Zilpha Keatley Snyder Virginia Haviland - Essay

Virginia Haviland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The sureness with which the author draws her young characters and the deep perception and wisdom of her understanding of peer interplay and conversation will draw the reader into [The Truth About Stone Hollow] with its shadowy overlays of mystery and magic…. But the story consists of more than discoveries and wonderings. A clear picture emerges of the smug little town riddled with religious prejudices and family differences. If not rich in the creation of atmosphere and mood, nor always successful in dealing with the supernatural, the story is, nevertheless, fresh and readable.

Virginia Haviland, "Summer Booklist: 'The Truth about Stone Hollow'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1974 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. L, No. 4, August, 1974, p. 380.

The future-fantasy world of Greensky [in Below the Root] … is a long way from Snyder's usual contemporary settings, but the concerns and attitudes expressed here are less remote. Settled by survivors from another world destroyed by war, Greensky is a vegetarian society where the words hate and kill do not exist and the only threat is from the dreaded Pash-shan who live below the root and who capture and enslave babies and occasional adults who fall or venture to the forest floor…. Greensky is a bit too ritualized and bloodless for our taste and we miss the stronger personalities of Snyder's previous, less highly evolved characters, but as revisionist fantasy this is worth the trip.

"Younger Fiction: 'Below the Root'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1975 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLII, No. 5, March 1, 1975, p. 239.