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

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.

Dhanaraj Rajan

I cried a lot out of happiness reading this book....................The tears flowed out of my eyes without me noticing them...........The story begins well and is lively and after certain chapters (after the first half, to be precise), the novel contains only pure and innocent happiness. Each chapter in the second half gets better and the happiness begins and flows through the chapters making the reader very sentimental and longing for such lovely landscapes, friendships, relationships, and happiness.I do not want to say anything about the plot. I just only want to make some observations.This is a lovely book for the kids and as well as for the adults.For Kids:It will teach them first and foremost that Love is the foundation for happiness of man.It will teach them to establish lovely relationships. It will teach them to love all.It will teach them to love the landscapes, the environments and the animals.It will teach them to pray.It will give them much to cheer about.For Adults:It will speak to them of forgiveness.It will speak to them of the vanity of riches, or rather it will teach them the right usage of riches.It will teach them to appreciate the richness of relationships and the expansive nature.It will take them to their innocent childhood memories.It will give them much to cheer about.Final Note:It is a fact that nothing much is known about the author of HEIDI, Johanna Spyri. I her lifetime when she was asked to write her autobiography, she replied thus: "The external path of my life is very simple, and there is nothing special to be mentioned. My inner life was full of storms, but who can describe it?"And even if a star is very far and its details are hard to get by, still its shining splendor is more than enough for our limited vision. J. Spyri will always be remembered as the author of HEIDI and that is the greatest recognition. Thank you Johanna Spyri for giving us HEIDI.


I never like the cartoon and I never really liked the story, even when I was a kid. But I like to read the original versions of all these well-known tales (e.g. Peter Pan, Pinocchio...).The book is even more terrible, from my grown-up point of view. Heidi is an illiterate orphan dropped by his grandfather, then picked up again to be delivered to some strangers, till she developed depression and she's allowed to go back to her home.I keep thinking about the Noble Savage concept: the girl is pure and spread joy around. She's empathic noble, ready to sacrifice herself in order to make other happy. She has no religious education whatsoever, but as soon as she's exposed to the concept of god she become a devoted person.This tale is just too happy, there's too much serendipity.

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.


I love this book! This is one of my favorite books of all times! The first time I read it I was a teenager, maybe 15. And I loved it even then. I could not stop reading it. Not exactly a book you would find a teen reading, but I was enthralled. Heidi totally won my heart!My second experience with this was through the movie with Shirley Temple, and again - I loved it! It is still today my favorite Shirley Temple movie (and I am a huge Shirley Temple fan!). I had always vowed to read this book again to see if I would still be in love with it.That brings me to today. For Christmas I received, from the hubby a sparkling new pretty pink iPod touch! I was so excited to start listening to Audio books! So I downloaded an app simply called "Audio Books" there are tons of free books available. I chose Heidi to be the first one to listen to.Yep, once again, it wowed me! I just love this sweet story of how this little Swiss girl brought sunshine into everyone's lives! If you have not yet read Heidi, or listened to - I highly recommend it!

