The Egypt Game

The Egypt Game


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The first time Melanie Ross meets April Hall, she's not sure they have anything in common. One look at April's upswept hair, false eyelashes, and ragged fox-fur collar is enough to convince Melanie that April won't have an easy time fitting in with the sixth graders at Wilson School.

But April has some surprises in store, like the fact that she enjoys reading and playing imagination games just as much as Melanie does. The two even discover that they both love anything to do with ancient Egypt! In a storage yard behind the A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop, Melanie and April start to play the Egypt Game.

Before long, there are six Egyptians instead of two. They meet to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code. Everyone enjoys the game until strange things begin to happen. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?

With a touch of charm and a whole lot of imagination, Zilpha Keatley Snyder transforms an abandoned junkyard into an Egyptian court in this Newbery Honor-winning mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416990512
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 07/07/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 19,303
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.68(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Zilpha Keatley Snyder is the author of The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm, all Newbery Honor Books. Her most recent books include The Treasures of Weatherby, The Bronze Pen, William S. and the Great Escape, and William’s Midsummer Dreams. She lives in Mill Valley, California. Visit her at

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The Egypt Game 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 160 reviews.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
This is a children's book that I highly recommend. Cute story and characters. Mixing up my reading to include Childrens', Teens and "grown up" books is a wonderful thing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 30. I bought this book for a 11 year old. I love kids books that can even bring an adult into the story. I hope she enjoyed it as much as I did!
Soulman820 More than 1 year ago
Great book for 7-12 year old's.(That's my opinion not a fact). I loved the book because it a kind a book with suspense,little action but at the same time it's funny. The best thing I liked about it was that it was a creative book and the Egypt game itself was creative too because how they had the gods, the burial, etc. The game itself is like a mini version of Egypt.
princessKW More than 1 year ago
i like the book but it really wasn't what i was looking for it is thrilling and the end is a real shocker i didn't like it that much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it in class then wasent paying attention chapter one and after that i was hoked
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeez will you people just review instead of tellinb people who havent read yet the whose story? Five stars cuz its a good book.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Eleven-year-old April Hall, who often calls herself April Dawn, is sent by her actress-singer mother Dorothea, to live with her grandmother, Caroline Hall, in a California university town. In the same old California-Spanish apartment house called the Casa Rosada lives the family of Melanie Ross, who is April’s age. Melanie has a four-year-old brother Marshall. April and Melanie end up going to the same sixth-grade class at Wilson School and find that they share a love of all things related to ancient Egypt. In their neighborhood, they come across a deserted storage yard behind the A-Z Antiques store run by an elderly man usually known simply as “The Professor” in which they see some items which they use to begin playing “The Egypt Game,” in which they wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on a secret code. Marshall is brought along too. Over the next several months, “The Egypt Game” comes to include Elizabeth Chung, a nine-year-old girl whose family also moves into the Casa Rosada, and Toby Alvillar and Ken Kamata, two boys in April and Melanie’s sixth-grade class. However, a couple of terrible murders happen in the neighborhood, one a little boy, and the other a little girl. Sometimes “the Egyptians” feel as if someone is watching them. And then some strange things begin to occur when the children are playing their game. Has “The Egypt Game” gone too far? Will something bad happen to them? Who is responsible for the murders? The Egypt Game, which was a Newbery Honor Book in 1968, is not a book that one would choose to accompany a study of ancient Egypt, like The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw or Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton, but it is a neat story about some children who use their imaginations and have a lot of fun together. I found it interesting that I had just read Hope Was There, in which a girl named Hope was dumped by her mother on her Aunt Addie, and now in this book April is dumped by her mother on her Grandmother Caroline. It is almost as if there was an epidemic in Newbery Honor Books of mothers abandoning their children. Otherwise, there is not much objectionable. A few common euphemisms (heck, gee, darn) occur, and April utters a couple of “words that Melanie wasn’t allowed to say,” but they are indicated simply by blanks. The children do disobey their parents a few times when they are not supposed to go out but do so to play their game. A belief in the possibility of reincarnation is stated at one point, and the names of some Egyptian idols are found. Parents of small children or children who are especially sensitive and may have bad dreams from seeing or hearing frightening things will want to know that one scene in particular is rather scary and intense, but for most young people it should be no problem. Overall, I felt that it was a worthwhile book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is mashal. But in egypt i am marshamosis, boy king. For all the people that love this book and each book in the series then a blessing i place among you and become a god in the underworld. If you do not like the book then your hearts are filled with wikedness and shall have your hearts eatan by a monster in the afterlife and i place a curse upon you that all words you say will never make sense for the rest of your life... or until i am bored with you. P.S never ever will you people touch security! I'm warning you and will feel my wrath.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wowow. this book(the egypt game is amazing i loved it. it was so mysterious and stuff.i hear the gypsy game isn't as good i dont know though.the 1st book is a reader level 6.6 and gypsy reader level is 4.8 so i am alittle disapointed. does anyone know if the UNSEEN book is good?
