Game is a must read Newberry awarded mystery book by Ellen Raskin. I loved the clues given, while reading The Westing Game. The clues didn't give anything away, but were helpful when solving the mystery on your own. In every chapter you find more hidden clues, within the story. When you solve the mystery it is like playing the game with the characters in the book, which is really fun. When reading to solve the mystery you get so involved with your book, so it helps having great clues. I love how Ellen Raskin worked to create such different characters. No one should want to read a book where the characters all have the same personality. An example of some characters would be Turtle a young girl who is usually pretty tough, and is known for kicking people who mess with her. She is not what you might expect for a thirteen year old girl. Another example would be Otis Amber. He is a 68 year old delivery man, with a personality you may not expect for his age. I think the differences in The Westing Game characters make the story all the better. The Westing Game was an amazing book. I liked the clues given in the story, and how Ellen Raskin worked to make such different characters. You should read this book because it is a fun mystery for both adults and kids to enjoy. Benny13
nodnal11 More than 1 year ago
this book is awesome if you want a book that is impossible to put down, but it can get kinda confusing in the middle, just keep reading, trust me, it will turn out in the end. I suggest that children ages 9 and up can read it, mainly because it does involve murder (it is described in a way that would make a younger child have nightmares) and a little bit of "lovey dovey" stuff (nothing major, just kissing a couple of times if i remember right) but other than that this book is an amazing thriller that is just confusing enough so that it keeps you on the edge of your seat, nodnaL backwards
Angie Russon More than 1 year ago
im reading it in class cant wait to finish!!!!!! i would say for kids of age 8-13 maybe 7 if their a good reader but the carrecters are hard to keep straight
Emily Lenard More than 1 year ago
I'm reading this book for school and it is awesome! My teacher and the kids in class call me Turtle.... I have this really long braid and I'm kinda aggressive about it. So I kick other people's shin everytime someone pulls it. In this book, I kinda have a life like Turtle... She's my favorite character!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pure AWESOMENESS. It is a really wacky book, so it takes a somewhat wacky person to read it. I got this book yesterday and finished it today. Also my teacher said that the more times you reread it, the more things you'll understand, and piece together more clues you didn't notice the first time. So worth the 6 bucks. And to conclude, it might seem difficult to understand, but take your time to read it, don't rush to the end. If you take your time you might see something you could miss very easily. (Helpful hints; write down notes and things you're thinking, IT WILL HELP, and write down the page numbers of all the clues, my friend did that and she said it helped A LOT.) HAPPY READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wanda17 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book on my nook and finished it in a couple of hours !!!! it was so great it just kept me reading , i just love how Ellen Raskin adds in all those twists and turns! Its like every time a secret is revealed about the heirs i was like WHAT ?!?!?!?! its i great book :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sooo good! It is one of my favorites because there is a bit of everything like humor, murder, love, sadness, and a lot of mystery. I recommend this book to people who like murder mysteries. The book asks one big question: Who killed Samuel W Westing? Sam Westing had asked his lawyer to read Sam Westing's will to 16 heirs in his house. Whoever can solve the murder mystery gets 2 hundred million dollars! This book is filled with mysteries. You try to figure out who the murderer is and see if you're right. Some people are not what they seem. If you like Nancy Drew or other mystery books than this is the book for you!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever!!! The people that wrote bad reviews don't understand good reading.
Kara Kennedy More than 1 year ago
This is a must read!! I loved it!!! Very exciting and you never know what will happen next !:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First lines are important. If successfully written, they can convince the reader to read a book. The Westing Game begins, and continues, in intriguing fashion. The entire first page describes several oddities that will leave the reader wondering how it could be. Why does Sunset Towers face East? Why does it not have towers? What was uncommon about the delivery boy? He's 62!? And, most importantly, who is Barney Northrup? All of these quandries will be answered later on in the book, and a discerning reader has the chance to do some detecting along with the characters of the book, most of whom are trying to discover who killed their rich uncle. But is he really their uncle? And was he really murdered? Read the book to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it in 5th grade it was realy good. I liked turtle the best out of the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im in 7th grade and read it. It was good but since we hav worked on this book so much in skool my teacher made it boring. I wud recommend it for anyone any age
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We had to read a book in class that won the newbery award, i picked the westing game thinking it would suck but it turned out to be the best book i have read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book report. I didnt really care about at first but then i realized it was due the next day lol. I got caught up in it and read 3/4 of the book in one day!!! HIGHLY RECOMENDED
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favourite books I've read. This is a good pick if you're one to piece clues together as the story goes on. The characters are unique, and the book paced so well that just as you pick a side with a character, a new plot twist is used and you'll likely end up changing your mind. I'd recommend this to you 'not-so-friendly competition' fans, and those in their early teens and beyond, as the endless clues may be confusing to younger readers. Cheers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Westing Game.I read a book called, The Westing Game,by Ellan Raskin, it is a great book but I have to warn you it will be confusing and scary.So make shure you get enough rest because if you read this at night you mihgt not be able to go back to sleep.this book is defiently a page turner.But beleve me, do not think you know who is behind Sam Westings death.Do not think you know who the murderer is because I bet you any thing your wrong.All the characters seam inasent but dont fall for it.So if you want to find out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So interesting i am on chapter13 haven't found the killer yet? Or is there one?
Patrick Webb More than 1 year ago
I read this book for school and i immediately fell in love. This book was peefect for me, loving murder mystery. And i just suggested it to my twin.
Basketballplayer_11 More than 1 year ago
Sixteen individuals who are mysteriously chosen to live in the Sunset Towers apartment building on the shore of Lake Michigan come together to hear the will of the self-made millionaire, Sam Westing. The will takes the form of a puzzle, dividing the sixteen heirs into eight pairs, giving each pair a different set of clues, and challenging them to solve the mystery of who killed Sam Westing. As an incentive, each heir is given $10,000 to play the game. Whoever solves the mystery will inherit Sam Westing's 200 million dollar fortune, along with his place in society. an odd delivery boy rides around on his bicycle and slips invitations under the doors of the chosen tenants-to-be. Each potential tenant is shown only one apartment and is told that it is the last available apartment. It was a mystery that I enjoyed a lot. The movie was not as good as the book. I would recommend this book to my friends because it is a cool mystery novel that everyone will like
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is about a story of 16 people who all join up to answer their clues given by there dear Uncle, Sam Westing, who was said to be murdered, by one of the heirs themslef. This Book has high litature and is full of tricks, mystrious, puzzles, and so forth. This book will leave you wondering what will come next. I recomend this book to readers who are looking for mysterys, humor, and to have a little tear streaming down your face. The real question is, is Sam Westing dead, or is he watching his heirs, leading him right ot his trap!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This scary murder mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat. Sunset towers, a Michigan apartment building, is the setting for this mystery. Relatives gather for a reading of a will and instead get game instructions. The relatives are paired up and then receive clues. The relatives have to think hard to find out who the murderer is. I liked this book because it was scary. Whenever the heirs were in a room, I worried the murderer was in the same room. I found some parts confusing because the writer left some ideas hanging. I recommend this book for grades 4th and up, because I am in 3rd grade and did not understand parts of the book.