Study Guide

The Egypt Game Genre

By Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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Young Adult Literature

The Egypt Game is a book that is undoubtedly written for young audiences. The main proof: all the main characters are eleven-years-old or under—and nonetheless, they're in the midst of all the action in the story. April, Melanie, Marshall, Elizabeth, Toby, and Ken are all just kids, but they're able to create a wonderful pretend world where they are ancient Egyptians and help to capture a murderer. That's more than most adults can say for themselves.

Family Drama

For April in particular, there's plenty of family strife throughout The Egypt Game. At the beginning, she has moved in with her grandmother, Caroline, with the understanding that this is a temporary arrangement while her mother is on tour. But as time wears on and her mother doesn't send for her, April begins to realize that she's been abandoned…and, in case you weren't sure, that's not a good feeling. Luckily, at the end she comes to terms with her new home and makes peace with her grandmother. That's one drama it's good to fold back up.


The Egypt Game isn't all fun and games and make-believe. There's a mystery brewing in the background as well. After all, a child has been kidnapped and murdered in the neighborhood. If that's not fodder for mystery, we don't know what is.

Throughout the story, the neighborhood is on high alert as they wonder who could possibly be behind these awful murders. Is it the isolated, but probably friendly professor? An Egyptian mummy out for blood?

In the end, April and Marshall are attacked, and they are able to give the police information that leads to the arrest of Schmitt's cousin, who works at the local store. Case solved.

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