The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
I’m always keeping my eyes open for smart books for young people. I was thrilled to read this little bit in the intro of The Westing Game, written by the book’s editor and friend to it’s late author:
“She said that she wrote for the child in herself, but for once I think she was wrong. I think she wrote for the adult in children. She never disrespected them or ‘wrote down,’ because she didn’t know how.”
Preach! That’s exactly what I’m looking for.
The Westing Game is smart, quirky, funny, and wonderfully accessible to young people in ways that will make them think–and enjoy doing it.
Adults? Yep, them too.
The characters are the stars of this one. A couple of them have certainly followed me home. With something like 20 main characters to keep track of, you’d expect some difficulties keeping them all straight. No difficulties. It works beautifully.
What’s it about? Think “Clue,” but with more (and better) characters and about the same about of Tim Curry’s goofiness.
All ages. It might be a bit much to keep up with for typical under-10’s, but ambitious middle-graders who enjoy reading should enjoy the hunt in The Westing Game.