The Westing Game

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The Westing Game
Westing cover.jpg
First edition
AuthorEllen Raskin
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesNA
GenreMystery
PublisherE. P. Dutton
Publication date
1978
Pages182 or 217 pages
ISBNISBN 0-525-47137-5
ISBN 0-14-240120-X
ISBN 0-14-038664-5
OCLC53292898
LC ClassPZ7.R1817 We 2003
 
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The Westing Game
Westing cover.jpg
First edition
AuthorEllen Raskin
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesNA
GenreMystery
PublisherE. P. Dutton
Publication date
1978
Pages182 or 217 pages
ISBNISBN 0-525-47137-5
ISBN 0-14-240120-X
ISBN 0-14-038664-5
OCLC53292898
LC ClassPZ7.R1817 We 2003

The Westing Game is a 1979 Newbery Medal winning novel by Ellen Raskin.[1] It has been adapted into a movie, released under both the names The Westing Game and Get a Clue. This book centers around the adventures of Sam Westing's sixteen heirs after they are challenged by him to unravel the secret behind his death.

Plot[edit]

Sixteen heirs who are mysteriously chosen to live in the Sunset Towers apartment building on the shore of Lake Michigan which has 5 floors, somewhere in Milwaukee, come together to hear the will of the self-made millionaire, Samuel W. Westing. The will takes the form of a puzzle, dividing the sixteen heirs into eight pairs, giving each pair a different set of clues which consist of almost all of the lyrics from "America the Beautiful", and challenging them to solve the mystery of who murdered Sam Westing. As an incentive, each heir is given $10,000 to play the game. Whoever solves the mystery will inherit Sam Westing's $200,000,000 fortune, and his company, Westing Paper Products.

Heirs[edit]

Solution[edit]

Each of the characters were arranged with partners with different sets of clues.The clues provided to the heirs are mostly words from the song "America the Beautiful", taken out of order. When rearranged, it becomes clear that several words or parts of words are missing; these spell out one of the heir's name Berthe Erica Crow. Crow names herself as the solution. However, this is not the 'true' solution of the game. Judge J. J. Ford later recognizes this move as the "queen's sacrifice", a move that Sam Westing would always use to defeat her in chess. The will does not state that Samuel Westing was murdered but rather that his "life was taken." The will is broken down in sections of FIRST, SECOND, etc., totaling twelve, and in the THIRD stated that "the one who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the..." and is interrupted by an outburst from Sam Westing, disguised as Sandy McSouthers, before continuing "FOURTH. Hail to thee..." Turtle realizes that there was no missing word after and that finding "the Fourth" was to find four identities of Sam Westing - Sam Westing, Sandy McSouthers, Barney Northrup, and Julian Eastman. His true name was Samuel "Windy" Windkloppel, changing it because "after all, who would buy a product called Windkloppel's Paper Products? Would you?" Although he hadn't counted on anyone winning, he had hoped that Turtle would be able to solve the riddle by the end to claim the prize. Turtle did solve the Westing game and visited Julian Eastman for many years after.

Aftermath[edit]

The epilogue of the story is told in the book's last three chapters, which depict the heirs growing older and successful, many of them changing their lives as a result of the game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Newbery Medal & Honor Books, 1922-Present". Association for Library Service to Children. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 

Other media[edit]

The Westing Game, adapted by Darian Lindle and directed by Terry Brino-Dean, was first produced at Prime Stage Theatre in Pittsburgh in 2009. The script is published by Dramatic Publishing.

Get A Clue, adapted by Dylan Kelsey Hadley and directed by Terence H. Winkless was produced for television in 1997.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Bridge to Terabithia
Newbery Medal recipient
1979
Succeeded by
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal