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The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
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The Egypt Game (original 1967; edition 2009)

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Alton Raible (Illustrator)

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2,821472,061 (3.8)54
Member:Quispy
Title:The Egypt Game
Authors:Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Other authors:Alton Raible (Illustrator)
Info:Atheneum (2009), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1967)

  1. 30
    Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg (infiniteletters)
  2. 30
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (allisongryski)
    allisongryski: These books share an imaginative, adventurous quality, with compelling young characters. The plots/settings are very different, but they have some thematic similarities.
  3. 20
    Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers (jfoster_sf)
    jfoster_sf: Another great book for Egypt fanatics! This book is about Theo, the daughter of two museum curators who specialize in Egyptian artifacts. Most nights Theo hangs out at the museum with her dad while her mom travels abroad to dig for more treasures. The story starts off with Theo and her dad opening a package from her mom, and Theo is anxious to see what's inside-not just out of curiosity, but because half the items her mom ships to the museum are riddled with ancient curses, and Theo is the only one who can sense them. It's up to her to protect her parents and the other members of the museum, especially when a mysterious man starts lurking about with his eyes on a rare item.… (more)
  4. 22
    The Gypsy Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Hollerama)
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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
The Egypt Game is easily Zilpha Keatley Snyder's most famous work, and there's little mistaking why: it's a fantastic story and expertly written. The book represents the zenith of a number of themes and ideas Snyder has worked with across almost five decades of a career, along with the introduction of a multiculturalism apparent in many of her later stories. This one has probably found its way into school curricula for that reason and two others - the "educational" nature of the children's game, and the rare introduction of a truly dark, dangerous undercurrent in the form of a child's murder - but that doesn't stop it being an extraordinary book on its own merits.

This is the book that, more than any other, really quickly demonstrates Snyder's adept skill at understanding the language and methodology of children. You have several very distinct character types - the lonely girl with the selfish front, the practical and considerate girl, the quiet and kind girl, the older-than-his-years toddler, the big jocks - working through problems together, whether those be real or totally imaginary. Snyder never talks down to us as readers (as usual, her lack of need for an overt narrative voice is remarkable), nor does she attempt to tell us how children should behave. She simply reports what they would do, quite naturally, and finds characteristic reasons to encourage or discourage certain behavior. At one point during their Egyptian rituals, one child suggests signing their names in blood, as she had read in Tom Sawyer. The children abandon the idea not because such an idea might be dangerous or unwise, but because they haven't got a sharp needle to hand - and besides, one of the children feels a bit squeamish over the idea. It's simple, but it indicates an authenticity of audience that Snyder can pull off like few others. She may have been a teacher, but there's nothing of the preachy "teacher" voice in Snyder's work.

Of course, more than anything, The Egypt Game is simply a great read. I loved it at eight or nine years old and was astonished how well it holds up after all these years. Several times I laughed out loud in the reading (as with Toby's Halloween costume), and more than once I found myself saying, "She managed to do that in a children's book?"

This is a really wonderful work and deserves to be enjoyed by many more generations of readers, both young and old.
  saroz | Jan 23, 2016 |
I was expecting this book to be a fantasy of some kind--either straightforward or magical realism. I was actually kind of gratified to see that everything had a logical explanation and that it could easily have actually taken place back in 1968. I do want to acknowledge that parents are way more likely to know where their kids are now and unlikely to let them wander the streets alone, but this is why I tagged it historical fiction. Marking it historical fiction definitely killed me a little bit since the 60s don't seem all that long ago but the attitudes and behaviors are so different then what would happen today that I wanted to acknowledge it could only happen in the past. The kids are really interesting and I loved reading about the crazy ceremonies they came up with. I definitely plan on reading the next one in the series.

( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I was expecting this book to be a fantasy of some kind--either straightforward or magical realism. I was actually kind of gratified to see that everything had a logical explanation and that it could easily have actually taken place back in 1968. I do want to acknowledge that parents are way more likely to know where their kids are now and unlikely to let them wander the streets alone, but this is why I tagged it historical fiction. Marking it historical fiction definitely killed me a little bit since the 60s don't seem all that long ago but the attitudes and behaviors are so different then what would happen today that I wanted to acknowledge it could only happen in the past. The kids are really interesting and I loved reading about the crazy ceremonies they came up with. I definitely plan on reading the next one in the series.

( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I was expecting this book to be a fantasy of some kind--either straightforward or magical realism. I was actually kind of gratified to see that everything had a logical explanation and that it could easily have actually taken place back in 1968. I do want to acknowledge that parents are way more likely to know where their kids are now and unlikely to let them wander the streets alone, but this is why I tagged it historical fiction. Marking it historical fiction definitely killed me a little bit since the 60s don't seem all that long ago but the attitudes and behaviors are so different then what would happen today that I wanted to acknowledge it could only happen in the past. The kids are really interesting and I loved reading about the crazy ceremonies they came up with. I definitely plan on reading the next one in the series.

( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I was expecting this book to be a fantasy of some kind--either straightforward or magical realism. I was actually kind of gratified to see that everything had a logical explanation and that it could easily have actually taken place back in 1968. I do want to acknowledge that parents are way more likely to know where their kids are now and unlikely to let them wander the streets alone, but this is why I tagged it historical fiction. Marking it historical fiction definitely killed me a little bit since the 60s don't seem all that long ago but the attitudes and behaviors are so different then what would happen today that I wanted to acknowledge it could only happen in the past. The kids are really interesting and I loved reading about the crazy ceremonies they came up with. I definitely plan on reading the next one in the series.

( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zilpha Keatley Snyderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frankland, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raible, AltonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Not long ago in a large university town in California, on a street called Orchard Avenue, a strange old man ran a dusty shabby store.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440422256, Paperback)

When Melanie Ross and April Hall begin to play the Egypt Game, everyone thinks it’s just a game until strange things begin happening to the players. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A group of children, entranced with the study of Egypt, play their own Egypt game, are visited by a secret oracle, become involved in a murder, and befriend the Professor before they move on to new interests, such as Gypsies.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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