The Egypt Game (Game, #1)

ISBN: 0808553038
ISBN 13: 9780808553038
By: Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Check Price Now


Childhood Children Children's Childrens Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Mystery To Read Young Adult

About this book

The first time Melanie Ross meets April Hall, she's not sure they'll have anything in common. But she soon discovers that they both love anything to do with ancient Egypt. When they stumble upon a deserted storage yard behind the A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop, Melanie and April decide it's the perfect sport for the Egypt Game.Before long there are six Egyptians instead of two. After school and on weekends they all meet to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code.Everyone thinks it's just a game, until strange things begin happening to the players. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?

Reader's Thoughts

Lars Guthrie

There are so many things to like about this extraordinary book that I had somehow missed previously. I'm actually not sure if I had read it completely through before, probably because it is another novel that I consider over-assigned in schools.'The Egypt Game' also carries the burden of being dated. It was published in 1967 when kids said "neat" a lot more and had to go to the library to find out about ancient Egypt, instead of looking online. No cell phones here. Of course, that could be viewed as a plus.'Imagination is a great thing in long dull hours, but it’s a real curse in a dark alley…,' Snyder tells us, and those words are the key to a story where a darker reality, one not found in most children's books, lurks in the dusty shadows of a town not unlike Berleley, California.What you imagine is never senseless. While it can help you escape your troubles, it can't rescue you. What can rescue you are friends and protectors. Paradoxically, imagination can lead you to them. What better theme for a children's novel than the limitations, as well as the saving graces, of imagination.The protagonist of 'Egypt Game' is a delightfully complex sixth grader, April Hall, willful, stubborn, clever, ready to fight at the slightest of challenges, insecure, vulnerable, and the possessor of a powerful and active imagination, and a high sense of drama. When her mother decides a singing and acting career comes ahead of a daughter, April resentfully goes off to live with her grandmother.Moving into the Casa Rosada apartment building, though, is the beginning of a close connection with Melanie Ross, the luckiest of friendships for April. Melanie is April's match in intelligence and imagination, and far wiser in social matters. It is her influence that helps April to negotiate a new home, a new neighborhood, and a new school.April's protectors are found in unlikely places. One turns out to be Melanie's self-assured and laconic little brother, Marshall. Another is located in the same dusty shadows where evil hides.That is just the beginning of an engaging and expansive cast of characters, of different ages and races. Snyder manages to instill something evocative and real in even the most minor of them, as well as to impart a sense of wonder about ancient Egypt and its mythology that sparked my curiosity, and made 'The Egypt Game' a good companion piece to 'The Red Pyramid.' She also tells a great story.Highly recommended.


I already had a sort of Egypt fixation when this book was read to me for the first time in 3rd grade. But this book took that fixation to a whole new level. For years, I read it over and over again. It...affected me. Because it implied that I wasn't the only dorky, bespectacled youth out there pouring over books about the mummification process (they pulled the brain out through the nose? awesome!), requesting that their mother construct 3D pyramind birthday cakes, and naming the neighbor's stray cat after her favorite female Pharoah (Hatshepsut). Strangely enough, though, not many 10 year olds had any interest in memorizing the hieroglyphic alphabet with me.


When April Hall moved in to the "Casa Rosada" she meets a girl named Melanie Ross. They become best friends and share many interests, including Egypt. Wen they find an old storage yard after reading every book in the library about Egypt, they use old boxes, junk, and their imaginations to make the old yard look like an Egypt temple. They first had just 2 people, but when others come along, the game gets more and more intense, and weird things start happening, will the game have to end?


A ragtag group of children form a secret society, complete with an oracular statue, in an abandoned lot. To this day, I eye abandoned lots in the hopes of having my own Egypt Game.

