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Below The Root [Paperback]

Zilpha Keatley Snyder
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 22 1985
When thirteen-year-old Raamo is surprisingly chosen to join the priestly class of Ol-zhaan rulers, he uses his telepathic abilities to discover some dangerous secrets about the governing body to the land of Green-sky. Reprint. NYT.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The Newbery Honor-winning author's compelling fantasy concerns a 13-year-old boy who uncovers startling truths about the priestly class who control his people. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace or Tyranny? July 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In book one of Snyder's unforgettable Green-sky trilogy, thirteen year-old Raamo is chosen to be one of the elite Ol-zhaan priests. The Kindar people live in cities within giant trees and live off the products of the magical Wissenvine. "The Vine" provides fruits, building materials, and the roots ("The Root") cover the mysterious forest floor so that the evil Pash-shan are imprisioned below.
As Raamo progresses in his training, he learns the history of the Kindar people, how they came from another planet ravaged by war and the first Ol-zhaan were determined to eradicate these emotions from subsequent generations. Now the Kindar know nothing of violence, war, or any original thought for that matter. The people chant proscribed chants of peace and live a very restricted existence where they are not allowed to even look at the forest floor. Raamo is befriended by Neric, another young Ol-zhaan healer, who urges him to re-think everything they have been told about life in Green-sky and the supposedly evil Pash-shan monsters.
Neric and Raamo take a dangerous trip to the forest floor, where they find eight-year-old Teera lost in the forest. Assuming she is a child who has fallen from the trees, they take her back to Green-sky and leave her in the care of Raamo's family. When they learn that little Teera is not a Kindar, but a Pash-shan, or Erdling as they call themselves, their world is turned upside down.
Excellent fantasy for any age. The Kindar and Erdlings are a little reminiscent of the Morlocks and Eloi in The Time Machine. Another fantastic book that has a very similar story is THE GIVER by Lois Lowry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To the green wood, green wood tree. May 31 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I suspect that I'm the only one who remembers this. In the early to mid 1980s I owned a Commodore 64 computer game (yes, I am that ancient and wise) called "Below the Root". In this game you could chose to be one of four players. A small boy named Raamo, a small girl named Pomma, a tall boy named Neric, or a tall girl named Genaa. The goal was to travel under the root, so to speak, to rescue a boy of great power. You had all sorts of cool powers, depending on which character you were. Some characters could pense people, thereby determining their emotions (hence I learned the word "avarice" at a very young age). Some could kiniport objects without touching them. Others could grunsprek, creating roots and plants that would allow you walk, virtually, on air. I loved the game and it was one of the few I actually won. Now, years and years later, I find that the basis of this favorite computer game was a well-written and infinitely entrancing novel of the same name. Authored by the accomplished Zilpha Keatley Snyder, the book speaks freely about the price of creating and maintaining a free society.

Raamo is thirteen years old and lives happily in a land called Green-sky. His world is a society created in the tops of the trees. Here, people have fashioned a wonderful peaceful life for themselves, never engaging in violence or negative feelings of any kind. The only source of distress, in fact, comes from the evil Pash-shan that live below the surface of the earth below. Inhuman creatures that steal children and adults when they can, the Pash-shan are imprisoned in their lairs by a thick vine called the Wissenroot. Now Raamo has been given the chance to join the spiritual and governmental leaders of the land, named the Ol-zhaan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars never lets you go Feb. 13 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i have been searching fo the title of this book for three years. i read the whole trilogy when i was younger and it consumed me, and although i couldn't recall the titles of the books, i never forgot the characters and the amazing story. i shouldnt have been surprised when i finnally found the books, and reailzed the author was zilpha keatly-snyder. she is the most amazing and versatile writer of children's and young adult literature i have ever had the pleasure to read. i began reading her with <<the headless cupid>> and have gone through almost every other book she has written, especially the superb <<black and blue magic>> and <<the egypt game>>. no other writer has combined fun, adventurous, sometimes-otherwordly plots with out being repetetive and telling the same story over and over again. i highly recommend this trilogy to everyone who loves to read, no matter what the age.
set in a mythical planet that shadows our own society, it is an amazing tale that captures the imagination without being complete sci-fi/fantasy. her use of forshadowing is amazing, keeping you held, but never giving away the ending as you watch the truth unfold.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Secrecy is the root of tyranny June 12 2004
Format:Hardcover
This is the outstanding introduction to the Greensky trilogy, a compelling philosophical exploration ingeniously disguised as a children's fantasy series. In the fantasy world of Greensky, the peaceful Kindar live in trees, read each others' minds, and glide from place to place with silken wings. Guided by their revered rulers, the Ol-Zhaan, the Kindar have nothing to fear... except for falling from their paradise and being forced to face the demons that lurk beneath the forest floor.
In addition to providing a marvelous coming-of-age tale set in a wonderful new world, this book will provoke you to ponder and debate important questions about the nature of good and evil. Is it possible to eliminate violence from a society by segregating and repressing the passions? Should governments/priesthoods/scientists withold potentially dangerous knowledge from laypeople to protect them, and does this unshared power inevitably corrupt?
Read this book with your kids!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb ideas, Superb worldbuilding, Superb writing.
As others, I was aquainted with this book through playing the computer game as a child. Only at the age of 25 did I actually read the book. Read more
Published on May 28 2001 by Michael_GR
5.0 out of 5 stars escapism at its best
Although few claim this as a classic work of sci-fi/fantasy, it is an excellent book and the beginning of an excellent trilogy. The world Synder created captured my imagination. Read more
Published on May 4 2001 by Katie Klein
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow
It is no wonder this book is out of print - it is full of exposition (pages on end) and reads like a history book. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2001 by "pure-swallow"
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fantasy writing
I originally became familiar with this series after playing a computer game on the Commodore 64 in the mid 1980s, and then just happened to stumble upon this (and the others) in... Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2000 by "ucky"
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I love Science Fiction (in 1000 words or less)
In seventh grade, I picked a book off of my teacher's shelf, expecting to be bored to tears. Instead, I got "Below the Root," the most complex and interesting story I... Read more
Published on July 6 2000 by "ocherdraco"
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of Print?
Why are really good books like this one out of print?
I read this as a teenager and savored every suspenseful, mysterious and joyful moment.
Published on March 27 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the Road to Imagination Begins
I read Below the Root when I was in grade school and liked it. Then I found And All Between and Until the Celebration, and thought they were wonderful! Read more
Published on Dec 19 1999 by Dan Hammari
5.0 out of 5 stars A utopia/dystopia of haunting haunting beauty and mystery
No book has ever captured my imagination as this book has. Set in a dreamlike utopia of giant forests and ghostlike flowers, it presents a tale of an escape war and suffering, and... Read more
Published on June 13 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that you'll never want to end.....
Below The Root is one of the best works of fiction ever written. Zilpha Keatley Snyder, please write a 4th book in the series! :)
Published on May 4 1999
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