Book #2: The Westing Game
So this one was kind of a cheat. I'll admit it. I read this when I was younger, much younger, but recently had the urge to read it again. I wanted to see if it was as good as I remember it or if it's one of those books that only makes sense when you're young because, well because when you're young everything seems to make sense doesn't it? And the things that don't make sense can be explained by your parents. I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a passing reminiscence of childhood. And luckily, at least for me, this story holds up beautifully for both children and adult.
In the copy I was lucky enough to borrow from the library, there's a beautiful foreword by one of Ellen Raskin's (the author) friends/publishers. Raskin is depicted as a woman who pursued every interest and yet, took care to maintain her friendships and family. Both this fervor for living and close-knit relationships are apparent in The Westing Game. Essentially it's about 16 players competing to win a fortune none of them ever dreamed possible, but at what cost to themselves? Granted, if this had been a book for adults, the stakes might have gone even higher, the consequences might have been even greater; but as it is, it's still a fantastic and quick-paced mystery. Even as a "young adult" novel, it's tackling the issues of knowing what you want out of life, and what happens when things don't go as planned. There's a sweetness and innocence to it that is refreshing for someone who might well call themselves "jaded". I dare you not to be entertained by this one.
For nostalgia purposes and because it didn't really lose anything in the 14 years it's been since I first read it, I'm giving this one 5 out of 5