July 25, 2006

More than a Game

(Greetings to any of Mr. Phillip's 7th graders from Reading Rants who got here by accident!)

The A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop is a place stuffed with cool odds and ends, April thinks, including a bunch of stuff from Egypt. The weird old proprietor of the shop makes it irresistibly spooky to April, and once she and her new friend Melanie discover that the vacant lot behind it is accessible, it's a great place to pretend. Their little game isn't only a game for two for long. Soon Melanie's little brother, Marshall, is in, the new girl up the hall, and two boys from school! Rites and mysteries and mummies, oh my! The six Egyptians are having a ball with their imaginations -- but then, they start receiving oracles from the stuffed owl. Has Egypt gone to Melanie and April's heads?

Zilpah Keatley Snyder's middle grade novel, The Egypt Game and its sequel, The Gypsy Game, are well-loved classics, and both have been used in many middle school reading programs.
The first novel is a good stand-alone, transcending its dated language with memorable characters, while the second is best read after the first, and is a bit more predictable. Both books provide adventurous and fun reading for ages 9-12.

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