We’re back! We took a few weeks off for the Christmas break, but today we’re returning with a very popular Newbery winner, Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game.
We’ll start things off with Sara’s Review, as usual.
16 heirs. Millions of dollars at stake. 1 murderer. I was very frustrated with this book. The action seemed to unfold very slowly in the beginning. All the characters had flaws, and many of them appeared to be terrible people. I couldn’t figure out the mystery so I was surprised throughout the book, right along with the characters. The judge was my favorite character because she isn’t greedy and shows concern that one of the heirs might be harmed by the game. With 3/4 of the characters being adults and the rest being teens, this stretched the limit of the Newbery age criteria quite a bit. The ending was satisfying and I like that I was updated on what happened to all the heirs. However, I felt like I was reading the novel version of the Clue movie, based on the board game. “Miss Scarlett did it in the library with the candlestick?” The comparison isn’t quite fair since this book predated the movie. I give the book 3 Newbery Pies.
I have to disagree with Sara about the characters. None of them were really terrible to me. Not many of them were good per se (Side note: I think that was my first time ever to write the phrase per se.) but they all had their reasons for acting the ways that they did.
I had recently read The Westing Game, so none of the mystery was very mysterious to me this time around. I already knew what all of the clues meant, who the “murderer” was and all that, so it kind of weakened my enjoyment of the novel, and made it more of a chore to get through this time. I did have a flash of inspiration, though. This book needs to have a graphic novel version made, so somebody get on that. I do agree with Sara, that this book does have a Clue feel to it, but I think it was intentional. (mimicking the board game, not the movie).
This time around, I give it four out of five Newbery Pies.