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The Egypt Game (Game #1)

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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 spot for the Egypt Game. Before long there are six Egyptians instead of two 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 spot 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?


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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 spot for the Egypt Game. Before long there are six Egyptians instead of two 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 spot 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?

30 review for The Egypt Game (Game #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol.

    Based on Wanda’s excellent review, as well as my own fondness for ancient Egypt, I picked up this young adult book to see what I was missing. I found it reasonably entertaining, although I couldn’t help wishing it was fleshed out a little further. April has been sent to live with her grandmother and she is resenting it. All of that changes when she meets the upstairs girl, Melanie, her precocious four-year-old brother, Marshall, and his adorable stuffed octopus, Security. They start out telling s Based on Wanda’s excellent review, as well as my own fondness for ancient Egypt, I picked up this young adult book to see what I was missing. I found it reasonably entertaining, although I couldn’t help wishing it was fleshed out a little further. April has been sent to live with her grandmother and she is resenting it. All of that changes when she meets the upstairs girl, Melanie, her precocious four-year-old brother, Marshall, and his adorable stuffed octopus, Security. They start out telling stories with Melanie’s elaborate paper families but it soon progresses into playacting when they discover an apparently abandoned back yard. Other people are added to their imaginative play. Imagination time becomes compromised when a real-life murder occurs in a nearby neighborhood and their parents are reluctant to allow them outside. “Well,” April and Melanie said to each other–only just with a look, not out loud, “wasn’t that like a boy. They got things into a mess and then expected a girl to get them out of it.” I think this would have been a perfect book for me around age nine. Themes involve friends, differences, imagination and secrets. April’s loss of her home with her mother is one of the themes that weaves through the background, adding a humanizing touch to her and showing the way these issues can be processed in the background and not always need processing out loud. Characters, particularly the three that begin the game, seem reasonably well developed. I particularly love the understated way April and Melanie end up become best friends without needing to label it as such. I also liked the way April’s grandmother, Caroline, was portrayed, an understated background role that gave April a chance to develop in her new home. One of the strengths of the book was the feeling of authenticity in their dialogue. Bonus point for having a cast that represented a variety of ethnicities and family structures. Plotting was fine. I was intrigued by the section with the oracle, as I wasn’t sure where the story was headed, fantastical or real-world, and I’m not sure the children knew either. Some may say that a murder in a children’s book is inappropriate; I disagree. I think it was handled perfectly well, and the children displayed the same self-centeredness that many children in that age group do when coping with such issues. I did find the wrap-up to be somewhat awkward, however. However, an emotionally satisfying ending. Many young adult books feel the need to pose children and adults in opposing relationships, it was refreshing to encounter adults who allowed kids to get about the business of being kids. The girls are wrapped up in the world of imagination, although they certainly have moments in school and at home where the real world intrudes. I loved the mention of asking a teacher about oracles and leading her off-track. It reminds me of all the games I and my various playmates concocted; the hours spent prepping, the obsessions with getting something ‘right’ according to some mysterious nine-year-old definition of what ‘right’ was. “When somebody saves your life, it makes him sort of your property, and nobody was going to make fun … with April around.” Three-and-a-half stars, rounding up because of Egypt and best friends.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

