The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1978)
Newbery Medal 1979
It must have been a down year for children's literature, 'cause if this was the top book I would hate to read anything else... too many characters, some very similar, some nonsensical, some stereotyped; abrupt changes in setting and dialogue, so the reader doesn't know who is it what room talking to whoever (whom and whomever?); and no character(s) to really invest in and care about, they were either cardboard fill-ins or spoiled and rude.
This book did spark a little curiosity, a couple of questions after "I still have how many pages til the end?" -- what else was published that year? when was the game Clue invented?
5 minutes later update: Apparently, some people really liked this book enough to create a website, or some people were so baffled by this book they had to create a website to sort it all out...
Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
As a huge fan of Pratchett's Discworld books, I wanted to introduce him to the Boys; he has several YA titles, including The Wee Free Men and some about magic rats. This one is good, funny and clever, and part of a series (The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy), so don't expect everything ironed out in the end. It's also a caution to authors that use current event/pop culture references in their work: Michael Jackson?!?!?