|Various covers for the Westing Game — At one time or another, I've read each version.|
To say The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin was my favorite book growing up would be an understatement. From the first time I read it as part of a requirement for fourth grade, I was hooked. I have read it, more or less, every single year since then for an approximate total of 17 readings, the last of which began, and ended, yesterday.
I love a good mystery as much as the next person, but The Westing Game is so much more than a puzzle book. My nine-year-old nerdy self identified closely with the under-appreciated, brainy, 13-year-old Turtle, although unfortunately I was never given the chance to win a 200-million-dollar inheritance.
Although The Westing Game is technically classified as a young adult novel, I can tell you that this 27-year-old enjoyed it every bit as much as I did when I was closer in age to the target audience. This review makes a good point regarding technology (the book was written in 1979), but aside from a few points, it never really feels dated.
|1. Floral Prints | 2. Patriotic Notebook | 3. Witch Costume | 4. Mickey Mouse Clock|
5. Striped Candles | 6. Chessboard | 7. Red Rain Boots
For this edition of "I Want to Go to There," it wasn't difficult to pick out a few of the memorable items from the Newbery Award-winning novel. Decorate ala Grace Wexler with these framed floral prints (1), record the findings of your investigations in this patriotic notebook just like Sandy (2), don a witch costume along with Turtle (3), guard your Mickey Mouse alarm clock closely, especially around Madame Hoo (4), keep a striped candle around incase the power ever goes out — just keep them away from the pyrotechnics (5), play chess in style (6, but beware of the Queen's sacrifice) and keep your feet dry as you snoop under car hoods for a potential murder weapon (7).
The only thing I don't like about The Westing Game doesn't even concern the book — a horrible (don't even bother seeking it out) movie was made in the 90s and it was a complete disaster. I dreamed of seeing my beloved characters play out Westing's intricate game on the big screen, but was incredibly disappointed by the mess they made of such incredibly good source material. I can only hope that someone tries again one day, and if you're that person let me know — I have some ideas.