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The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 556
  • Category: Egypt

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The main theme of the book is imagination. Zilpha Keatly tells the story of abandonment. In the beginning, readers witness how April’s mother abandons her. Another lonely character is Caroline, who has not heard about her daughter- in-law for a long time. This theme of loneliness and isolation is clearly described through Professor who hesitates to adopt throughout the book.

April Hall has just turned into a six grader, when her mother sends her to live with her Grandmother in Casa-Rosada. April is not an average girl for Casa-Rosada. She likes to add more details in her appearance, such as putting on fake eyelashes, and setting her hair in dramatic upsweep. Her mother treats her as a grown up. April gets lonely but she learns about the new neighbourhood.

April soon befriend Melanie Ross. She is a down to earth girl who later helps making April to fit in their school. April and Melanie share their love for stories, imaginations and games.  April tends to be emotional, while Melanie is calm and understanding to April’s loneliness. Their friendship is based on understanding and mutual imagination. Besides the two, there’s Marshall, Melanie’s 4-year-old brother who follows them everywhere.

April is often fascinated by Egypt. She has been reading books about Egypt until Melanie finds an abandoned yard behind and antique shop, owed by a mysterious Professor. They are fascinated with a sculpture of Nefretiti in the bushy yard. They clear up the yard, decorate it as Egypt making it a sanctuary of their secret and imaginative adventure of the Egypt game. Their Fun begins as they start to consider themselves ancient Egyptian characters. They are joined by Elizabeth Chung, the new girl in the apartment. The professor who owns the shop has been watching the Egypt gang, but the children, except Marshall, don’t realize it. The professor seems mysterious man and he keeps quiet at their imaginative game.

            Things start to change dramatically as a dead girl’s body is found in the neighbourhood, after the school starts. The tragedy is a nightmare in the neighbourhood; the Egypt game stops because children are not allowed to play outside. The main suspect in the death is professor, as he always seems isolated and mysterious. However the children could not resist the game. On the Halloween night, Toby and Ken become new members of the gang.. Toby takes the lead of the next meeting and the Egypt game of six of continues into the winter.

            One night, April and Marshall go to the Egypt yard to pick up April’s math book, but someone grabs her from the back. The children struggle to escape but are saved by timely intervention of professor; thus the main mystery about professor is finally resolved through crisis. Towards the end thanks to April and Marshall’s testimony the police finally manages to catch the criminal.

The Egypt Game is interesting through the pages. I like the author neat and imaginative style; especially the adventure like  theme; which children often find amusing. However the most interesting issues is her portrayal of simple events in an imaginative way through children role-play game.. The book is also informative and tells about Egypt as a country.


Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game . Re-Print Edition. Yearling, 1985.

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