Anastasia Tuckness

This book features a few children who live near each other in a big city. They find a vacant lot and set up an Egyptian temple of sorts. There are both girls and boys involved although the girls are primary. They are a nice multicultural assortment, which is interesting since this was written so long ago. I love the new cover, and the book also features some original black and white illustrations throughout.I would recommend this book to families who enjoy reading books together, especially those who like to go back and read through the Newberys. Some families may have some hesitation about the level of pretend idol worship in the book, and since it doesn't really show up until halfway through, it would be worth warning families with strong religious convictions about that element. The book (by the end) makes it clear that there is no true spiritual element to what is going on, so many families will be happy to read it together and discuss the issue with their children.The book's strongest feature is the characters: a young girl staying with her grandma because her mom left her, a 4-year-old genius boy who has a security octopus, a mysterious professor who owns a junk shop, a boy who is a cool kid at school, and more make the story interesting.


I read this book in the third or fourth grade for the first time, and I've always remembered it as one of my childhood favourites. Some reviews have suggested that the children are too unlike actual children (in terms of emotional maturity for the most part) to offer young readers relatability, but I couldn't disagree more. Children strive to meet expectations and I think that presenting smart, mature, creative characters working together to generate a fantasy world of historical exploration can only serve to better those children who read about them. Maybe some children don't sound, think or feel the way that the children in this book do, but some definitely do, and for those children, books that reflect that can help to reassure them. The story is slow to start and has some weird temporal inconsistencies, but let's not forget that it's imaginative and quite frankly, pretty badass. Not to mention that it inspired an eight year old me to a passion for history and museums and archaeology; a passion that it turns out no one really wants to pay you for, but is, nonetheless, totally awesome.

Whitney Tran

"The Egypt Game", by Zilpha Keatley Snyder was a great a book. I liked this book because it made me think how people judges others by their appearance, not their personality. For example, when April Hall saw and judged the professor, "She gazed at the Professor in horror.Could it have been? Had he really been the murderer?" (pg.188) This quote explains how April judged and questioned the professor when she saw him. This proves that April judged the professor by his appearance because she thought that he was the murderer and she gazed at the professor in horror when she saw his face. I can infer that April judged the professor by his appearance because as a rule, if someone look at someone with curiosity and wonder, they would most likely judged someone. Therefore, the author probably wants people to know others' personality first, rather than judge others' by their appearance.


I recall a teacher reading this book, but couldn't quite remember much else. I love Egypt and everything that comes with it. It's a unique culture from a different time, filled with pharaohs, pyramids, and mummies. And the children in this story are equally enthralled with Egyptology. They go to the library to research it, role play pharaohs, gods, and servants. They even play Egyptians for Halloween. But, while they are having fun...a murderer is on the loose who kills children. The children's parents don't allow them to play outside as much, for fear of having their children killed. But, children know how to sneak out of their rooms at night. Will all of the children stay safe? Read this book to find out. Unfortunately, this book doesn't appeal to me much after the first two chapters. It's filled with the children role-playing. And, the 20 children who went to my library's book club agreed. A book related to ancient Egyptian culture would have been more appealing if they were time-traveling to Egypt or perhaps a book about children who lived in ancient Egypt. But, a book about kids playing doesn't cut it. If the author chose to play off of the murders more, it could have a different excitement entirely. Perhaps taking that route would have been too scary? Not everyone agrees with me though, this book was awarded the Newbery Honor around 1967.

Alisha Painter

The Egypt Game is a book about a group of latchkey kids growing up in the 1970's in California. These kids all live in the same apartment house, Casa Rosada. April comes from Hollywood where she lived with her mother to live with her grandmother, Caroline. Melanie and Marshall live in the apartment house already and are asked to invite April through lunch. In the beginning, they don't have much in common. April looks different with her hair piled on top of her head and false eyelashes, but as they go to school that fall, they realize they both relate of their love of Egypt. They come across a vacant and enclosed lot behind the A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop and the Egypt game begins. In the beginning of the game, it was only April, Marshall, and Melanie, but the game grows over time. They keep it a secret from adults and it becomes they own safe place, imaginary world. It was interesting to see how the characters connected to one another and how their imagined world came to life. Although dated, I felt many students/readers could relate to this story and use their own imagination to picture the Egypt game as it took place.


