Friday, May 2, 2008
Today's Pick: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
This is a short book. It's a Young Adult book and it's great. It's a mystery with a cooky cast of characters. Like Turtle who gets a closet for a bedroom and kicks everyone who touches her braids. Of course, with a *Perfect* sister who their mother loves best, who can blame the kid?
At first, the story seems like a bunch of stereotypes, but the mystery and the game that they all get thrust into reveals that most of these characters have a lot of depth. The mystery and game come from the death of Sam Westing, who is a local bazillionaire. The residents of Sunset Towers are all told that they are heirs and that they must play this game to get their winnings.
But there's another layer when someone starts setting off bombs in Sunset Towers. Who is not who they seem? Is anyone who they seem to be? It's a really quick read and a lot of fun. Astute readers will probably solve the puzzle before the characters do (my stupid, I mean, darling, husband who always figures these things out did... I never do.) But I think it's still a fun read to see how the characters get there.
Oh, yeah, this is another book I use in school. And the kids like it. "It was actually pretty good," they tell me. Yeah. I know.