Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers (1967)
Age: Children 9+
Species: Human
Rating: 4/5
Interest: The Banned Reads Project/ 200 in 2011

I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. Since it's for very young readers, I wasn't expecting to like it or be able to relate to it. Not to mention the fact that the book was first published in 1967 about 24 years before I was even born.

I probably couldn't have been more wrong. The Egypt Game is actually pretty adult for the audience it's aimed for. There's murder, recreated Egyptian ceremonies and even attempted kidnapping. All of these subjects are dealt with in a "childish" manner but are told through an omnipotent and older narrator. It makes for an interesting contrast at times, but I think I would have enjoyed the book more if the kids were actually telling the stories themselves.

The only things I had  a problem with were a description of "mummifying" a dead bird and the subject of child death. The bird scene wasn't especially graphic. It's simply the thought of children handling a dead, rotting bird and doing things to it which makes me squirm a little inside. A child's death in a book is not something I want to read about, but if I have to, I prefer it to have meaning. The child killed in The Egypt Game really had no purpose to me in the end which frustrated me.

Overall The Egypt Game was a fun, imaginative book that I feel a lot of kids would love. But I would suggest waiting until kids are the right age to let them read it though.

Happy reading,

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