Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Egypt Game” as Want to Read:
The Egypt Game
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Egypt Game

(Game #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  32,495 ratings  ·  1,431 reviews
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
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Turtleback Books (first published 1967)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Egypt Game, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Anajas1 This doesn't really talk about Egypt very much, though it does briefly touch on some Egyptian gods. I doubt this would suit your purpose...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,495 ratings  ·  1,431 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Egypt Game
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
Mar 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
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’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
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
Luisa Knight
May 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't find child molestation and murder a fitting, central topic for children's books. On top of that, it's a sad testament to the state of our current culture that the murderer can't even be recognized as a "bad guy." He is labeled as "mentally sick" and is conveyed as more in need of our sympathy than judgement. As if he was the victim and not the two children he murdered or the third he tries to nab.

The main character, a girl of ten, has no moral compass and leads her friends into all kind
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 ...more
April goes to live with Grandma, her mum has met someone new and is going away for a bit. April finds is it hard being deserted by her mum but gradually with the help of Caroline her Grandmother and making a new friend of Elizabeth who lives in an apartment in her block she begins to enjoy life and not constantly long go go back to Hollywood.

They start a game based on ancient Egypt and soon some others join in. Something bad happens in the neighbourhood and there isn't as much freedom for outdo
Lars Guthrie
Sep 01, 2010 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
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
Re-read. I remember playing the same paper doll game that the girls did. Still have them.

**Read for summer reading program — “award winning book”.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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
Megan Baxter
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Another great one from childhood. I have to do a reread as details are foggy. I did not love it as much as The Velvet room and The Changeling but it was still a great little I love books having anything to do with Egypt!
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book brought back to me all the games I played in my youth. I practically belonged inside this book. It was good to remember how great your imagination is as a child.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
*3.75 stars*
Nov 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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, when he says "Let's k
This was *too scary* for the age group it targets. In fact, it was too scary for *me*! I just don't see CHILD MURDER as being a wise choice of a central plot point in a book meant for elementary school kids.
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.
Once upon a time when I was just a wee little El, I spent a lot of time in the school library. It was, not surprisingly, my favorite place to be. And I tried to encourage all my wee little friends to join me in the library, tried to make my own little book club, in fact. It was just going to be me and Lenora because she said she liked to read, but we were ten years old, just about to turn eleven, and already she had more important things to think about. Like boys.

In one last ditch effort I found
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Enjoy Mystery and/or Are Interested in Ancient Egypt
A few years ago I undertook to read Zilpha Keatley Snyder's entire body of work, motivated in part by the fact that although she is an extraordinarily talented and prolific author, I had only read two of her books as a child. One of these was The Changeling , a book that has relentlessly haunted me from the time I first read it. This was the other.

Snyder's fourth book - which won a Newbery Honor - follows the story of two young girls, April and Melanie, whose unlikely friendship leads to the
Chance Lee
Wow, I don't know if I've read a book that so accurately captures what it's like to be a child. The very very end fell flat for me, but the denouement does a wonderful job of becoming a metaphor for the end of childhood. A lovely and subtle coming-of-age story.
I loved this book so much back in like fourth grade. Highly recommended for middle-grade readers.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

When April Hall moves in with her grandmother while her mother remains in Hollywood, the first kids she meets are Melanie Ross and her brother, Marshall. April and Melanie appear to be quite different from each other, but they soon bond over a mutual fascination with Egyptian history. Each afternoon, the two girls and Marshall gather in the yard behind the A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop to play the Egypt Game. At first, the game consists of simp
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 21, 2007 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How did you like the ending? 11 43 Sep 23, 2018 09:29AM  
Around the Year i...: The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder 1 17 Jun 26, 2016 03:54PM  
ACLC Book Reviews 1 3 Dec 14, 2015 01:01PM  
Alameda Community Learning Center Book Reviews. 1 2 Dec 14, 2015 12:56PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • The Whipping Boy
  • Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1)
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw (Leigh Botts, #1)
  • Boy of the Painted Cave
  • The Vampire Bunny (Bunnicula and Friends, #1)
  • A Single Shard
  • Belle Prater's Boy
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1)
  • Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves, #1)
  • The Westing Game
  • The View from Saturday
  • Scorpions
  • The Summer of the Swans
  • Gone-Away Lake
  • Almost Time
  • Kneeknock Rise
See similar books…
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 younger c ...more

Other books in the series

Game (2 books)
  • The Gypsy Game

Related Articles

Children's books featuring bold and brave girls are both becoming easier for parents to find, and also cover a large range of ...
123 likes · 42 comments
“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
More quotes…