The Egypt Game
By Terreece Clarke,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Newbery Honor book is a fun mystery romp.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In this book the kids are still in the "Ewww..." phase when it comes to the opposite sex.
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There is nothing in this book harsher than a "Sheesh!"
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Products & Purchases
Neighborhood stores are mentioned.
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.
Where to Read
Based on 10 parent reviews
Not okay for many 9 year olds!
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Super inappropriate for elementary students
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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?
- Author: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
- Illustrator: Alton Raible
- Genre: Mystery
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Yearling Books
- Publication date: December 1, 1985
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 215
- Award: Newbery Medal and Honors
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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