This book gets an extra star just because it is such a sweet time capsule to the 60s. For example, the four-year-old has never been trick or treating, but he's been in demonstrations "for things like Peace and Freedom." It's a little funny because it's all about kids (of diverse ages and races - yay!) using their imaginations to play the Egypt Game, which has them dressing up and pretending to have elaborate ceremonies for Egyptian gods. I'm sure this is the kind of thing that would get it banned by, say, church groups. There's some really scary stuff too, like a little girl in their neighborhood who is killed. It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing that gets published for middle graders these days, even though it's a Newbery Honor book."Imagination is a great thing in long dull hours, but it's a real curse in a dark alley, and April's imagination had always been out of the ordinary."


Have you ever thought of the Egypt game? In the Egypt Game April and Melanie envent a game called THE EGYPT GAME.The game takes place at the Casa Rosada or the Pink House.The a little girl gets killed.So the Egypt gand can not finish their journey to Egypt.Do you think the Egypt Gang will finish their game? In the dark trashy alley is were the egypt game all started.Melanie and April were very intrested in Egypt,so they started a game focesed on Egypt and they made a gang called THE EGYPT GANG.The members of that gang are,Melanie,April,Marshall,Elizabeth,Ken and Toby. In the Egypt gang their are a lot of uniqe people.April is a confident and courages person.Elizabeth is chinese,doutful and nice.Melanie is an African American,has braids on her hairand i helpful.Marshall is the sister of Melanie.Ken and Toby are in the 6th grade and are best friends.Every one of them were proud to be part of the Egypt Gang. The conflict of the story is when a little girl from the neighborhood dies.So the mothers of the Egypt Gang Members get worried so the moms get over protected.So their moms took them everyday to school and they did not let them play outside any more.Then their mothers forgot about that and everything went back to normal but it was December so everyone was so busy buying gifts.So the Egypt Gang did not play the game for a really long time. The Egypt game is a mystery book.It is based on a game called Egypt.The auother of this book is Zilpha Keatley Snyder.This auother really did take time to describe all the characters in thie book.This book takes place in the city.This book had an amazing plot and i give this book 4 stars.This story reminds me of 6th grade because we learned a lot about Egypt. THE EGYPT GAME!!


The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers (1967)Age: Children 9+Species: HumanRating: 4/5Interest: The Banned Reads Project/ 200 in 2011I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. Since it's for very young readers, I wasn't expecting to like it or be able to relate to it. Not to mention the fact that the book was first published in 1967 about 24 years before I was even born.I probably couldn't have been more wrong. The Egypt Game is actually pretty adult for the audience it's aimed for. There's murder, recreated Egyptian ceremonies and even attempted kidnapping. All of these subjects are dealt with in a "childish" manner but are told through an omnipotent and older narrator. It makes for an interesting contrast at times, but I think I would have enjoyed the book more if the kids were actually telling the stories themselves.The only things I had a problem with were a description of "mummifying" a dead bird and the subject of child death. The bird scene wasn't especially graphic. It's simply the thought of children handling a dead, rotting bird and doing things to it which makes me squirm a little inside. A child's death in a book is not something I want to read about, but if I have to, I prefer it to have meaning. The child killed in The Egypt Game really had no purpose to me in the end which frustrated me.Overall The Egypt Game was a fun, imaginative book that I feel a lot of kids would love. But I would suggest waiting until kids are the right age to let them read it though.Happy reading,My Summer Girl

