The Game Series is the unofficial title given to two of Snyder's books: The Egypt Game (1967) and The Gypsy Game (1997). These two books follow the adventures of six children who invent and play different imaginative games.
The Egypt GameEdit
- Main article: The Egypt Game
April Hall, the daughter of a Hollywood singer is sent to live with her grandmother. She makes friends with Melanie Ross, a classmate who, like her, is fascinated by Ancient Egypt. Along with Melanie's little brother Marshall, they begin a sustained imaginative game about Ancient Egypt, researching actual Egyptian belief systems and practices, and create rituals intended to reproduce them more or less authentically. Their play area is an abandoned storage yard behind an antique shop owned by a strange, reclusive man known as the Professor.
After the start of the new school year, three more kids join the "Egyptians"; however the game is put on hold when a child is murdered in the area, and the kids are kept indoors to play. Later, they are allowed to return to their play area, but soon, the ceremonies have strange consequences, and the children wonder if they stirred up some ancient and mysterious power with their rituals. The book reaches its climax when April is attacked by a man, but she is rescued thanks to the Professor's help. The attacker is caught, and the Professor allows the children to continue playing in the backyard of his shop.
The Egypt Game received generally favorable reviews, and won several awards, including a Newbery Honor Award in 1968.
The Gypsy GameEdit
- Main article: The Gypsy Game
After getting tired of the game about Egyptians, the kids start a game of that about Gypsies. They research the subject thoroughly, and re-decorate the storage yard to resemble a Gypsy camp instead of an Egyptian temple. They are joined by a stray dog, and they keep him in the yard. However, they never really get to play the new game. Toby Alvillar, one of the six kids, is in trouble, his grandparents wanting to take custody of him. He decides to run away from home and finds shelter in the basement of an abandoned church, where several homeless people live. He is eventually convinced by one of these people to go home. Toby and his father are reunited, and the boy's grandparents are convinced to give up their claim.
Eventually, the kids decide to abandon the idea of the "Gypsy Game", claiming that Gypsy life is too sad and depressing to make a game out of it. Toby tells them about the homeless people living under the abandoned church, and the others agree to start a project to raise money for them, while Toby's father tries to find them a place to live.
The Gypsy Game got less favorable reviews than its prequel, as instead of imagination, excitement and magic, the author focuses on social issues and on teaching moral lessons.