Top 100 Children’s Books: #100 The Egypt Game

As mentioned briefly here, I am joining Amber at The Literary Wife in an informal reading challenge of sorts as we read and blog our way through  the top 100 children’s books as voted on by readers of Elizabeth Bird’s A Fuse #8 Production.

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. (1967).  The Egypt Game. New York: Atheneum. ISBN: 978-1416990512 (hardcover) ISBN: 978-1416990512 (paperback)

When April’s Hollywood singer mother sends her to live with her grandmother, April decides it isn’t worth making friends.  Her mother will be sending for her to come home almost any time.  But when she meets Melanie and discovers they share  a love of making up stories, using their imagination for elaborate and complicated games.  In a deserted yard, they create the Egypt Game, and even come to share the game with others.  But when tragedy strikes, can the game continue?

I first read this book, as with many others on this list, when I in the target audience.  The game stuck with me and when I saw Snyder signing books at an ALA annual conference, I made a point to tell her how much I had enjoyed it.  Reading it now as an adult, I am struck by what a perfect story it is, and how there is such contrast between the game and the reality of the murder that happens in the same neighbor.  The murder was not something I remembered from my long ago reading.  I see there is a more recent sequel, The Gypsy Game, but I hesitate to read it, as nothing could be as good as this.


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