The Gypsy Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Posted December 10, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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The Gypsy Game by Zilpha Keatley SnyderThe Gypsy Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Series: Game #2
Also in this series: The Egypt Game
Published by Yearling on September 8th 1998
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Amazon
Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

The kids from The Egypt Game are back. What game will they play next? The answer is Gypsies. While April plunges in with her usual enthusiasm, the more Melanie learns, the more something seems to be holding her back. But it's Toby who adds a really new wrinkle when he announces that he himself is a bona fide Gypsy. Plus he can get them some of his grandmother's things to use as real Gypsy props for the new game. What could be more thrilling? Then Toby suddenly and mysteriously disappears, and the kids discover that living as real-life Gypsies may not be as much fun as they thought. How will they find Toby and rescue him from the very real problems that are haunting his life? 

Main Points
Writing Style:
Like the first book- simple, but not bad.
Plot:

At first it seems like it’s going to be like the first book- only with a new game to play. But sadly, the new game never really forms completely. Instead, a very real problem comes about. This book is mostly about Toby.

We learn a lot about Toby and his home life. But what’s really annoying is his tendency to make things up, so when things go really wrong, it’s hard to know what to believe and how to help. I can totally see how being his friend would be frustrating, so it’s no surprise that he brings about the first real group fight, and they leave him. But I still felt terribly sorry for him. Also in this book, April and Melanie fight for the first time too, only it’s not so bad. So we’re getting some character development, but not as much as I’d have liked.

This book isn’t as fun as the first in the sense that it’s all about a game, but rather several real-life mysteries, but I feel like it was good for exploring who the characters really were. Also, there were a lot of moments with feels in it. I actually teared up at one point. It was a bit of an emotionally exhausting read.

I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, even though it was happy. I’m not too sure whether it was a little too convenient, or we were missing something, or some things between people were never really worked out, but still.

Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • ending(somewhat)
Less than perfect:
  • some relationships
  • the ending
Bottom Line
 This book was very different from the first, but still very good. It was more about real life situations and problems and less about a game, which was a little disappointing but good for figuring out who the characters really were and seeing the development and the interactions between them. Would I read more by this author? Yes. Would I recommend this to others? Yes.

About Zilpha Keatley Snyder

The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for “The Egypt Game”, “The Headless Cupid” and “The Witches of Worm”, Zilpha Keatley Snyder has been writing books for children since 1964 when her first book, “A Season of Ponies”, was published. Since that time she has completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for younger children and a book of poetry.

Rating
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Setting
four-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: four-stars
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