Heidi

ISBN: 0753454947
ISBN 13: 9780753454947
By: Johanna Spyri

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About this book

"What happens when a little orphan girl is forced to live with her cold and frightening grandfather? The heartwarming answer has engaged children for more than a century, both on the page and on the screen. Johanna Spyri’s beloved story offers youngsters an endearing and intelligent heroine, a cast of unique and memorable characters, and a fascinating portrait of a small Alpine village."

Reader's Thoughts

Edward Flaherty

First of all, I will clarify that I am a fan of the Swiss Alps, Berner Oberland, and a fan of landscape--those are the lenses through which I read Heidi by Johanna Spyri.This is a story about family and small mountain communities in the Swiss Alp landscape--how family copes with hardship within the family; and how family lives with the hardship in the Swiss Alp landscape.In the end, I read this story as the simple things of life in the Alps, along with loving care by family and community members is a healthy and healing way of life for humans. Heidi lives the Alps as if she was singing the hills are alive with the sound of music.I ask myself: what is that? What is Spyri writing about…is it something mystical in the Alps? And if you divorce the famous melody and images of the words, the hills are alive with the sound of music…how can hills be alive…how can music be alive…I think there is something magical--for want of a better word--that people pick up on in these mountains. What is it?Visit them yourself and be.Now, I am a city person, always have been, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, LA…and others. I get energy from the landscape and that is usually landscape outside of cities. I have no romantic fantasy of the landscape described by Johanna Spyri…I only have to get within 10 meters of a goat and the smell makes my stomach wretch…always has, still does. But goats aside, the Alps, that is, the pasture fields at altitude in Switzerland, Germanic Switzerland…they have something revitalizing that I just can't put words to!

Michelle

There's a reason this one is a classic. It teaches so many good things, and for that reason it is on my favorite list. Heidi learns to turn to God during times of trial. She learns that although our prayers aren't always answered exactly as we hope they will be at exactly the time we would like, God always knows what is best for us and often has something better in store. Her example of optimism and especially of selfless love is inspiring. After reading this I am craving a good outing into nature. The Alps sound absolutely irresistible as described by Spyri. It teaches the consequences when we do something wrong through Peter's story. Although the plot is a bit predictable, the good morals that are taught in this book completely outweigh that for me. I loved it and I hope my children read it someday.

Anthea Gupta

This was always one of my favorites as a child and I still enjoy it (and the sequels, though they are not by Johanna Spyri). It engages with what constitutes good treatment of children.

Ryan

When I was 14, I ran away from home and lived in various places for a year. Fortunately, I had a family that made sure it wasn't on the street, but I was no less lonely or frightened with a roof over my head. I wasn't raised in any particular faith either - probably not for lack of trying (I remember going to church, just not liking it much or being made to keep going) - and somehow I found a great deal of strength and comfort in this book. Not the 'outdoor-wholesome' thing, but in the Grandmother's description of prayer and surrender. It describes a simple relationship with a father-god who loves me no matter what, and provides a simple, direct route to his lap whenever I need it.

Lisa Vegan

I reread this story frequently as a girl. One of the most evocative and effectively descriptive books I’ve ever read. A wonderful story about a young girl who goes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. Loved the side story that takes place in town away from her grandfather as well. I always craved cheese and bread as I read the story, and there was nothing more satisfying than curling up with Heidi and some cheese & bread. When young, I didn’t understand that the goat cheese described in the book was different from the cow’s milk cheese I ate. (Now that I’m a long term vegan, I would no longer crave any animal procured cheese, but I think I’d still enjoy the story.) A worthy children’s classic. The sequels: Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children were written by a different author – the original author’s translator. I enjoyed them, but they were not as pleasurable to read as Heidi.

