The Egypt Game starts from the perspective of April Hall, a
little girl who's just moved to a new neighborhood so that she can live with
her grandmother while her mother runs around Hollywood. Despite the fact that
April finds the new town far too provincial for her tastes, she soon makes
friends with the decidedly less precocious Melanie Ross, and by proxy,
Melanie's very serious little brother, Marshall (who never goes anywhere
without his safety octopus, aptly named Safety). The three begin playfully
reenacting ancient Egyptian rituals, and are soon joined by two boys, Ken and
Toby. With five players in the Egypt game, all bringing their own ideas and research
to the table, the game becomes more serious, and when strange things start
happening, the kids can't help but wonder if they are making it happen.
Meanwhile, a child murderer is in the neighborhood, and everyone suspects the
Professor, the strange old man whose backyard is the secret location for the
Egypt game. Though the cast of characters is racially diverse, Snyder never
devolves into sanctimonious preaching about difference. All these varied
characters and elements create a wonderful story about imagination, learning
and the joy of play.
It may be impossible to throw a rock at an elementary school without hitting a
third or fourth grader who's curious about ancient Egypt. So throw a rock, hit
a kid and then buy them a copy of this book. The parents will totally drop
charges when they see how awesome the book is. Or you'll go to jail with a
funny story about bad advice an excellent kids book. For ages 8-12.