OCD_Student More than 1 year ago
This book is great for anyone who just wants to sit down for a quick good read. If you or a child is intrested in culture or you want a child to inqure about the world that is availabule and around them this is a great book to read. My entire fourth grade class became so fasinated with Egypt after this book was read during circle time we cheekd out all the books from the libary on Egypt, and our teacher decided to do a month unit on Egypt because we were all so enthralled in it. I am now in college and still remember this book and love the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book defiantly tells what a kid sees it's. One of the best books ever written in the 21st century! If you like adventure with a twist of Mystery you'll love this book! I loved it. I'm even turning my tree house into Egypt!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the fourth grade I was obsessed with anything having to do with ancient Egypt. I found this book in my school's library and loved it. Now it's five years later and I STILL love it, haha. I've always thought it was well-written with a good plot. I'm trying to get my nephew to read it lol.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has twist in most chapters. you cant stop reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when my class first got this book i was like 'oh my god its going to be boring' but then when we finished it, i really liked it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book a couple of years ago, i loved it , as soon as i finised it i was so facinated by it that i went and bought the sequal to it! it's called ' the gypsy game ' . I also loved it. I emailed ms.Snyder and begged her to begin writing another ' game ' book. I really wish they would make of movie of both of these books tehy were a great hit and i loved them...
skier123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Meleanie and April play The Egypt Game with a few friends, but then it gets out of hand.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this up again on a recent trawl through the children's books at my local library. I was looking for something else and got engrossed and suddenly remembered this book. I loved this book when I was a kid. I read it many times because it so captured the kind of kid I was - one whose play depended on books and imagination. I just wish I could have found friends as cool as the ones in this book.Re-reading this as an adult I remember all the reasons I loved it. It's smart and doesn't assume that kids are idiots. It deals with serious themes, but doesn't pound you over the head with them nor does it trivialize them - they are part of the world we all live in.There are so many subtleties in this book - the relationship between April and her Grandmother, the latchkey kid phenomena, the loneliness of the shopkeeper who watches the kids play through his window, the frightening events in the neighborhood. All of these bits of the story are interwoven with the day-to-day lives of the children and their playing at being Egyptian. This book is also effortlessly multicultural and that's pretty wonderful, too.It was so great to revisit this old friend and nice to see how much I still love it after all these years. If you have a kid with imagination this is a wonderful read (good for adults with imagination, too)!
sisterbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pure brilliance. This book is a must read for absolutely everyone. I have read it again and again without ever getting tired of it.
LeslitGS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder [possibly one of the most unique authorial names I've come upon in my readings...seriously...Zilpha? Cool!] tells the story of April and Melanie the summer April is sent to live with her grandmother for a while. April's mother is a would-be starlet who decides that it would be best to have April in a stable environment while she builds up her resume--or at least that is what April would have you believe. She is a smart eleven-year-old who can handle grownups with little effort but has issues relating to peers. Melanie, a down-to-earth resident in the same apartment building, is sent to invite her for lunch, and she is unimpressed by the 'Hollywood act' and through just trying to give her a chance, they become fast friends when they discover their shared love of the imagination. It starts with paper families and stories they make up, and progresses through a love of reading into the realm of Egypt. When they find themselves a whole new world in the disused side-yard of a local junk shop, April and Melanie, along with Marshall, Melanie's little brother, and Security, his stuffed octopus, they set about creating their own version of the country. Their strange utopia is threatened, however, when a child in the neighborhood is found, dead, not far away. The girls must survive school, being trapped indoors and the paranoia of their parents while trying to find a way to maintain their country that is further threatened by the perpetual possibility of discovery. Almost an oddity when compared to the jet-propelled childhood of computers and TV, this adventure exists in the pre-internet days. The girls are forced to entertain themselves with books, often non-fiction, and they manage to make the best of it. It is a quiet adventure with little shouting and no explosions, but plenty of humour and a good dose of tension and mystery. I find it amazing when I think about how entangled I feel in the realm of technology and look back even on the days I spent tramping through the woods behind my house to the walking logs and praying that the local skunk population still hadn't discovered the veritable condo park of their hollow bases. Now I know kids who are better on the computer than I could ever hope to be without training. Ah well, this ramble has little point. The Egypt Game: it's a fun story. I'd recommend it more for girls than boys, as the protagonists are in fact girls, though boys do play a role part way through. It feels a bit young for eleven-year-olds, but that may be through the basic vocabulary. I dunno, that would be a more personal preference.
Eurekas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
April comes to live with her dead father's mother, Caroline. April's mother, Dorothea, lived in Hollywood and was an aspiring actress with a boyfriend and not much time for an 11 year old child. April is somewhat of a fish out of water until she meets Melanie, a girl her age who lives in the same apartment complex. Between the two girls the Egypt game begins and they gather things to play it in the lot next to the A-Z junk shop run by a mysterious old man called the Professor. Wherever Melanie goes she must take her four year old brother, Marshall. What I found terribly interesting was not only how these three, then four, then five children make up and played such a fascinating game given just their own imaginations and the things that came to hand, but also how the author wove into the story the very serious and politically loaded subject of the murder of a child. Just so you don't put the book down and not pick it up after that statement, none of the main characters in the story are the child that dies, but the murderer is a person who lives in the neighborhood. The author handles this very loaded subject very adroitly without losing the charm and humor of the main story...nice. It is well worth reading
nmhale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been drawn to this author for a while - her stories are classics in the children book aisle, and her plots intrigue me. This year, I finally read two of her stories. The first was a strip book I've been sitting on since I worked in the book store years ago: The Runaways, a more serious realistic fiction depicting the lives of three young children living in a small desert town who are unhappy with their situations. She incorporated humor and dealt with a lot of heavy emotions using a light touch that rendered them accessible to children, and the writing was finely crafted. However, I was more excited to read her stories that incorporated a little supernatural suspense, as many of her Newbery awards and honors do, so I was excited to start this book, The Egypt Game.The book follows the adventure of two girls, April and Melanie, who create the Egypt game. At first glance, they appear as opposite as can be: Melanie is an outgoing and amiable girl, good at getting along with everyone, and April distances herself from others with her arrogant airs and outrageous stories. Melanie has had a typical childhood, with two caring parents and a younger brother, settled in a neighborhood where she has lived her whole life. April, on the other hand, lived in California with her aspiring-actress mother, who was so focused on her own career and her desires that she often neglected her parenting and treated April more like a sister than a daughter. Despite their differences, they