    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 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.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    ***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature*** This book is one of the reasons that I love mysteries so much as an adult! I read it when I was 9 or 10 and I distinctly remember that it scared the pants off me! It had just the right amount of creepiness for that age—a potentially sinister man whose storage yard that the children choose to play in, a secret club that they have to protect from children who wouldn’t appreciate the intricate Egypt game, and a murderer roaming the town and makin ***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature*** This book is one of the reasons that I love mysteries so much as an adult! I read it when I was 9 or 10 and I distinctly remember that it scared the pants off me! It had just the right amount of creepiness for that age—a potentially sinister man whose storage yard that the children choose to play in, a secret club that they have to protect from children who wouldn’t appreciate the intricate Egypt game, and a murderer roaming the town and making adults reluctant to turn their kids loose to play. Although I was raised in a Christian church, I had a very pagan soul as a little kid and I would have given my eye teeth to have friends who would have acted out Ancient Egyptian rituals with me! Plus, I had a vivid imagination and managed to get myself freaked out while playing other imaginary games with a neighbour girl. As an older child with no siblings to plot & plan with, I lived in my own head a lot and the research & planning of this role-playing would have been heaven for a little nerd like me. The murders in this story barely made an impression on 10 year old me—I don’t remember that aspect at all. What terrified me was (view spoiler)[when the Egyptian oracle started to answer the children’s questions (hide spoiler)] . That made my hair stand on end for several days, even after I knew how the book ended. I treasured the feeling that incredible things were possible. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I loved this as a kid. Zilpha was one of my favorite authors in the 80s. There was John Bellairs, Judy Blume and Zilpha Synder. Back then I couldn't even say her name. Headless Cupid was my favorite book back then. This was another great of hers. A group of neighborhood children find a building with fun stuff where they come up with a game about Egyptian gods and goddesses. They set up alters and even an oracle. The game gets real when they start getting real answers back. As a kid, I remember th I loved this as a kid. Zilpha was one of my favorite authors in the 80s. There was John Bellairs, Judy Blume and Zilpha Synder. Back then I couldn't even say her name. Headless Cupid was my favorite book back then. This was another great of hers. A group of neighborhood children find a building with fun stuff where they come up with a game about Egyptian gods and goddesses. They set up alters and even an oracle. The game gets real when they start getting real answers back. As a kid, I remember this was creepy as hell and I felt so proud to make it through. I reread it and it was still spooky and charming. I didn't appreciate the diversity growing up with the characters, but Zilpha was rocking back in the 60s. I think I need to read her and John Bellairs. Zilpha did some good stuff and I should read of catalog. Another project. This is still good mystery, still creepy and still really interesting with all the Egyptian references and history. It's a fun book. I'm glad this got the Newberry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Klein

    A Newbury Honor Book? Really? While this was an interesting story, I found the children to not behave in the manner of actual children - speaking wisely beyond their years and with adult emotions - emotions we might like them to have, but that for the most part, they do not. Interesting to note that the NY Times Book Review (quoted on the inside cover) says the author "[presents:] contemporary children as they talk and act on their own." Yeah, I don't think so. The story, whlie interesting, is so A Newbury Honor Book? Really? While this was an interesting story, I found the children to not behave in the manner of actual children - speaking wisely beyond their years and with adult emotions - emotions we might like them to have, but that for the most part, they do not. Interesting to note that the NY Times Book Review (quoted on the inside cover) says the author "[presents:] contemporary children as they talk and act on their own." Yeah, I don't think so. The story, whlie interesting, is somewhat choppy. Months are covered by a single line, then many paragraphs describe a walk of a few blocks. Oh, and in the middle there is casually mentioned a child murderer in the neighborhood. A what?! Yeah, that's what I thought too. And then that plot goes away for 1/4 of the novel until returning at the end. I'd say it's better than many YA novels I've read recently, but it was still uneven.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears

