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The Egypt Game (Game #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  27,377 Ratings  ·  1,097 Reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1967)
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Shelli Not being Christian, I don't think it's about a cult or anything, but I *do* find child murder a totally inappropriate central subject for a book…moreNot being Christian, I don't think it's about a cult or anything, but I *do* find child murder a totally inappropriate central subject for a book geared toward an elementary school audience. (less)
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Community Reviews

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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
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Larissa
Mar 26, 2007 Larissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
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Lars Guthrie
Sep 01, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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TheFountainPenDiva
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 ...more
Jessica
Jan 18, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes kids' books
Shelves: 2009-books
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
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jess
Feb 28, 2012 jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yaf, 2012
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 ...more
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 ...more
Carleigh
Dec 05, 2015 Carleigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
*3.75 stars*
Nany
Nov 22, 2007 Nany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephanie, but she already read it!
>>> 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
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Justin G
Jan 24, 2017 Justin G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i liked the book because it gives alot of in formation to april s porsinallity and her friends
Jennifer
Nov 30, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Gabby
Sep 25, 2014 Gabby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
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Kathleen
Feb 14, 2010 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
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
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Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 21, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 8-14
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
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Kate
Dec 07, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emily
Feb 24, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, juvenile, own, 2017
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!
Erin
Jan 28, 2009 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Nora
Jan 26, 2008 Nora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Wealhtheow
Jul 09, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Victoria Tkach
Feb 27, 2016 Victoria Tkach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 out of 5 stars
Barbara
Feb 02, 2017 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this Newbery winner. Very good, multi-cultural cast of kids engaging in great imaginative play. Has a Mockingbird plot that's scary and lends tension to the whole story.
Chris
February 1967 read (read early)

This book took me back to when I was eight or ten and played games in the woods (Land of the Lost was a popular one), where creativity and imagination took precedence over technology (because there wasn't any). But as with many books of that generation, there was always the "bad guy" in the neighborhood. Someone was killing children! And the creepy old man who you thought was the killer, turned out to be the hero. Oh, and the young girl lived with her grandmother,
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Lauri Saplad
Dec 18, 2016 Lauri Saplad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A blast-from-my-past! A book I really enjoyed as a child. I love all of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's books actually. A group of children begin playing an imaginative game about ancient Egypt. They're so involved in the game and its accompanying secrets, things get a bit of hand and they find themselves in real trouble.
Heather
I chose this book for the Heather and Peter Book Club of Two because Peter read (and loved) The Westing Game based on my recommendation and most book sites recommend this title if you dug that book. I liked the idea of both of us reading a book for the first time. His mom had read it and gave her approval, so we were off to the races.

On the plus side, the children's relationships are REALLY well-drawn here. Snyder handles well the notion of loving a friend but being embarrassed by them, or wanti
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Ardea Smith
Aug 25, 2013 Ardea Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-log
Title / Author / Publication Date: The Egypt Game/Zilpha Keatley Snyder/1967

Format: Paperback

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Plot Summary:
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory: For any kid who has ever found a dusty attic and made it a castle, or a part of the backyard and made it a fairyland, The Egypt Game is for them. The story revolves around two young girls who share a mutual love of hieroglyphics, pyramids, and Egyptology. While walking home one day they discover a loose plank in a fe
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Any
Sep 02, 2008 Any rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nathalie Cnca
Recommended to Any by: Sarah
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.
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Cambria
Dec 11, 2016 Cambria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great with so many twists and turns. I love watching friendships grow along with the Egypt Game. I recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery.
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The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for "The Egypt Game," "The Headless Cupid," and "The Witches of Worm," Zilpha Keatley Snyder began writing books for children in 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies," was published. Over the course of the career she completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for y ...more
More about Zilpha Keatley Snyder...

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“Trick-or-treating is for candy and demonstrations are for things like Peace and Freedom. It's different.” 7 likes
“A–Z, and its dusty show windows were crammed with a weird clutter of old and exotic-looking objects—huge bronze” 0 likes
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