Tamra

I never read this book as a kid. It sounded too girly. But it's a classic, so gave it a shot.It's a slower read, for normal juvenile lit--owing to the fact, I'm sure, that it was written more than 100 years ago. Compared to other things I've read from the same time period, the book is a page turner! And it's a page turner compared to most of the adult fare I read, too. But it's not a lightweight book in terms of wordiness, length, and descriptions.It does have a good dose of religion, but Spyri manages to not make it preachy-sounding. Clearly the book is written with a lesson for children, but it's also a fun story and the setting is breathtaking. Truly, I want to live in the cabin on the mountaintop!This is a Pollyanna story, and I dislike Pollyanna stories. Everything turns out perfectly for everyone, and Heidi never thinks about anything, she's just adorable. Heidi is like a drug that everyone is addicted to and can't get enough of. I imagined, in my head, a sequel that put Heidi, 5 or 10 years later, weighed down by the burden of having 7 people need her and not being able to meet everyone's needs. Get a life, people! There's only one Heidi Sunshine Ball!Having said all that, I also adore Heidi. Matter of fact, I'm addicted to my own real life Heidi: my youngest son. He brings happiness and sunshine where ever he goes. If I hadn't met my son, I wouldn't have thought it possible: no one is as happy and cheerful and life-giving as Heidi. But he is. And it's a beautiful thing.*update: I liked this book enough, I bought it.

Merit Adel

قصة رائعة جدا خلصتها كلها في قعدة واحدة تستحق انها تتقري كذا مرة ونحكيها للاطفال في مدارس الاحد شخصية هايدي جميلة جدا تهتم بحواليها قبل نفسهاعجبني الكوخ اللي كانت عايشة فيه وحواليها الجبل والزرع والمعز بيئة جميلة وناس طيبين

Colleen Stone

Not so much a review as a reflection...I read this book as a child and really must revisit it again soon. But what has stayed with me over the years is the cheese that Heidi and her grandfather toasted over an open fire on toasting forks. It sounded impossible and delicious at the same time. My exposure to cheese at the time was limited to Kraft Cheddar Processed Cheese. These days I wouldn't classify it as real cheese. It certainly would not have survived the toasting process! Fast forward many years to a celebration/party with French/Swiss friends. We were instructed to bring our favourite pickles to add to the table. There was an open fire in the hearth and a substantial slab of Raclette cheese cut from a large wheel. It was resting on a board and angled towards the fire. The surface of the slab was melted and bubbling slightly. It smelt fantastic. Our host used a knife to remove the toasted section of the cheese to a plate to which we added generous helpings of breads and pickles. Washed down with kirsch, this was one of the most memorable meals I have ever had the fortune to eat. The musical accompaniment to the evening was provided by our host on his piano accordion.I had known all along that Heidi was onto a good thing and it proved to be well worth the waiting for.

Wealhtheow

I read this book so often as a child that the covers fell off, the binding broke, and I lost about half the pages. Heidi is almost insufferable in her Merciful Christian Perfection--but only *almost*. There's a spark of fun to her, and I was absolutely enthralled by her simple, earthy lifestyle. As an urban kid in the 20th century, the idea that soft bread could be a luxury blew my mind (to the extent that twenty years later, Heidi's meals with Clara are still the main thing I remember about this book). Didn't much like the grandfather or the goats.

Emily Beeson

I just finished reading Heidi aloud to the kids. What a sweet story! Heidi is a happy, optimistic girl. She loves nothing more than being on the mountain, enjoying the flowers and goats, as well as her beloved grandfather and neighbors.When she is taken away to live in the city with a wealthy family, to keep Clara company, both Heidi and her grandfather are very unhappy. Still, Heidi is able to form a deep friendship with Clara, who is ill and cannot walk.Soon enough, though, Heidi is able to return to her beloved mountain air.This Pollyanna-type book is full of joyful raptures, references to God and why he sometimes doesn't answer our prayers right away, loving relationships, forgiveness, and the joy of simple living.We loved this book. I have to say, it can get a little slow at times, so I recommend it for experiences listeners (whether young or old) who can delight in passages about beautiful flowers and such.

