The Egypt Game

The Egypt Game

3.81 (28,692 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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The first time Melanie Ross meets April Hall, she's not sure they 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, Melanie and April decide it's the perfect spot for the Egypt Game. Before long there are six Egyptians, and they all meet to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code. Everyone thinks it's just a game until strange things start happening. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 15mm | 172g
  • Atheneum
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • f-c cvr (w-emboss, foil medal); b-w halftone int art
  • 1416990518
  • 9781416990512
  • 58,461

Review quote

"An increasingly captivating story, which builds to a risky and daring climax." -- "Kirkus Reviews" "Tailor-made for children who love the thought of rambling mansions, garden mazes, and hidden treasure." -- "Booklist"
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About Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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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Rating details

28,692 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 30% (8,553)
4 34% (9,897)
3 26% (7,319)
2 7% (2,100)
1 3% (823)

Our customer reviews

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 more
by Wayne S. Walker
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