Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ancient tales come alive

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

When April is shipped off to live with her grandmother, she believes it will only be temporary and decides to not get comfortable in her new surroundings. Soon, however, she has made friends with Melanie, a girl her age who lives in the same apartment building. Together, along with Melanie’s little brother Marshall, they discover the abandoned lot behind a local junk store. The three take over the lot and begin an Ancient Egyptian themed role-playing game they’ve devised called the Egypt Game.

Soon their group begins to grow, first with new neighbour Elizabeth, then with fellow classmates Ken and Toby. A murder in the neighbourhood keeps them from Egypt for some time. When odd things begin to happen inside Egypt, the group isn’t sure what to make of the events. Perhaps their game hasn’t gone unnoticed after all…

This was a 1968 Newbery Honor Book, and on the Top 100 Children’s Novels list compiled on the Fuse8 blog.

I loved the setting of the story and the imagination of the children. I wish I would have read this book when I was younger! I think it would be great to give to someone who is begging to get interest in Ancient Egypt, but not quite ready to read Riordan’s Kane Chronicles.

I am Morgan le Fay by Nancy Springer

Witness the childhood and rise to power of Morgan le Fay, half sister to King Arthur. Told in first person, the reader knows Morgan’s innermost thoughts and secrets, and the actions that lead to her taking such revenge on her own half-brother.

I love historical novels, and I adore fantasy. Arthurian legends are a delightful mixture of the two. The world in while Morgan lives is beautifully illustrated by Springer’s words.

This is a great book to give to a lower level reader – especially one who, like me, would enjoy the mixture of history and fanstasy.

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