    When I first came across this book in 1975, I was seven years-old and was totally into everything ancient Egypt. I'd seen the King Tut exhibit twice, read everything both fact and fiction about the civilization and was so geeky that I tought myself to write in hieroglyphics (which was fun when it came to passing secret messages). Imagine my delight when the wonderful librarian at my elementary school (I wish I could remember her name because she helped feed my Egypt fix) gave me this book. I lit When I first came across this book in 1975, I was seven years-old and was totally into everything ancient Egypt. I'd seen the King Tut exhibit twice, read everything both fact and fiction about the civilization and was so geeky that I tought myself to write in hieroglyphics (which was fun when it came to passing secret messages). Imagine my delight when the wonderful librarian at my elementary school (I wish I could remember her name because she helped feed my Egypt fix) gave me this book. I literally devoured it overnight and re-read it as many time as I could before it was due. It was the first time I ever considered stealing a library book because I was so in love with it and didn't want to give it back! Luckily I didn't have to since she gave it to me. It's a rather simple premise really: a bunch of very imaginative kids, most of whom are misfits, get together and create their own ancient Egyptian-styled world, complete with homemade costumes and props scrounged from the junk found in the abandoned back area where they created their "Egypt". There's a creepy old man who runs a thrift-antique store and a murder mystery, and even a dark and stormy night. Melanie and her brother Marshall (with his stuffed toy octopus), April, Elizabeth, Ken and Toby were the childhood friends I longed for. Melanie was me. Even now, forty-something years later this book feels timeless, even with the anachronistic use of the word "negroes" (which only appears twice in the narrative) to describe Melanie and Marshall who are black. Hey, this was the late 60's and yes, we were called "negro" back then, though "black" and "afro-American" were slowly coming into wider use. This book was written in 1967 during the turbulent 60's. The struggle for equal rights was in full swing. What made The Egypt Game stand out from so many books at the time was the ethnic diversity of the characters, something the YA genre is woefully behind on even now. When I read about Melanie Ross, it's as if Ms. Snyder had been watching me, this geeky black girl with pigtails as my eyes lit up over color-it-yourself tomb paintings and my cut-out pictures of King Tut's funeral mask from National Geographic. I had a role model and a kindred spirit. With some books, the diversity aspect is just there or just window dressing. There are authors who throw in an ethnic character or two and have them do nothing throughout the narrative. Ms. Snhyder didn't do that. These were smart kids from diverse backgrounds who didn't see color as much as they saw kindred spirits in their love of a magnificent ancient culture, and yet they're still kids (although perhaps a little smarter than their peers). I've always dreamed that someone who loved this book as much I do would make this a movie or a series. On the other hand, considering Hollywood's penchant for fucking up the most beloved of stories (with a few notable exceptions), I'm actually glad they haven't. I could just imagine the entire cast turned into The Last Airbender type fail. Maybe it's best that my beloved and dog-eared The Egypt Game stays the magical book it has always been.

  7. 5 out of 5

    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 viewe 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was my banned book for the WBC challenge. I actually found it buried in a box amongst the Baby-sitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins, A Wrinkle in Time and various other books I collected in my childhood, but I'd never read this one so I decided to pick it up after I saw it listed as a banned book. It was a cute book about a girl named April, who has come to live with her grandmother whom she hardly knows after her flighty actress mother decides to go on tour sans her 11 year old daughter. Lost This was my banned book for the WBC challenge. I actually found it buried in a box amongst the Baby-sitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins, A Wrinkle in Time and various other books I collected in my childhood, but I'd never read this one so I decided to pick it up after I saw it listed as a banned book. It was a cute book about a girl named April, who has come to live with her grandmother whom she hardly knows after her flighty actress mother decides to go on tour sans her 11 year old daughter. Lost and confused in a new place, dramatic and strong willed April forms a somewhat unlikely friendship with her neighbor Melanie and the two bond over a love of making up stories and reading about all things having to do with ancient Egypt. The two girls and Melanie's younger brother discover a vacant lot behind a curios shop hidden beyond a barbed wire fence that soon becomes "Egypt" to them, a place where their imaginations can run wild and a place of mystery and sacred ceremonies. But the plot thickens when there is a murder in the neighborhood, a couple of pesky boys find out about their secret place and the oracle that they ask questions to actually begins to answer back. I think that as we grow up, we gradually forget how to "play." My favorite thing about this book was that it made me remember how much fun it was to make up stories and new worlds with friends and act them out. I also have to share a line that I loved that took me back to my grade school/middle school day: "Ken Kamata and Toby Alvillar were just about the most disgusting boys in the sixth grade, in a fascinating sort of way."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    The Egypt Game is a perfectly fine book for older kids or young adults. It's fun, it moves along nicely, it has an amazingly multicultural cast that isn't belabored, and there are a few real scares in the book. On the other hand, reading it as an adult, it isn't a lot more. It's a very straightforward story, and most of the ending could have been predicted within the first thirty pages, as long as you also looked at the cover. That is not the end of the world. It merely means it's a good, fun bo The Egypt Game is a perfectly fine book for older kids or young adults. It's fun, it moves along nicely, it has an amazingly multicultural cast that isn't belabored, and there are a few real scares in the book. On the other hand, reading it as an adult, it isn't a lot more. It's a very straightforward story, and most of the ending could have been predicted within the first thirty pages, as long as you also looked at the cover. That is not the end of the world. It merely means it's a good, fun book for kids instead of a classic that I can see adults returning to again and again. (Or is it just me who does that?) Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  10. 5 out of 5

    Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)

    This is another Newberry Honor book that my son and I are reading together. I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun story. It starts out with two girls and their little 4 year old brother that love "Egyptology" so they create their own imaginative game to play in secret. As they bring new kids with new ideas, into their club including even a couple of boys, The Egypt Game evolves and takes on a life of its own. The book highlights that its ok for kids of different races to intermix; that boys and g This is another Newberry Honor book that my son and I are reading together. I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun story. It starts out with two girls and their little 4 year old brother that love "Egyptology" so they create their own imaginative game to play in secret. As they bring new kids with new ideas, into their club including even a couple of boys, The Egypt Game evolves and takes on a life of its own. The book highlights that its ok for kids of different races to intermix; that boys and girls can also learn and have fun together at the same time without being ridiculed; and that you shouldn't judge people that you don't know, based on rumors, hearsay, looks etc. My son hasn't finished reading yet so I don't have his thoughts on the book yet but I'll update later...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    It's nice when a childhood favourite holds up decades later. I read this book several times in elementary school when it first came out, and when I started seventh grade I was thrilled to see a huge section of books on Egypt in the highschool library. I proceeded to read a lot of them! Coming back to this book 4 decades later, I noticed a whole plot thread that had zipped over my innocent little head back then. How did I miss the whole serial-child-killer scare that keeps the kids indoors for wee It's nice when a childhood favourite holds up decades later. I read this book several times in elementary school when it first came out, and when I started seventh grade I was thrilled to see a huge section of books on Egypt in the highschool library. I proceeded to read a lot of them! Coming back to this book 4 decades later, I noticed a whole plot thread that had zipped over my innocent little head back then. How did I miss the whole serial-child-killer scare that keeps the kids indoors for weeks? Maybe I was more caught up in their imagination games. In a time when two year olds can handle their parents' tablets and smartphones to watch cartoons or play Angry Birds, I wonder if today's kids could create their own worlds like this, with only an empty lot to play in. No, I'm not being snarky; I'm curious. Snyder repeats a motif from many of her books: the desire of children to have a secret hideout where they can be by themselves with no interference, and play imagining games. I just learned this book is banned in several places. And yet they let their kids watch TV or go online and find much worse stuff. It was interesting how the kids created their own ceremonies etc. I bet that's how the original Egyptians got started, on a different level. "Oh, the rains haven't come...what can we do?" "Let's try this." "No--THIS." "Cool! Yeah, let's try that."

  12. 5 out of 5

    jess

    I loved this book as a kid. I recently learned there's a sequel, so I decided to re-read the Egypt Game before I read the sequel. I was worried that it wouldn't hold up to my childhood memories. I was especially concerned that the way the kids treat different cultures might come across as flat or awkward or, frankly, xenophobic or bigoted. I'm a lot more sensitive about that stuff these days. I won't champion this book as a bastion of cultural diversity, but I think it was okay / good enough in I loved this book as a kid. I recently learned there's a sequel, so I decided to re-read the Egypt Game before I read the sequel. I was worried that it wouldn't hold up to my childhood memories. I was especially concerned that the way the kids treat different cultures might come across as flat or awkward or, frankly, xenophobic or bigoted. I'm a lot more sensitive about that stuff these days. I won't champion this book as a bastion of cultural diversity, but I think it was okay / good enough in that regard. And the group of kids themselves are pretty diverse, right? Anyway, things I love about this book: 1. the way it gives space for kids to be kids and figure out how you are growing up. i remember these feelings so strongly, being small and wondering about how you can learn to be big. 2. the power of imagination play. 3. how important rituals and mystery are, even/especially the ones you make up yourself. 4. egyptology, man. 5. the power of secret places! 6. the references to peace, freedom, equality and justice. kids need to hear that shit like it is everyday-worth-talking-about and it gives this book such a good 1960s California feel. 7. the kid friendships in this book are so good. 8. the kid-adult relationships in this book are also good! I'm so glad I re-read it. I think the magic survived the test of time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carleigh

