Heidi – Johanna Spyri

heidi-johanna-spyri-paperback-cover-artA beautiful children’s book about a girl who heals a cripple while trying to soothe her loneliness by getting back to her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. The novel was published in 1879 yet remains accessible even today.  Heidi, an orphan, lives with her Aunt Dete, but Dete wants a career.  So, she takes Heidi to stay with the Grandfather, an old man living in an alpine cottage far from the village below. He’s kind, but mistrusts people and won’t send Heidi to school.  Instead, she goes to the pastures with Peter, a shepherd boy.  Heidi’s alpine idyll comes to an end when Aunt Dete finds a better situation for her in Frankfurt as a companion to Clara, the crippled daughter of a rich family.  Heidi does well, but she doesn’t like the strict discipline, personified by the governess, Fraulein Rottenmeier.  It’s only after getting ill from homesickness, that she is allowed to return to the Grandfather.  Clara visits Heidi.  Peter is jealous.  In a fit of rage, he destroys Clara’s wheelchair, which forces her to walk.  Everyone is happy.

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