The Egypt Game (Game, #1)

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

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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

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.


The book "The Egypt Game" is a well written and enjoyable children's novel. I remember reading this when I was a kid. It starts off with two friends discovering a storage yard and creating an imaginary world of Egypt with one of the girl's younger brothers. They study and start to recreate their own interpretations of Egypt within this yard and pretty soon several other kids are joining in on their game. The kids are restrained from going to the yard do to a recent murder. One of the main girls, April, returns one night to the yard and is attacked by the murderer. The professor swoops in and saves the day!This is an easy read and enjoyable for all ages. I could use this book in a 5th or 6th grade classroom while studying Egypt in geography or history. I could even read this aloud to some slightly younger children after recess or to give a much needed break throughout the day. This story is easy to follow and you could build class plans off of this for any subject. It would be a great way to do thematic learning for some older children without making it feel dumbed down.


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."

Rose Behar

The Egypt Game is a great character-centric piece of kid’s fiction written/set in the 60s. The book is about a group of six kids, all beautifully sketched, three dimensional characters, who create a made-up Egypt game in the backyard of a creepy old man’s junk shop (as you do in the 60s).Then a child in the neighborhood gets murdered. I would add “and the kids get together to investigate the crime,” but that’s not what happens. The kids are just pretty preoccupied with their game. I kept expecting the book to get out of the character development stage and in to the actual meat of the plot, but the only true bit of action occurs right at the end of the novel, in a sort of all-of-a-sudden surprise. When the kids find out who the murderer was, it’s not even a main character. This book is not about mystery, plot or adventure- and yet it still has the fantastic tension of a book where you really, really care about the characters. Each of the kids have such defined characters and the dialogue is so pitch-perfect that you can’t help but be fascinated even by the smallest and most mundane events in the story.It is a really impressive piece of work in that respect, and even though it was a little slow and “literary” for my taste, Snyder definitely earned my respect for being a deft hand at portraying realistic childhood life.

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 :)


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.

Cat Grimalkin Niedzwiecki

This book is cute and light, and makes me appreciate the headlands of childhood that reach into the mysterious waters of adventure young children like to splash or slosh into for escape - in order to add breadth and depth or even a modicum of knowledge to add to the grey matter in them that yearn for exploration. However, I arrived at the chapter where a little girl was murdered, and now I am putting the book down for a spell. There is probably a fireball finale at the end of the story, but I am not in the mood to slosh past an easy, mediocre climax that - that does not stop the children characters from pursuing a dangerous game, in the name of an evil evil Egyptian God. This book was a 3 time Newberry Honor award winner!


All small people should read this book. I was obsessed with this in 4th grade, when I was sure I was going to grow up to be an archeologist. The book convinces kids that history is awesome. Which it is.


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.


I was expecting this book to be a fantasy of some kind--either straightforward or magical realism. I was actually kind of gratified to see that everything had a logical explanation and that it could easily have actually taken place back in 1968. I do want to acknowledge that parents are way more likely to know where their kids are now and unlikely to let them wander the streets alone, but this is why I tagged it historical fiction. Marking it historical fiction definitely killed me a little bit since the 60s don't seem all that long ago but the attitudes and behaviors are so different then what would happen today that I wanted to acknowledge it could only happen in the past. The kids are really interesting and I loved reading about the crazy ceremonies they came up with. I definitely plan on reading the next one in the series.


Well written. Now that I've read both books and am starting on another novel by Zilpha, The Headless Cupid, I've realized that yes, The Egypt Game is a whole better than The Gypsy Game. And although some people may not notice it, I believe that Zilpha has a soft spot for small children. In The _______ Games, there is Marshall. Very grown up, aside from Security. Brown in color, dimples, who couldn't love the little guy? In the new book, The Headless Cupid, you have Janie, the bossy, "I'm right, your wrong kind of kid. You also have the twins, Tesser(Ester) and Blair, the little angels. Anyway, very good and not at all a waste of my time. I really liked the ceremonies and descriptive pictures.


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.


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?


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

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