Scoop of the e-e-evening: The Westing Game

I think the CC goes back to my first (age eleven) reading of Little Women. The March sisters' Pickwick Club sounded delicious--a society of siblings, writing their own newspaper, putting on plays, reading, doing whatever popped into their heads. The CC--Children's Council--was born. I've no idea who suggested the name, or why we decided on that particular phrase. But The Children's Council we have been ever since.

Our CC Gazette went out of print years ago, and plays evolved into movies, but we still read together: me, stretched out on the sofa, throat going hoarse but still doing every character's voice, The Others sprawled across chairs, rug, and toasting before the fire.

The latest addition to our repertory is Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game. Such the best opportunities for voices, that story! And discussions! Everyone had their own opinion about who killed Mr. Westing, and those opinions were discussed during chores, while school was supposed to be happening, in the car, over dinner. Who needs a book club when you have younger siblings?

So here are their impressions, youngest to oldest (spoiler alert!).
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9: It’s interesting and I like how Mr. Westing disguises himself as one of his heirs. I like how it says Happy Fourth of July and all the fireworks go off in his house. I thought it was funny how he “supposedly” died, but the body was wax. My favorite characters were Turtle and Flora and Mr. Hoo, (“Go study, go study!”) and I liked Chris the birdwatcher. I think they should write another one like it.

11: I like how the mystery is not like a normal mystery because Mr. Westing didn’t die when they think he did. I like how the author spread out the characters and made them from different countries and places. My favorite characters were Sandy and Turtle because of their personalities. Sandy used a Scottish accent and was always giving off clues even though you didn’t know it. Turtle was my age and she kicked everybody in the shins. It made it more mysterious when everyone limped and you had to figure out which one was the limper Chris saw.

14: I thought it was very well-written and the author gave you just enough hints to keep you guessing and keep you interested in the book, without giving too much away. I liked Theo. [Why?] I just liked him.

17: It’s a book you definitely have to finish because you can’t figure out the answer until the last page. It’s very suspenseful. I like how the author was omnipotent throughout the book so you could get into all the characters’ minds, that way you could explore more ground. It was tricky to solve the mystery because there were so many clues, and a lot were red herrings. This is a fast read that is light and enjoyable. You can’t put it down—it’s very engaging.

8 comments:

Janet Rubin said...

Okay, so I skipped the siblings opinions in case I get around to reading The Westing Game, but how wonderful the first part was. The CC. Terrific. I was an only child (not really, but my sis was 10 years older and trekked off to Indiana and college when I was seven). I was a bookworm, a writer, and an artist... but alone. I read all the time and I remember making my own neighborhood newspaper, reporting on things such as Mr. Lewis' overgrown lawn ("when WILL he cut it? Inquiry minds want to know...") and the strange midnight yowling habits of siamese cats. But how lovely you have siblings to be creative and enjoy literature with! God is good. He has given me grown-up kindred spirits to be artsy with.

Noel De Vries said...

Hey Janet!

It took me a long time to realize that God HAD blessed me in them. :) (still need reminded at times) I was always trying to write gazettes with too-busy friends, or start discussion groups at the library, but nobody showed. Finally I started to realize the value of Teddy Roosevelt's statement: "Do what you can with what you have, where you are." I think it ties in with Paul, learning to be content in all circumstances, don't you?

Thanks for stopping by!

Marie DeVries said...

I also only read the first part- I am planning of reading The Westing Game, if I can get to the library soon. I have finals this week, and lots of spare time in between, so it would be a perfect time to start!

Noel De Vries said...

*scratch scratch*

OH! Hi! I couldn't figure out who "Marie" was for a second! ;)

If you don't get to the library, I'll bring our copy of Westing Game on Saturday for you to start. :)

Can't wait to see you guys!

Janet Rubin said...

Yes, that contentment thing. So elusive. But like Dorothy learned, there's plenty to be thankful for in your own back yard. My church's Art 4 the HEart group has an eloop now. I copied this post into it so they could read it. They liked it and now we're contemplating a Narnia read-aloud-a-thon, after which we'd create things based on Narnia (writing, painting, etc.) and put up a Narnia art show at church! Hope it really happens!

Noel De Vries said...

How cool, Janet! If NarniaWorld does happen at your church, let me know what ideas you used. I'm planning a Camp Narnia for the library's summer reading program, since the next movie comes out in the spring. I need ideas!!!

Marie DeVries said...

noel, I went to the library that day, I am now halfway through the book!! it is really good.

Marie DeVries said...

well, I am pleased to say that I finished this book. it took me just over one day! I really enjoyed how you never knew what was going on, and everyone seemed as if the could have done 'it'. the end was so wonderful (I cried), and a bit unexpected too. It really was an inspiring read, and I would encourage others to read it as well.