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Below the Root Paperback – November 10, 2005


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Paperback, November 10, 2005
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Backinprint.com (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595370314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595370313
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,929,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

About the Author

The recipient of three Newberry Honor Book awards for The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm, Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s first book was published in 1964. Since that time she has authored more than 42 books, mostly for children but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for younger children, and a book of poetry.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Read this book with your kids!
E. Marin
She joked that she got her money's worth with that 50 cents because I think I read the first two books in the series at least 8 times each.
Lola Says
The world is breathtaking and the story is thought-provoking.
Logisti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Marin on June 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael_GR on May 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
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. I was prepared for a letdown as I understood this to be a children's book. Boy was I wrong! the quality of writing is superb, the sheer amount of imagination that has gone into creating this magical, but also highly realized, world, is astounding. THis trilogy deals with the idea of pacifism in a way I have never seen before. This should be a must read for any child, teenager, or adult.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "ocherdraco" on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
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 had ever read. Its combination of intrigue and imagination made me realize that this genre was not reserved for geeks (those people I was desperately trying not to be one of). Ever since then I have been searching for this book and its sequels. Now that I have found them, I hope to discover in them that same intensity and magic I found years ago.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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 the shocking rediscovery of the past. Though told with the artistic efficacy of a childrens fairy tale, this book is much more. It deals with the consequences of ingorance, the ways in which our history affects our future and our minds, and raw human compassion. Though sadly never recognized for its complexity, the images and ideas from Below the Root both haunt and comfort me to this day. Do not mistake it for merely a childrens fairy tale, for this is story of great complexity. It is a surreal parable of our history.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Melissa McCauley VINE VOICE on 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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