Below the Root (Green Sky, #1) by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Below the Root (Green Sky, #1)

Raamo, at thirteen, had rarely doubted the wisdom of the Ol-zhaan, the unquestioned rulers of the Green-Sky planet. Yet, after he had been chosen to become an Ol-zhaan, he made surprising discoveries and was exposed to dangers different form any he had envisioned. The world of Green-Sky was not what he and the Kindar people had thought. This science fiction fantasy was first published in 1975 and is the first book of the "Green-Sky Trilogy," It w...

Details Below the Root (Green Sky, #1)

TitleBelow the Root (Green Sky, #1)
Release DateNov 1st, 2005
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Childrens

Reviews Below the Root (Green Sky, #1)

  • mark monday
    a little bird, a little boy, flitting through the trees; thrust upon him is a mantle of authority. to flit no more! roles taken to provide meaning, shelter, a shield: the world of Green Sky. denizens: beware of what lies below the root: there be dragons! or knowledge. or the past, a history buried. or an underclass, perhaps, striving to meet the sky!a children's classic, of sorts. first published in 1975. shades of The Giver. a simple tale of fri...
  • Wendy
    This is the first book in The Greensky trilogy that just absolutely made my mind soar as a child and can still touch my heart as an adult. A group of people inhabit the tree tops called Kindar. They are vegetarians and float from branch to branch using glider packs called Shubas. Some are gifted with powers. The power of teleportation and telekenesis (called kiniport in the books), the power to make trees grow (called grunsprek), and the power to...
  • Nicholas
    This was the first book I ever checked out of the Library. I picked it up purely for the cover, and fell deeply in love with it. A couple of years later I got the Windham Classics video game as a birthday gift, and fell in love with the world all over again, but I came to it already loving the world of Green-Sky.[Review contains minor to significant spoilers!]Some people reviewing this book and its sequels recently have criticized their originali...
  • J L's Bibliomania
    Rereading a beloved childhood favorite as an adult is always risky.I read Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder and its sequels over and over and over again as a voracious young SF lover in the early 80’s (and surprisingly was oblivious to the computer game based on the same world). At the time, I was fascinated by the ability of Raamo to read minds, or at least emotions, and swept along by the idea of gliding through the treetops. I was tota...
  • Sarah Jacquie
    I fell in love with the world of Green Sky when I was only 3 years old. Sounds preposterous, but it's true. I sat watching my dad play the Commodore game by Windham Classics for hours, and hours. By the time I was 4-5 I could beat it myself by memory - but I always would call him at work if I forgot how to load the game (Load "*", 8, 1) hahaha. When I was old enough, my mom told me the game was based on a trilogy - and so it began.These will alwa...
  • Kristi Thompson
    The Zilpha Keatly Snyder went up the waterspout.... Just had to get that out of my systemBought Below the Root and And All Between for Madison from the used bookshop in Napanee over Christmas, and reread them both while I was there. Wish they'd had Until the Celebration; the trilogy needs an ending.I can't have been much older than Madison when I read them last. 20 years ago? I remembered them vividly. I was a little surprised to find out that th...
  • Rose
    I'm assuming the target audience for this book is the 10 to 13 year olds but it is good enough to be enjoyed by adults. I hate to call it sweet, but for a large part that is exactly what it was. Raamo and his people live a peaceful, joyous life in the trees and a lot of the book was the descriptions of this life. It wasn't until we were a fair bit into it that we learned that all wasn't as it seemed with this peaceful existence.This can't really ...
  • Attila
    Read it when I was 13 or so (I think this was the first "serious" book I have read in the English language), then re-read it five years later and found that it did not lose any of its magic. It is about people who live in tree tops on a planet with low gravity and giant trees, with houses and other buildings on the branches. It is a utopian (or rather dystopian?) society led by clerics, where violence and anger is unheard of, more or less as a re...
  • Sara
    As a child, this was one of my favorite books. I checked it out several times from the library and knew exactly where it was on the shelf. It's been many years but I still remember the story and think of it when I'm laying in filtered sunshine wondering what it would be like to only get sunshine "below the root".
  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    I remember reading this when it first came out. I loved it--my teachers hated it. I really wanted to do a book report presentation on it in speech class, and my teacher really, really didn't want me to--I remember she kept interrupting and criticising to the place I was ready to just quit talking and sit down. At the time I thought it was me; now I think maybe it was the book.Reading it now at over 50, I can see where the off-the-grid vegetarian ...
  • Jen
    I had never heard of this book or this series or even this author until a good friend of mine mentioned doing her zillionth re-read of this beloved piece of her childhood. Since of course I needed to understand her book love, she loaned me this first volume and I settled in for a discovery.I despaired, at first, because it took me a while to get into this. Snyder makes no apologies about her world-building, which is great in the sense that it's v...
  • Jlawrence
    I've wanted to read this book for awhile because I had played (but never got very in) the intriguing 8-bit computer game that's based on it. Sadly, seems even just bungling around in that game was a better experience than reading its source material.The world Synder sets up is interesting enough - a science fantasy dealing with a society that lives in giant trees (think somewhere between Ewok and Elvish sophistication of arboreal house-making and...
  • Carly
    I just reread this, the first book in an awesome fantasy trilogy for children or young adults. It surprises me that this trilogy has never been that well-known or popular. It deals with serious themes: how a society might choose to rebuild after war and chaos; what happens when a corrupt government exists to sustain itself; how the average person will cling to the status quo, even if that means turning a blind eye to evil actions. There are simil...
  • Jessica
    I enjoyed this beautiful world and these interesting characters :)
  • Kate
    Great storyThis is a fun story! I loved the computer game back in the 80s and always thought it should be a book. I just discovered it was actually part of a series. If you like fantasy, you will love this book !