    *3.75 stars*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nany

    >>> WARNING, SPOILER ! <<< *I think This book really has a mixture of fun, sad and scary things ! When I started reading it, which was on my summer vacations, I liked it so much, I couldn't stop reading it. I think I read it in two days. It's so fantastic, how April, Melanie, Marshal, and then Elizabeth, and the two boys Toby and Ken create a society, which grows and grows. This book felt so magic. I spent like 15 min. laughing about Marshall, one of the biggest characters, whe >>> WARNING, SPOILER ! <<< *I think This book really has a mixture of fun, sad and scary things ! When I started reading it, which was on my summer vacations, I liked it so much, I couldn't stop reading it. I think I read it in two days. It's so fantastic, how April, Melanie, Marshal, and then Elizabeth, and the two boys Toby and Ken create a society, which grows and grows. This book felt so magic. I spent like 15 min. laughing about Marshall, one of the biggest characters, when he says "Let's kill April". It's magic how the author can combine styles and topics, and make an "epic" book, counting that the kid's society was about Ancient Egypt, which really interests me. It's great how the author makes such a mysterious character called "The Professor" by the kids, and then he presents his character as a mature adult that has a truly sad story, but he learns how to go in front by watching little kids play such a beautiful and creative game. I also loved the end, when April, my favorite character asks Melanie, who is also such a great character, if she wants to learn about something else. I just love this book, and I gave it 5 stars because it's the best book I've ever read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    emily

    one of my favorite books of all time. i reread this religiously as a kid. recommended to anyone with a good imagination who's ever found solace in his or her fellow outcasts.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Margo Littell

    Revisiting childhood reads. I loved this back then and I loved it now.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    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 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    In a university town in California, two sixth grade girls named Melanie and April came up with a great idea: when they were studying ancient Egypt, they created a game called The Egypt Game. Soon, their friends Toby, Ken, Elizabeth, and Melanie’s little brother Marshall joined them. Together, they built temples out of cardboard boxes and used various materials to make gods and goddesses. They even got pieces of clothing and unused jewelry to make Egyptian costumes. When they started asking their In a university town in California, two sixth grade girls named Melanie and April came up with a great idea: when they were studying ancient Egypt, they created a game called The Egypt Game. Soon, their friends Toby, Ken, Elizabeth, and Melanie’s little brother Marshall joined them. Together, they built temples out of cardboard boxes and used various materials to make gods and goddesses. They even got pieces of clothing and unused jewelry to make Egyptian costumes. When they started asking their oracle questions, something fishy happened: It seemed to answer them by itself. The children asked more questions and it kept doing the same thing. Also, when April and Marshall went to the fake temple one night to get April’s math book, someone nearly killed them. During an investigation, the police arrested a young man who worked as a stockboy. But instead of sending him to trial, he was taken to the hospital because he was mentally ill. After all of this was over, the children had to clean up what they made and stayed indoors to be safe. This story was so interesting. From the children’s Egypt Game, I learned about life in ancient Egypt, such as the temples, their jewelry and clothing, and some of the gods and goddesses they worshipped. I think that it would be a fun game to play. I also think that this is a good book to read, to learn some things about ancient Egypt.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I have a packaged spiel about Zilpha Keatley Snyder that I won't go into here, but FWIW I adore her. She published just a ton of books and they're all entertaining at worst and, at best, life-affirming and deeply supportive of weird kids, troubled kids, banding together to take care of each other in the faces of adults who exist on a spectrum from well-meaning but kind of clueless to actively neglectful/abusive. SO. Anyway this book in particular is a big deal to me. I have a weirdly specific sen I have a packaged spiel about Zilpha Keatley Snyder that I won't go into here, but FWIW I adore her. She published just a ton of books and they're all entertaining at worst and, at best, life-affirming and deeply supportive of weird kids, troubled kids, banding together to take care of each other in the faces of adults who exist on a spectrum from well-meaning but kind of clueless to actively neglectful/abusive. SO. Anyway this book in particular is a big deal to me. I have a weirdly specific sense memory of listening to my brand new copy of the first Backstreet Boys album as I read this, and I don't know if that was the first time I read it or it was a particularly meaningful one or what, but anyway it's true. Also this book is funny and weird wrapped around some very dark cores, which was a recipe for Child Me to love it (not that that's changed much, I'm still into that a lot). And it's about the way kids get super into things and build worlds out of them, and how kids form friendships and partnerships and rivalries. And families, too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    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 cur 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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    Great book! So many layers - family issues, friendships, imagination, social issues, and creepy suspense. April was such a great character, reacting to feeling abandoned by her mother with her creative use of false eyelashes. Thank goodness Melanie was her friend, and didn't let April wear those eyelashes to school! I love all the details about the game, with everyone using their imaginations to recreate an Egyptian temple and all the rituals. All the relationships between the kids are so funny Great book! So many layers - family issues, friendships, imagination, social issues, and creepy suspense. April was such a great character, reacting to feeling abandoned by her mother with her creative use of false eyelashes. Thank goodness Melanie was her friend, and didn't let April wear those eyelashes to school! I love all the details about the game, with everyone using their imaginations to recreate an Egyptian temple and all the rituals. All the relationships between the kids are so funny and true. According to the forward in the new paperback edition, Snyder based all the characters on real kids she knew when she was working as a teacher, and it shows in how well all the characters are depicted. I love this book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Namitha Varma