Alissa Bach

Makes a good follow-up to Rick Riordan's "Red Pyramid"... although not nearly as involved.I read this one in 3rd grade. It was on the "Banned and Challenged" book display and my parents, always being advocates of allowing me to explore and talk about any and all ideas (even controversial ones), picked it out for me to read. I remember loving it.Still DO love it, in fact! True that the way the characters behave is a bit dated and, therefore, kids of today may find it hard to relate (a complaint made by other reviewers). However, one must remember that this book was originally published in the 1960s. So of course the kids in the story are going to behave differently than the kids of today. One thing I love about this book is it's wonderfully imaginative! The characters, not having the modern-day luxuries (distractions?) of Wii, X-box, iPods, or 10,000 TV channels to choose from, create a whole complex and detailed imaginary world in which to spend their spare time. To April, Melanie, Marshall, Elizabeth, Ken, and Toby, the vacent lot filled with discards from a nearby second-hand store actually becomes the land of Ancient Egypt--complete with detailed costumes and customs. I would absolutely recommend this to kids, parents, teachers, and friends with school-aged kids. It provides the foundation for discussions about diversity, friendship, learning about other cultures, and, of course, learning to use the imagination (something that seems far too absent among kids nowdays).5 Stars. And more :)


First published in 1967, this book was written around the time I was the same age as the youngest member of the characters. It was awarded a Newbery Honor in its day and I think I can figure out why. It features a cast of characters that is diverse, and a neighborhood that is a little run down and seedy, and single mothers (and grandmothers) raising their children. Coming off the 1950s Leave It to Beaver Generation, this book would have seemed pretty edgy.I think it doesn't play as well with current audiences, however. The first half of the book moves way too slowly and there is the question of children being allowed to run wild all day without any parental supervision. Will kids buy it? Hmm.I don't understand the reviews that say this is banned book. Really? I can't think of anything in it that is ban-worthy, except some people might think that children shouldn't be playing at worshipping Egyptian gods and goddesses. But it is clearly a child's pretend game, and does speak to a child's imagination being more entertaining than basketball or television.

Shawn Dorn

The Egypt Game is a realistic fiction book written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. It is about a group of kids that use a storage yard for a place to play. They use their imaginations to create a Egypt type game. Originally it started with just three people then the game grew to five. They decorated the storage yard to make it look like Egypt itself. They created molded gods and later they do rituals through out of the book. Later in the story there becomes a murderer who kills children at night. The group doesn't go to Egypt for weeks because of the murder that takes place in town, until finally their parents let up on the subject. One night one of the characters go out to get their math book at night and gets attacked by the murderer but is saved by the owner of the storage yard they play in. The murderer is caught and sent to a mental hospital. The main characters in the story are April, Melanie, Marshall, Elizabeth, Ken, Toby, and the professor also known as Dr. Huddleson. April is a Hollywood girl who her mother sends her to live with her grandmother she hardly knew. Melanie is the first friend April makes who is an African American who loves to play make paper families and pretend. Marshall is the younger toddler of Melanie who always carries his stuffed octopus Security. Elizabeth is an Asian American who is very short who is a gentle shy girl. Ken is also and Asian American who is best friends with Toby and always follows him, he doesn't care much for the Egypt Game. Toby is a class clown out of school, he and April make up most of the rituals. Ken is also a good actor. Dr. Huddleston is the quiet and old man who works at his dead wife's antic shop. The setting takes place, in a town in California. The year is most likely in the 1970’s-1990’s. One of the main scenes is the Casa Rosada, and apartment house where April, Melanie, Marshall and Elizabeth live at. The storage yard in the professor’s backyard. The group of kids use it as Egypt, they decorated it with shrines of Set, Nefertiti, and Thoth, there also hieroglyphics drawn on places. The school they go to also plays a small part in the setting, since that is were the talk about Egypt and issues; mostly at recess on the playground. The theme of the story is never judge someone before you get to know them, most people didn't care for the professor since he was creepy and never was social but in reality he was a nice quiet man who later saves April from a murderer who targets kids at night and gives the group the key to his backyard. Some people can surprise you by who they really are. This book can be read by younger children such in elementary and maybe middle school since it is not that difficult to read. This is also for people who loves pretend and Ancient Egypt. I’m not a big fan of this book because to me it was a bit boring until the end, I only read it cause it was of course about Egypt.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *