Study Guide

Ken in The Egypt Game

By Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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Ken is Toby's friend, which means he's in the joker crew during school hours. And at first, he's not all that stoked on joining the Egypt Game. He acts like he'd rather go play basketball or do whatever the other boys usually do after school (we're guessing it's got less to do with history). In fact, he's a bit embarrassed to be participating in all the rituals, and seems a bit self-conscious throughout:

If the rest of them could do it, Ken Kamata could, too, and he did. But it wasn't easy. Every time he thumped his chest or made a brief, halfhearted wail, he felt his ears get hot; and from time to time he announced to nobody in particular, "Sheesh! I feel like a kook." (15.19)

Lucky for him Toby doesn't overhear and start calling him "Kooky Ken."

Still, even though Ken might not take to the Egypt Game as naturally as Toby does, he still respects what the other kids are doing. He tries not to make fun of them, and by the end, he's a willing participant in all their rituals and activities. He even comes to enjoy it. And once you turn Egypt geek, there's no going back.

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