    An enjoyable story, though I wish I read this at least 20 years earlier. It'd have given my imagination a great boost if I'd read it in my childhood. However, this reminded me of the "pretend games" I myself used to play - apart from the house game where I'd be the mother or the daughter or the sister - especially the one that involved a whole universe of uber-tiny people who lived inside walls and wood (which I imagined to be hollow inside for these people to populate), and one of them, Libu, w An enjoyable story, though I wish I read this at least 20 years earlier. It'd have given my imagination a great boost if I'd read it in my childhood. However, this reminded me of the "pretend games" I myself used to play - apart from the house game where I'd be the mother or the daughter or the sister - especially the one that involved a whole universe of uber-tiny people who lived inside walls and wood (which I imagined to be hollow inside for these people to populate), and one of them, Libu, was my friend. I especially liked the ending, even if certain parts of the book were hardly extraordinary.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    One of my all time favorite books. I must have read it over 20 times and still have my well-worn copy. I was fascinated with Ancient Egypt as a child (the first job I ever dreamed about having was an Egyptologist) and I dreamed of having a group of friends with which to play an imagination game like this with, but none of my friends had as much of an interest in Egypt as I had. I ended up decorating my room with Egyptian knick knacks that I'd find at random stores and get as gifts instead.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book from my childhood still holds up, and makes me wish I had a special "Egypt" I could escape to with my friends. Reading as an adult, I was more appreciative of the racially diverse group of friends and the little insights into friendship dynamics but I couldn't help but identify more with the adults! There is a murderer on the loose, kids, please don't sneak out to an abandoned lot in the middle of the night!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Rising

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Very good! I love the suspense and mystery the author gave me. I kept wanting to read more and more. It sure was a page-turner. It intrigued me to read more of her books. I would have never thought that "orange haired, speckled, old man" was the murderer and behind all the crime scenes. I'm happy Egypt isn't gone forever. Overall, it is defiantly be one of my favorite books so far.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I remembered reading this in 6th grade and not liking it/thinking it was very weird, but not remembering anything else about it. So when it came to my head the other day, I grabbed it from the library. Turns out I was right. It was weird/not good. :)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    Pretty good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Justin G

    i liked the book because it gives alot of in formation to april s porsinallity and her friends

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