95 pages 3 hours read

The Westing Game

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1978

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The Westing Game

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade mystery
  • Originally Published: 1978
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 750L; grades 5-7
  • Structure/Length: 30 chapters; approx. 216 pages; approx. 6 hours, 59 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Sixteen people living in the Sunset Towers apartment building gather for the reading of Samuel Westing’s will. They have been named heirs, but the will is structured like a puzzle, and the winner gets his entire fortune.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Death, suicide, racism, violence

Ellen Raskin, Author

  • Bio: 1928-1984; American children’s writer and illustrator; grew up during the Great Depression; majored in fine art at University of Wisconsin-Madison; worked as a commercial artist in New York City for 15 years; designed over 1000 dust jackets for books, including one for the first edition of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Other Works: The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) (1971); Figgs & Phantoms (1974); The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues (1975)
  • Awards: Newbery Medal (1979); Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction (1978); ALA Notable Children’s Book (1978); Library of Congress Children’s Book (1978)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Appearances as (Non)indication of the Self
  • Greed and Charity as Motivators
  • The Use of Rationality to Explain an Irrational World

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will: