[[quoteright:238:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Egypt_Game_8020.jpg]]

1968 Newbery Honor book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder about a group of children who play AncientEgypt in the backyard of the local MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold, known only as "[[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep The Professor]]." The "Egypt gang" consists of:

* April Hall: A DefrostingIceQueen with a FreudianExcuse. Like most of the Egyptians, she is eleven years old and in the sixth grade.
* Melanie Ross: CheerfulChild and TeamMom. Has an OddFriendship with April.
* Marshall Ross: Melanie's preschool-aged brother. A TagalongKid and InnocentProdigy who drags around a CompanionCube.
* Elizabeth Chung: A NaiveNewcomer and [[ThePollyanna Pollyanna]] two years younger than April and Melanie.
* Toby Alvillar: Initially a JerkJock in April and Melanie's class, he later joins the Egypt Game and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold turns out not to be so bad after all]].
* Ken Kamata: Forms ThoseTwoGuys with Toby. Ken seems to be a follower and is thus apparently content to go along with whatever Toby wants. His [[CatchPhrase favorite word]] appears to be "[[GoshDangItToHeck sheesh!]]"

But all is not well in their neighborhood when two children are murdered and [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion everyone thinks "The Professor" is behind it]]. What, you didn't think a Newbery book would be free of [[DeathByNewberyMedal death]], did you?

Followed by a {{Sequel}}, ''The Gypsy Game'', some thirty years after the original.
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!!Provides examples of:
* AdultFear: The serial child killer. The kids (naturally) don't take the issue very seriously and are [[SkewedPriorities mostly just upset that their playtime has been ruined]].
* AsianAirhead: Elizabeth might count, although her na´vetÚ is attributed to her being two grades below April, Melanie, Toby, and Ken.
* CluelessMystery
* ComicBookTime: ''The Egypt Game'' seems to take place in the '60s. ''The Gypsy Game'' begins the moment its predecessor left off, but seems to take place in the '90s.
* ConvictedByPublicOpinion: "The Professor" for the child murders.
* CurtainClothing: At one point, Melanie makes Egyptian robes for everyone using old curtains.
* DeathByNewberyMedal
* DefrostingIceQueen: April. It's not too hard to defrost her, though. Just let her get bored with her JerkassFacade.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: "The Professor". [[spoiler:At the end, it's revealed that his real name is Dr. Julian Huddleston, although he still prefers to be called "The Professor".]]
* TheFashionista: April tries being one.
* FiveTokenBand: April and Toby are white (the latter with a Hispanic surname), Melanie and Marshall are black, and Elizabeth and Ken are Asian. But SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped. The novel was written back when Uhura was making waves by sitting on the bridge of the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Enterprise]]'' and saying "Hailing frequencies open, sir."
* FreeRangeChildren: A DeconstructedTrope. The novel was written in 1967 and this trope is played straight until the murder of a child in the neighborhood causes the adults to temporarily be overprotective. In other words, exactly the way they are all the time nowadays. [[spoiler:And at the end, April is almost killed by the murderer when she goes down to Egypt at night.]]
* GirlsHaveCooties: April and Melanie are still holding onto the "boys are gross" mindset at eleven years old, which was considered normal at the time.
* HalloweenCosplay. Well, sort of anyway.
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold: "The Professor".
* NarrativeProfanityFilter
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: The setting is an unnamed "large university town in California", which is almost certainly Berkeley or a fictional version thereof. (Incidentally, Zilpha Keatley Snyder once taught at the University of California at Berkeley.)
* ParentalAbandonment: Melanie, Marshall, and Ken are the only kids to have both parents and that's with Melanie and Marshall being siblings.
** DisappearedDad: April and Elizabeth's fathers died pre-story.
** MissingMom: Toby's mother. April's mother is still living, but, well, see below...
* ParentsAsPeople: April's self-absorbed mother Dorothea sends her to live with her grandmother Caroline, promising her this will be a very temporary arrangement. Months pass, Dorothea doesn't write much, doesn't send for April when she said she would, and finally sends a letter explaining how she ''[[ParentWithNewParamour freakin' got married]]'' without her daughter and is now living in an apartment with her new husband. All the while, April gets to come to the slow and painful realization that she has essentially been abandoned.
* ThePowerOfFriendship
* PrettyInMink: April
* SecurityBlanket: Marshall with a stuffed octopus actually named [[MeaningfulName Security]].
* SequelHook: "Melanie, what do you know about Gypsies?" It took thirty years in real time for Melanie to answer "Not very much, I guess. Why?"
* TheSixties
* TeamMom: Melanie
* ThoseTwoGuys: Ken and Toby
* TrueCompanions: The Egypt gang.
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