The Egypt Game Summary
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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The Egypt Game Summary

The Egypt Game is an award–winning novel published in 1967. It tells the story of a group of children who invent a game inspired by Ancient Egypt.

  • After her father dies and her mother neglects her, April goes to live with her grandmother in Berkeley, California.

  • April and her friend Melanie create the Egypt game. Their group gradually grows larger, and the children invent their own hieroglyphs and perform rituals in the storage yard of The Professor's antique shop.

  • The Egypt Game goes on hiatus after a girl is murdered. April is attacked but saved by The Professor, and the murderer is brought to justice.


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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The Egypt Game is a story about a group of diverse, imaginative children playing a game about Egypt. Like most of Snyder's books, however, the novel's simple title belies its complex subject matter; The Egypt Game focuses on the experiences of its precocious female protagonist, April, as she encounters loneliness, prejudice, friendship, and murder. Sent to live with her dead father's mother in California, April learns to adjust to her new environment, make friends, and care for her grandmother.

April and her friends who play the Egypt Game share a camaraderie that ignores differences in race, culture, and age. Although the members include whites, blacks, and Asians spanning from ages four through eleven, all are held together by their fascination with Egypt and their extremely active imaginations. But when real danger threatens the children, the adult characters reveal their prejudiced views and eventually learn from the children not to make assumptions about an outsider just because the person seems different. Overall, The Egypt Game is an excellent study in the growth of love and the acceptance of others.