Elizabeth Moffat

I absolutely loved this book as a child, and was intrigued to see whether re-visiting it as an adult would alter any of my opinions. The story begins when our heroine Heidi is sent to live in the Swiss mountains with her grandfather who has built up a reputation for himself as being a bit of a reclusive and bad-tempered ogre. Heidi is headstrong, full of energy, and finds beauty in everything she sees, quickly falling head over heels in love with her new surroundings and her surly grandfather who begins to adore her in return. She has no qualms about speaking her mind, and her innocent remarks and retorts made me smile on a few occasions.Just when things are going swimmingly on the mountain, and Heidi has made firm friends with a young goatherd called Peter and his blind grandmother (who obviously both adore her, Heidi can do no wrong!), her Aunt takes her away to become a companion to a young invalid called Clara who lives in Frankfurt. She becomes dreadfully homesick for her mountain home, and is eventually sent back when her sadness becomes too much and she starts sleepwalking, giving the residents of the house a terrible fright, them supposing her to be a ghostly visitor. Her new friend Clara comes to visit her for a holiday and then a miracle occurs….I was happy to realise that I still loved this book as an adult. Heidi is such an adorable character that you can’t help warming to, and the development of a relationship between her and the terrifying grandfather is still as heart-warming for me as it was 25 years ago. It was also wonderful to remember episodes that I had forgotten, such as when she decides to give a present of a number of kittens for her new friend Clara much to the anger of Frau Rottenmeier (aptly named), also the jealousy and consequences of Peter’s jealousy over Heidi’s new playmate – which actually turns out to be a beneficial thing in the end as it triggers the start of the “miracle.”What I didn’t realise on re-reading this novel, was the key part that religion played in the story. As an agnostic, I don’t mind a bit of religion, and sometimes it can add interest to events, but at times it felt a bit preachy and unnecessary. Not that it spoiled my enjoyment at any level, and I still highly recommend it as a classic example of great children’s literature, but has slightly lowered my rating as a result.Please see my full review at http://www.bibliobeth.wordpress.com

Vu K

Cô bé Heidi mới 8 tuổi như một thiên thần.Nếu nghe mọi người kể thì ông nội của em, được gọi là Bác Alm, là một kẻ ghét đời, sống xa lánh mọi người, nhưng khi được dì đưa đến sống với ông thì ngay từ phút đầu tiên em đã chinh phục được ông bằng tính tình hồn nhiên trong trẻo của mình. Em cũng nhanh chóng kết bạn với cậu bé chăn dê Peter, và được sống giữa thiên nhiên suốt mùa hè. Em còn khiến được ông nội đưa em xuống núi đến chơi nhà Peter và người bà mù lòa của Peter chỉ còn mỗi việc là mong ngóng Heidi đến chơi nhà hàng ngày.

John Yelverton

Such a sweet story, and one that the whole family will love to read together.

Katie

Thanks to all the bowdlerized, Disneyfied stupidifications it's been through, poor old Heidi's story gets a bum rap. In fact, Heidi is no sap, and more to the point, her friend Clara with the wheelchair is no timid Victorian dying violet. Somebody plonked this great big book in my lap when I was seven years old, a good reader, and in need of something heavy to hold me down on a long car trip. It worked; it took me off from my flat prairie summer to a land of purple mountain peaks and jumping goats and snow that piled up above the windows in the winter.Heidi comes to live with her grandfather when she is five years old, up high on the mountain where he shuns and is shunned by the village below. For the next three years, she sees almost no one else but the goatherd, Peter, and his mother, grandmother, and the goats. She is never lonely; she is like a nature spirit, communing with the wind, sun, trees, eagles and flowers. It is only when her aunt comes to take her away to Frankfort, to be a companion to ill, housebound Clara, that homesickness and loneliness set in. Heidi's rescue concludes the first half of the book, the half most people know; how Heidi heals the people in her life is the second and more interesting half. I have returned to this book so often that my 1921 edition is all worn out and crumbly, with the plates falling out. Spyri creates a world I would like to live in. I don't know if it ever existed. There are elements of melodrama in the story that are sometimes too sweet for the modern palate, but the scenery is vivid and honest and the pathos is, for the most part, truly felt.

Miss

This book was never really my cup of tea. In this case I prefer coffee...

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