Study Guide

The Egypt Game Friendship

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Chapter 3
Melanie Ross

As they walked back to the door Melanie asked, "Do you want to play some more tomorrow?" April was adjusting her fur stole around her shoulders for the trip upstairs. "Oh, I guess so," she said with a sudden return to haughtiness. (3.50-51)

Talk about playing hard to get. April totally likes hanging out with Melanie, but she'll still act aloof when asked if she wants to continue playing. That doesn't mean that she won't show up again tomorrow, though.

Meeting people had always been easy for Melanie. Most people she liked right away, and they usually seemed to feel the same way about her. But when the door to 312 opened that morning, for just a moment she was almost speechless. (3.3)

Despite her outgoing nature and ability to make friends with just about anyone, Melanie is completely flabbergasted when she meets April, who's wearing fur and false eyelashes. Yes, it's a little strange for someone under—well, 45 or so. This little girl looks and acts unlike anyone else that Melanie has ever met, and that tests her friending ability.

It would be neat if she turned out to be a real friend. There hadn't been any girls the right age in the Casa Rosada lately. To have a handy friend again, for spur-of-the-moment visiting, would be great. (3.2)

Melanie has pretty high hopes for this April Hall girl. Sounds like the Casa Rosada can be pretty lonely when you're in the ten-eleven range. Fingers crossed she can see past April's weird fashion sense at first…

Chapter 4

All through the month of August, Melanie and April were together almost every day. They played the paper-families game and other games, both in the Rosses' apartment and in Caroline's. They took Marshall for walks and to the park while Mrs. Ross was gone to her class, and almost every day they went to the library. (4.1)

Despite their many differences, April and Melanie become the best of friends. April even befriends Marshall, who is only four years old, because he's Melanie's baby brother and goes everywhere with her. Isn't that cute? And once they find out they have the library in common, there's no stopping them.

Chapter 6

But with Melanie working her hardest as a go-between, it wasn't too long before things began to be a little better. The sixth grade began to find out that April had a way of making life interesting. (6.6)

Melanie could just abandon April to the wolves at school and pretend that she has nothing to do with the weird new girl. But instead, she actively works to help April fit in with the rest of the class. And lo and behold, she does.

Chapter 7

April had been afraid—well, looking at Elizabeth's upturned face and pretty tilted eyes, wide with wonder at almost anything you told her, it was hard to remember just what she had been afraid of. She almost wished she hadn't been so convincing when she talked to Melanie the night before about how they didn't want anyone else butting into their friendship. (7.25)

April can be a tough sell when it comes to making new friends, but she immediately feels a kinship with Elizabeth. Despite all her moaning and groaning previously, she decides that it wouldn't be so bad to let her into the Egypt Game after all. There's step one in April's path to being more friendly.

Chapter 17

"Thunder! That was thunder!" everybody started saying to each other in voices that were giggly with relief. Somehow, without quite knowing how they'd gotten there, they were all six standing in a rather tight little group at the center of the storage yard. (17.36)

When they are spooked by a bit of thunder, all the kids in the Egypt Game huddle together for safety and comfort. It looks like the girls really are friends with Toby and Ken now, even if the boys can still be pretty annoying.

Chapter 18
Marshall Ross

And for some reason, Toby tried hardest of all. He squatted down by Marshall and talked to him a long time about how he didn't think that was the kind of question that oracles answered, but Marshall only shut his eyes and shook his head and said "NO!" (18.25)

The kids feel close to Marshall and want to keep him from disappointment, so they spend a lot of time trying to talk him out of using the oracle to locate Security. But he's having none of it. Security is where his babyish side comes out—and stubbornness is where his future-CEO side comes out.

Chapter 19
April Hall

"Well," April and Melanie said to each other—only just with a look, not out loud, "wasn't that just like a boy. They got things into a mess and then expected a girl to get them out of it." But, since Toby was admitting he needed their help, they were willing to give it. (19.21-22)

Even though Toby is obviously an idiot for pretending to be the oracle (well, a smart idiot, but a little rude), the girls are still willing to help him get out of this mess. That's what friends are for, after all—bailing you out when you mess up.

Chapter 23

So the date was made—Egypt, the day after Christmas, right after lunch. Then everybody got up and started getting ready to go home. (23.43)

What is Christmas break for if not basking in imagination games? That, and continuing to build lasting friendships, of course.

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