  • Meg
    For the first half of this book, I would have called it "hippie dystopia." The "Make Love Not War" message came on a bit too strong at times (Did she really need to mention the need for temporary sterility in the youth halls? And does "close communion" mean what I think it means?), but like most dystopian societies (and cults) the happy world of Green Sky is not as joyful as it seems.Like many others I played the video game (on my grandmother's A...
  • Sus
    Like a lot of other people (or so it seems from these reviews!), I played and loved the "Below the Root" video game when I was young. I had never read the books; when I looked them up recently, I was excited to realize that they were written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, a young-adult writer who I remember having creeped me as a child with such subtle and unsettling books as _The Headless Cupid_ and _The Eyes In the Fishbowl_. I've found it both deli...
  • Magali
    Two stars, which is generous. (Strange, because I remember liking The Egypt Game; Snyder missed the mark here, though, badly.) Despite presenting the reader with an interesting world and some potentially fascinating philosophical questions, this book was SO BORING until the last forty pages, in which everything happens. Beyond the major pacing problems, there was the classic issue of telling-not-showing. I had buckets full of unnecessary backgrou...
  • Kirsten
    This is an enjoyable, if at times somewhat obvious, fantasy novel. It concerns the denizens of a place known as Green Sky. The planet seems to be largely rainforest, and a society of human-like beings known as the Kindar live in the canopy. The Kindar have a utopian society, where it is taboo to speak of or show anger, and where the concept of violence is almost unheard of. The only fear they hold is of the fearsome Pash-shan, creatures that live...
  • Kiwi
    My friend handed me this book and told me I HAD to read it. I'm glad she did. Fantasy is my old comfort zone from youth so it is still the genre I take on when I want to snug into a well-worn old cloak. (: This book (and I imagine series) can be added into that list.I love trees and the idea of living in trees, so that was a big plus. The idea of lesser gravity and larger plants was incredibly appealing, as was the idea of these humans who could ...
  • Emily
    I loved this book as a kid. A substitute librarian in our town library pointed the trilogy out to me, and I remember checking it out of the library over and over again. Now with 2 kids ages 4 and 6, I sometimes tell them bedtime stories about the people who live in trees, describing how they glide from branch to branch. I still find the idea of living in enormous trees simply magical! So, after months of telling the kids these stories based on th...
  • Mary-Beth
    The first book in this trilogy which is about two groups of people divided by their lifestyles. One group inhabits the trees and another lives underground below The Root.The beings inhabiting the trees are the ones we're concerned with here. A young man is chosen for the elite priesthood of these people and he begins to see the corruption that had occurred among his people. They are well-meaning, intending to eliminate violence from their society...
  • Emily
    Those suffering from “Hunger Games” withdrawal might find some relief in Green-sky. Snyder creates a futuristic world in which the Kindar live and glide among the trees, never touching the forest floor for fear of the dreaded Pash-shan. Except for this one thing, life is Peaceful and Joyous due to the fact that Earth’s violence has been systematically forgotten over the centuries. But, what are the Pash-shan, really? Is it a good thing to k...
  • Wendy
    Apparently the popularity of this book and its sequels were attributed to some old school video game. It was recommended to me by a website I can no longer find. Someone did an extensive listing of mostly fantasy books from The Hobbit to current series circa 2000ish.It took me years to find and buy them.So I am saddened to say, I although I enjoyed the first book. (Below the Root, I found the rest of the series And All Between (Green Sky, #2) Unt...
  • Debbie
    I recently reread this after having read it in junior high. I'd played the Windham Classics game on my C64 often and enjoyed how the game picked up the story's feel without entirely duplicating the plot. My revisit was not disappointing. Snyder creates an excellent utopia in this novel, which is just beginning to unravel at the end of the novel. I like the characters, even the ones of questionable motives, because they're all vulnerable in some w...
  • Liz
    This book was the basis for a computer game that I played when I was young. Since I was young and didn't fully understand the game, when I found out it was based on a book, I was excited to read it. The book is about two different groups of beings... the ones that lived entirely above ground in giant trees and the ones that lived underground - below the roots. It was an easy read with interesting ties to what could happen when a society's past is...
  • Diana Welsch
    I read this because the setting, which is a green-skied planet with low gravity where people are small and birdlike and live in trees, appealed to me. Everyone wears a batwing-like garment that allows them to glide gently from branch to branch. It was like living in Myst, only not exactly Myst, but the crazy tree-world in the third Myst game.It was a nice escape. The plot was reminiscent of [Book: The Giver] but without the bleak ending. I was ho...
  • ambyr
    "Negative emotions are banned, and the government controls resource distribution" could just about be the elevator speech for a modern YA dystopia--but Snyder does it decades earlier, and better. Characterization and motivation are subtly nuanced, and there's enough worldbuilding peeking out behind the edges here to fill an SF doorstopper saga. I was pleasantly surprised with how well this held up to adult reading, and also by the charming illust...
  • Chris
    I only read this because, as a child, I was obsessed with the video game made for the Commodore 64 by Windham Classics. Anyone remember it? Anyway, the game was enganging and subtle, with a huge world and non-linear game-play that was grounbreaking for the time. I never even knew there was a book until I was in my 20s, and perhaps I would have liked it more if I had read it as a child. The book was of the same style of 70s fantasy as the animated...
  • Juliette
    The beginning of this book really reminded me of The Giver in that the main character Raamo lives in a community where a person's position in life is chosen for them at age 13 (though I don't remember if it was 13 in The Giver). Like the main character in The Giver, Raamo is chosen for a high position of honor much to his own surprise. From there the differences branch out much more. There are secrets this society has as well, but Raamo has frien...