quickly learn that they have one important characteristic in common - they both prefer playing creative games made up in their mind than outdoor games or board games or school games. Bound by this shared interest, they become fast friends. One day, as they discuss their fascination with Ancient Egypt and old artifacts, they decide to reenact a ceremony from that culture, and the Egypt game is born. As time passes, the game evolves, with more roles for the girls to play, fake gods and goddesses borrowed from Egypt's religions, and lots of ceremonies and secret languages to create and enact. They incorporate Marshall, Melanie's younger brother, into the games from the start, so he can play a child Pharaoh. Later, they invite a new friend, Elizabeth, who moves into their apartment complex, and then two boys from school who find their secret hideout where all the Egypt games take place.The Egypt game becomes more important for the children as the real world around them darkens. A young girl is murdered, in the same fashion as a child was murdered not long ago in the past, and the town knows that they have a serial killer of children on their hands. Children are kept indoors and the streets are silenced. Melanie and April focus on the game instead of the new rules and restrictions, but even in the game, events are turning strange as the pretend oracle starts to accurately predict the future, building up to a climax that resolves all the mysteries of the book. As with the first book I read by Snyder, the author deftly handles mature topics, such as the fear engendered by violence, with just the right balance of enough information and not too much. Children need to learn about matters both serious and light, and it is important to address them in a way appropriate for their age. I think Snyder is a master at maintaining this fine balance. She writes children's stories with integrity and finesse.In addition, her characters are fully realized girls and boys that embody child-like thoughts, actions, and desires. They are complex characters who evolve as the story progresses. I loved every kid in this book, and wished I could be friends with them when I was a child. The plot builds up naturally and reads quickly. It's a clever story about inventive children - and the Egypt game is a fascinating concept that they create - that will appeal to children and adults.
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When April moves in with her grandmother, she meets Melanie and Marshall Ross. April and Melanie become fast friends, discovering a shared delight in reading and imaginative games, and both become fascinated with Ancient Egypt. In a neighbor's abandoned yard, they begin playing the Egypt Game, using their knowledge of Ancient Egypt and imagination to create altars and rituals in an elaborate game. But their play is threatened when a local child is murdered, and there's a possibility that the guilty person is someone they know.I chose this as my read for Banned Books Week, curious to see what sorts of rituals and descriptions might make someone react so strongly as to challenge this book just in the past year. I'd expected a fantasy where the gods came to life, and ancient rituals were described in detail. I'm still somewhat baffled, because what I found was a book steeped in imaginative play that reminded me of the games I used to play with my friends, cousins, and neighbors. In fact, reading the book became more of an experience of walking down memory lane, remembering how we played games based on movies or TV shows that we would stop to discuss who was getting eaten by dinosaurs, or if which dinosaur we were calling on for super powers. The descriptions of the kids' imagination, discussions, and power plays for making game decisions, were quite realistic. I was also surprised that a book written in the 60s has aged extremely well. Though I laughed at some of the kids' expressions ("Sheesh!" reminded me of another friend from my childhood...), for the most part their story could have been one that happened in almost any small town neighborhood. Also, the main characters are white, African American, Asian American, and more, quite a varied cast for its time. I seriously wonder what book the challenger was reading, because it doesn't appear to be at all like the one I read.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Melanie meets April, she sees past her Hollywood cool to April's amazing imagination right away. April finds in Melanie the first real same age friend she's ever had- which almost makes up for the fact that her mother shipped her off to live with her grandmother. She and Melanie, along with Melanie's younger brother, create the land of Egypt out of an abandoned lot. They are joined by three more kids who furthur embellish on their stories. Two mysteries begin to happen- one is that there is a man attacking children in the neighborhood, and the other is that their oracle seems to be working. When April has to come late at night to retrieve her books, she encounters both the man and the source of the working oracle. The professor who owns the lot, it turns out, has been watching them, and he calls for help when she is attacked. In the end the children bring him back to a life, which he only half been living since the death of his wife.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good at firsr than got really boring •__•
Anonymous More than 1 year ago