I read a book and its sequel in the mid 90s, but they may have been published earlier. For some reason I think it was the late 70s. I checked them out at my middle school library, so they were juvenile or young adult fiction. The first book was about a society of fairies or maybe just really small people that live in the tops of trees. The young people are assigned a vocation based on their abilities when they are in their early teens. They start out as novices. I think the main character was a girl, but she had a really close guy friend. In the 2nd book, the protagonist discovers another similar society underground in the root system at the base of the tree. Not much to go on, but can anybody help identify?

  • 2
    Have a look through the checklists to see if you can add anything; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Mar 4, 2017 at 10:43
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    How old was the heroine? Was she just friends with the boy or did they end up in a relationship? Can you remember any character's names? Was the society in a fantasy land or were they in the human world? Why did they not know about the root-dwelling fairies? What vocation was the girl assigned? What vocation was the boy assigned? Why did they go exploring? Was this book pure prose or were there pictures?
    – Valorum
    Mar 4, 2017 at 10:45
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    The Ewoks? (I only read the title, and I like Star Wars...)
    – anon
    Mar 4, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Your question has elements of the Green Sky Trilogy by Zilpha Snyder.

From the linked Wikipedia page:

The planet Green-sky contains Orbora, a city built in giant trees and inhabited by humanoids known as the Kindar. They have built their homes among the branches, and can harvest food from vines and orchards found on the trees. The Kindar walk between trees where the branches overlap or connect using vines woven together like ladders. Low gravity also allows Kindar to fall great distances without being hurt and hang-glide through the air using their shuba, a silk cape-like garment that attaches at hands and feet.

Matching elements:

  • Entire society lives in the trees.

  • I don't see any mention of just living in treetops, but they are forbidden to touch the ground, that appears to be a close fit.

  • Not fairies, but gliding and near-flight can give that impression.

  • Exiles have indeed started their own society underneath the ground and below the roots of the trees.

  • At age 13 young ones are chosen for their position in the society by the priests called Chosen, and those with strong psychic powers ("spirit force") are chosen to join the priests.

  • Published between 1975 and '78, so matches your guesstimate.

  • Main character is Raamo, a boy who's joining the Chosen, but there is mention of his sister and a fellow recruit who's a girl.

  • you got it! a book i've wondered about for years and you helped me solve my mystery in a matter of hours. thanks very much!
    – atasthalia
    Mar 4, 2017 at 19:17

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