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Soon after arriving in California, April befriends a girl in her apartment block called Melanie. Melanie and her kid brother Marshall share April's love of history. They're especially fascinated by ancient Egypt, and read just about every book on the subject they can lay their hands on. Not only that, but they combine their love of history with imaginative play. And it is from this exciting combination that the Egypt Game is born. April and Melanie devise the game one August during the school holidays. However, it's only when the new term starts the following month that they begin playing the game in earnest. The initial catalyst for the game is the discovery of the creepy professor's abandoned yard. The kids pretend that they're in ancient Egypt, building makeshift altars to the gods in the Professor's yard and coming up with all kinds of strange new rituals.

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