The Egypt Game

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
The Egypt Game Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Newbery Honor book is a fun mystery romp.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 21 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Even with a murderer in their midst, the issue of someone who is hurting children is treated with compassion. The culprit is described as being "sick." There is some miscarriage of justice when a hermit is suspected and the neighborhood turns against him.


Two murders of kids occur in the book with little explanation or detail. Another child experiences an attempted abduction; she is grabbed and fights her attacker, then rescued. A child threatens to punch classmates. Mention of a pet killed by another pet.


In this book the kids are still in the "Ewww..." phase when it comes to the opposite sex.


There is nothing in this book harsher than a "Sheesh!"


Neighborhood stores are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that two children are murdered in this story. The murders aren't described, but the other kids are aware of the events. There is also an attempted child abduction. The information is given and explained in real, yet age-appropriate fashion. The main kid characters, fascinated with ancient Egypt, act out all types of rituals including mummification of a dead pet, god worship, chanting, and the use of oracles.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byMomInNJ March 16, 2011

Violence a little too realistic

This book has both implied and graphic violence, which doesn't add to the plotline or intrigue. Two children have been murdered in the local neighborhood,... Continue reading
Adult Written byDad-pere June 6, 2020

Super inappropriate for elementary students

Starts light and w/positive messaging, then nose dives into the murder of children the same age of the characters, in their own neighborhood.

Not a mystery.... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 19, 2019

It's an okay read, but def not the best.

What I think of the Egypt Game in three letters: Meh. It’s a good book, but not the kind of “Americas Next Great Novel” book. There is another book, (I haven’t... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 16, 2019


I hated reading the book at the beginning. It was like out of 27 chapters 23 was character development. But then I got addicted to the egypt game .

What's the story?

April is sent to live with her grandmother while her mother tours with a band. Angry, lonely, and determined that her stay will be a short one, April reluctantly makes friends with Melanie, another girl in the apartment building. April soon realizes that she and Melanie have a great deal in common, including an interest in the ancient Egyptians. When horrible and mysterious things start happening, the Egypt gang wonder who or what is causing it and if the events are connected.

Is it any good?

EGYPT GAME is a fun, scary, and exciting story at times; at other times the book is a bit slow. Snyder does a great job getting readers to care about the characters. We want to know if April Hall will ever warm up to her grandma and if Marshall Ross will ever give up his stuffed octopus "Security." Will Melanie Ross be able to get the kids at school to understand April's eccentric personality?

Kids will like how Snyder captures the preteen disgust and teasing that accompanies boy/girl relations and how she draws readers into the Egyptian world the gamers create with found objects and their imaginations. Then their world is disrupted by a very adult and tragic event -- the murder of a neighborhood child -- the second in as many years. Of course there are plenty of suspicious characters. And of course the kids are immediately drawn in to the mystery, just as readers will be.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the religion of other cultures, especially the rituals and rites of ancient Egypt. They can also discuss safety issues. What things can they do to stay safe? What can they do if they are ever attacked?

Book details

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