Monday, January 24, 2011


One of my favorite things about having a fourth-grader is rediscovering classics I loved as a young girl. When my daughter read Johanna Spyri's classic, Heidi, I decided to reread it too. I was pleasantly surprised by both the characterization, and the Christian message.

When orphaned Heidi is sent to live with her reclusive grandfather, the townspeople shake their heads in dismay. They never dream the five-year-old will thrive in the Swiss mountains, running with the goats and breathing the Alpine air. It comes as a shock to everyone when Heidi's aunt returns three years later and demands she live in town as a companion to an invalid. Although Heidi loves Klara, learns to read and gains civilized manners, she is terribly homesick. She loses weight and eventually begins sleepwalking. Klara's grandmamma teaches Heidi to pray and trust Jesus, and soon, He answers her prayers. Klara's father realizes Heidi's health is suffering and returns her to the Alps.

After she returns home, Heidi wastes no time in leading her bitter grandfather to Christ. She is also a delight to her friend, Peter, and his blind grandmother. Heidi receives visitors from town, including her doctor and Klara's family. In the ultimate happy ending, Heidi and her grandfather teach Klara to walk.

What I Like: Heidi's empathetic, gentle spirit, combined with her determination, are very inspiring. Heidi strives to do the right thing, and never gives up. She genuinely loves the people she meets and has a way of showing them the light of Christ.

I also like the way Klara's grandmamma teaches Heidi about Jesus. He is a friend to her, and she shows the girls how to be friends with Him as well.

Heidi's adventures, both in the Alps and in town, are, by turns, funny, unexpected, and heart-warming.

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: 8-12, though younger children may enjoy an abridged version

Publisher Info: Dover Publications, 2000; ISBN: 978-0486412351 ; Paperback, 279 pages, $3.99

Buy it Now at for $3.99

OR Buy it at for $4.00.

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Kristina Seleshanko said...

Thanks for this, Erin. We've had HEIDI in our "to read" pile forever. I just moved it to the top :)