Bipasha{is eviscerated by fiction}

"For mercy's sake, the child is crazy!" Little Heidi.(I always thought that was weird name.)I read this novel in fourth grade(?), and I have no idea what happened in it, except that I loved it to bits and that I reread it thrice from the local library, that was my neighbor's little bookshelf, and reading it while sitting curled by their dog, Danny who died 15 months back. Since I had hardly any recollection of this novel, I read the abridged version once more, and I know why I loved it-this story was sweet and innocent and beautiful. It was fun, and I still remember pleading my mum to take me to the Alps, although at that point of time, I had no idea where Alps was. Before this novel, I didn't know what Alps was.I know, I know- I was an ignorant clueless brat and then Heidi happened, and believe me when I tell you that not one reread was regretted.Coming back to the actual review, and sparing you the vents of my mundane childhood, this is the story of an orphan- the titular character, Heidi.Orphaned at an early age and taken in by her young aunt Dete, Heidi--short for Adelheid(!)--is soon in the way. Dete has a new and better job where Heidi is not welcome, so the child must live with her curmudgeon of a grandfather high on the Alm Mountain in the Swiss Alps.Everyone calls him the Alm-Uncle because he never comes down to the village, even in the coldest winter, and he's developed a reputation as an evil, godless old hermit. But Heidi soon finds that things are not always what others say they are, makes friends with the Alm-Uncle, and happily runs wild in the glorious mountains with the goat boy, Peter, and his goats.Suddenly Dete appears again, and Heidi finds herself confined in a stone house in a stone city where she is expected to be companion to the invalid Klara. Dete sees this as a great opportunity for Heidi, one that will provide her with an education and polish. But, bitterly unhappy away from her grandfather and the outdoor life she has grown to love, Heidi at last makes her way back to the Alm. How Klara finally comes to the mountains as well, and the surprising events that follow, form the heartwarming ending to a story that has been loved for generations by children all over the world.The version I read was definitely a different edition and I can't find it, but there were beautiful B/W illustrations, and boy, do I remember my delight reading this book.(view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)]Many wonderful books have been done in by bad movie versions, and Shirley Temple did a lot to give Heidi a bad name.Even in 1937, Hollywood couldn't resist the urge to sensationalize an otherwise endearing story. But there's a reason this book has stayed in print for well over a century. Heidi's life on the mountain is vivid and joyous, told with such resonance that children who have the temperament and experience to be able to listen to a story of this length and pacing dream of living in the Alps themselves. Her misery in the city, the middle third of the book, is vivid as well, and readers long with Heidi to get back to the healthy, sun-filled mountains. The final portion, with the healing of Clara, is, despite its predictability, exciting and moving. The rock-solid values the author espouses may seem simple and old-fashioned today, but you may find yourself longing for them again -- and immersing your child in them can only be healthy. This theme of the healing power of nature and optimism was a favorite in an earlier age.Through a mix of good humor, charming behavior, and a positive attitude, Heidi inspires and delights those around her, inspiring her grandfather in particular to give up his taciturn ways. I loved the innocence and faith Heidi had, every time she prayed. Seriously, even though I may not be able to get an original copy of this book, it will definitely remain one of my favorite classics and childhood reads. This little Swiss girl's life in the mountain, and her beautiful tale is one of the most charming tales in children's literature, and one I'll recommend to everyone.Edit: What the hey, this novel has seven books in a series? Ugh, why are authors bent on destroying such classics. "Heidi grows up"? No, thank you.Edit: Oh my Gods, there's an animated serie? Eee, its so cute!Edit:IS SHE A BLONDE OR A BRUNETTE?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Samar Salah

إِنَّ للهَ يُصْلِحُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ بِحَيْثُ لَا يَكُونُ ثَمَّةَ دَاعٍلِلْقَلَقِ. فَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ سَيَكُونُ عَلَى مَا يُرَامُ فِي النِّهَاية


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.


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.

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


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.


THE SUNDAY FAMILY READHeidi was one of my most read books as a child. I think our family owned it so I could just pick it up and read it whenever I wanted to. I remember being entranced by the fact that Heidi's aunt made her wear ALL her clothes so there would be nothing to carry on the journey to Grandfather. It was a hot spring day when Heidi made that first climb up the mountain to her grandfather's cabin. I felt sorry for her being so over-dressed but I knew right away that the aunt was a "bad person."As soon as they got to Grandfather, even though he was thought of as a "bad person," I could tell he was good. It only made the aunt more bad for leaving her niece with someone considered to be dangerous.There you have the wonder of Johanna Spyri's writing. She didn't come right out and say who was bad, good, or otherwise but showed these qualities by her storytelling. Her heavy religious message did not bother me as a child because it fit right in with what I had been taught. It didn't bother me during this rereading either, even when Clara's grandmother was clearly preaching Christian theology, because it is done with so much love and understanding while doing no one any harm.I did notice that the first half of the book is more interesting and exciting while the second half has more lessons, as it were, and gets a bit serious. It turns out that Ms Spyri wrote two books: Heidi's Years of Learning and Travel, then Heidi Make Use of What She Has Learned, later combined into one. Those titles hint at the shift in emphasis. I did always like the first half the most, but remember being so happy when everything turned out well for Heidi, Peter, Clara and all the grandparents. In any case, I loved it just as much as ever, I cried a few times, and was overjoyed to spend time with someone whom I once considered a friend.


Since I was named after this book, I felt I had a special relationship with it from the beginning, and thank God I found it to be a really good book. I love the following comment from another goodreads reader: "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." In fact, Johanna Spyri, for all her occasional proselytizing, had a clear and unsentimental view of people, witness her honest portrayal of Peter and his shortcomings, as well as of the grandfather's positives and negatives, etc. This is what makes the book so richly and honestly rewarding. One irritant for me has always been that many people mention the "sequels" in the same breath with the novel, when they (the sequels) have no more relationship to the original book than a gnat has to a... I don't know, swan? In these sequels, by another author, Heidi is often portrayed as a blonde teenager with braids (the real Heidi had short curly dark hair and eyes) and Peter, who was basically coarse and illiterate (if devoted) becomes her boyfriend!! In the actual book Peter, although three years older or so than Heidi, is deeply attached to her because he recognizes her specialness, but Heidi is never more than casually fond of him in the way you are fond of childhood friends, and no serious fan of the original book could ever believe that they would ever end up together. This is part of the Disneyfication the other reader speaks of, the same quality that transformed Mary Poppins, a tart, borderline unpleasant nanny, into a sappy Julie Andrews character who trills about spoonfuls of sugar and warbles with cartoon birds.


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.

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