“Beloved Children’s Author...”Beloved author Zilpha Keatley Snyder was known for her imaginative and charming children’s mysteries. This Newbery Award-winning classic is emblematic of that style: a funny, suspenseful, and captivating tale of friendship, and the power of imagination.
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?
Topics: Friendship, Magic, Childhood, Games, Mythology, Coming of Age, Adventurous, Suspenseful, Magical Realism, and Series
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We read this book in school, but I also loved all of Zilpha Keatley-Snyder's work, esp the Great Stanley Kidnapping Case. A few years ago I heard her speak at my public library, and she was just wonderful, very warm and funny.more
This one was one of my favorite books when I was younger. I remember reading it in the 6th grade with one of my best friends. We were already obsessed with Egypt and this just added to our repertoire of games to be played. That is until our mothers found out about the game and were certain that we were worshiping ancient deities...The book was just as I had remembered it, amazing. It still held my attention and still made me think fondly of my own adventure *in* Egypt. I learned first hand about stranger danger from this book and why you shouldn't go off with strangers. I remember my mother always telling me to not talk to strangers and such because it was bad, but she never explained to me why it was bad, I mean I had an idea but it was so foreign. However when I read this book I saw that there are people who are just sick and who are out to hurt kids. I learned about friendships and how sometimes, if you're lucky, you will have a friend who is a weird as you. And that sometimes the people who you initially didn't like may come around later. I think I learned a lot of valuable life lessons from this book by accident. So for that it was always remain one of my all time favorites!more
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.more
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