The Egypt Game
(1966) is a Newbery Honor
-winning novel by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
. The story, set in
California, follows the creation of a sustained imaginative
game by a group of children who share an interest in Ancient Egypt.
imaginations inspire the game- but strange, dangerous things happen
in their neighborhood.
April Hall, the daughter of Hollywood singer Dorothea Dawn, is sent
to live with her grandmother in Berkeley. Feeling lonely and out of
place, she imitates a Hollywood glamour-queen look, but her real
interest is archaeology. She makes friends with Melanie Ross, who
lives in the same apartment building and shares her fascination
with "ancient stuff". In the abandoned back yard of an antique
dealer known to locals as "the Professor", the girls build shrines
and enact adventures, temple ceremonies and magic rituals, assisted
by Melanie's brother Marshall and later by three more children from
Someone is murdering little girls in the area, and the Professor is
assumed by many to be the killer, because he is a shy loner who
keeps to himself. The Egypt Game becomes, indirectly, the key to
proving his innocence.