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4.6 out of 5 stars233
4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is probably the best, and definitely the most read tale by Johanna Spyri. This is also the original and only Heidi tale by the author, there are at least two other Heidi books, but these were not written by, or endorsed by Johanna Spyri.

I must admit that when I was little I did see an adaptation of this on tv, but it was always much more popular with my little sister, so seeing this was free, I thought why not give it a go. If you have never read this before, I should warn you that there is a strong Christian ethos at times in this tale, but not overbearingly so. Heidi is an orphan, and when her aunt gets the chance of a good job she leaves Heidi with her grandfather, a man living in isolation from the rest of the town, in the mountains. Living there, she makes friends with Peter the goatherd, and his family, and surprisingly lives an idyllic life.

When her aunt returns on the scene, it is to take Heidi away to Germany, where she wants to use her to advance her own position, but although making friends, Heidi yearns for the Alps. Full of little adventures and incidents, wherever Heidi goes she is bound to make friends. Getting into all kinds of scrapes, but not out of any mischeiviousness, this is a tale that still appeals to little girls especially, but it is still very readable for adults. If you haven't read this for ages, then why not try it again, and if you have never read it before like me, then you may find that you are easily immersed in the tale.
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on 20 September 2011
Having recently been in the mountains, I was reminded of the book "Heidi" that I read when I was a little girl. I remembered too the tv series/film and resolved to get hold of a copy and read it again on my return home.

I'm delighted that I did. I loved this book and, after a period of some 36 years, it has lost none of its charm. This is truly a children's classic but also for adults too. The description of the mountains, the seasons, of nature in all its glory and the childish joy of seeing wonderous sights brought me so much joy and stayed with me for some time after I had read the last page.

It's free, seriously there is no reason not to get this book and read it.
Take yourself to an age of innocence and charm. You will be rewarded.
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on 13 November 2011
Although it is many years since I read this book, I was slightly disappointed with this version of the story. My book (which still have a copy) was re printed by Puffin in 1962 translated by Eileen Hall from the German. It goes into more detail for instant this books starts "From the old and pleasantly situated village of Mayenfeld a footpath winds through green and shady meadows to the foot of the mountains" my copy starts "The pretty little Swiss town of Mayenfeld lies at the foot of a mountain range, whose grim rugged peaks tower high above the valley below". If allowed, I would be quite willing to type my version for people to read.
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on 5 August 2011
Heidi is one of the classics that I had read as a child. I noticed the Kindle edition and could not resist rereading it. Well...I enjoyed it, it is not my favourite of the classics but was worth reading once more.
Heidi as a child is taken to her Grandfather who lives by himself on a mountain. He is considered grumpy but Heidi manages to open up his heart and bring the good out of him. Later she is taken away to Frankfurt to be a friend to a "crippled" girl and becomes very homesick and finally is sent back to her mountains. Wherever she goes Heidi brings a change for the better in some people.
What struck me reading this as an adult is Heidi's "awe" and her love of the beauty in nature and of the small things in life.
TBR again as an adult if you enjoyed as a child.
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on 10 January 2013
I was revisiting this book which was a favourite from my childhood.
I read it avidly again and had trouble putting it down even though I knew the story well. The characters are so vividly drawn so that their trials and tribulations are keenly felt by the reader.
There was too a deeper resonance for me because I have now seen some of the landscapes described in the book and realised just how good was the description of the scenic beauty of the Alm.
My only surprise was how very religious it was in places therefore it came across as very earnest at times so that I felt that a modern day child might struggle to understand or enjoy these parts. I did not remember the very religious passages and was surprised that they had not remained in my recollection of the book.
It is a long time since I read it and perhaps it did not come across as "old fashioned" in the fifties or prhaps I just skipped them!
I did enjoy the book though and look forward to re-reading the sequels.
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on 16 October 2015
Heidi is a beautiful story. This particular edition (with a thick red banner across the bottom) is not. I purchased it as a present but it is not suitable to give. It looks cheap, and is extremely unattractively set out. Had I scrolled down the bottom of the page I would have seen a far nicer edition and purchased that instead. I would strongly recommend reading Heidi - even as an adult - but not this edition which takes some of the magic and beauty of the story away.
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on 3 March 2016
'Heidi' is the story of a young girl who goes to live with her grandfather who lives up a mountain in Switzerland.

I never read 'Heidi' at school or when I was younger so I decided that I would give it a try as an adult. It was an interesting tale but I couldn't help but feel that I would have liked it a lot better when I was younger.

The setting was what I liked most about the book, as it sounded so beautiful. I could imagine it all and wanted to go there. The story was ok, but I found it slow in places. I was glad it changed after a few chapters when Heidi went to live with Clara as I thought it was going to repeat itself. I liked the ending and liked how everything came good in the end.

I don't think you could pick a favourite amongst these characters because I never loved any of them. Heidi was ok, and I felt sorry for her at the begining when she had to go and live with her grandfather. But, I felt she didn't seem real as a character.

Her grandfather though was the biggest shock out of all the characters because I was expecting someone who wouldn't want Heidi. But Alm-Uncle, (as he is known in the village) turned out to be a very nice man who loved Heidi very much. You could see that by his reaction when Heidi goes to live with Clara for a bit. You could also tell that he cared about animals by the way his goats had been looked after. I felt he had been judged by all the people in the village.

Her auntie Detie is the only character that I didn't like because it didn't seem as though she really cared about Heidi at all. She seemed to only use Heidi to get what she wanted. Peter, I liked and you could see that he liked having Heidi around when they went up the mountain with the goats. I liked how there friendship developed from the day Heidi came to the very end.

Overall, it was a good story that I would recommend for younger readers.
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on 13 February 2013
I had fond memories but clearly very vague memories of reading Heidi when I was younger. I vividly remember her descriptions of the mountain, and the relationship she had with her grandfather. What I had forgotten, or more likely didn't notice as a young child were the religious undertones the story is speckled with, especially in her relationship with Peter's grandmother.
All the same, I was hooked. Heidi is fundamentally an effortless simple tale that charts a child's simple love of nature and family. Well worth a re-read as a grown up!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 March 2014
I read this book when I was a child and was completely captivated by it. Heidi is an orphan who has been brought up by an aunt. She is only five when she is brought to live with her lonely and embittered grandfather, who lives alone on a Swiss mountain. She makes friends with Peter, a young goatherd, and his mother and blind grandmother and is loved by all.
However, three years later, the aunt insists that Heidi must become companion to wealthy Clara Sesemann, in the city. The housekeeper is cruel to her and Heidi is very homesick. She learns to read, longing for home on the alp and hoping one day to read to Peter's blind grandmother. Clara's kind grandmother teaches Heidi that she can pray when she is unhappy.
Heidi is so homesick that she becomes ill and is sent home. There, she tells her grandfather that God will receive him and he attends church for the first time in years, welcomed by everyone. When Clara visits Heidi, she grows stronger in the mountain air and good food and she learns to walk again, to the joy of her parents.
There is a strong Christian message in the book, which may or may not put some people off. Most people know the story, but this charming book is still well worth reading. It deals in the true values of life and with how to live meaningfully even in the face of loneliness and suffering. It is also humorous and very human. Delightful!
.
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on 4 March 2015
I just came across this because i'd seen the 'google doodle' about the 100th anniversary of the birth of Laura Ingalls Wilder (i think that was the occasion - it was definitely about her). i went to amazon to see if her books were available on kindle - they're not. but in looking for those, i came across this. It was FREE, so why not read it.

I actually enjoyed it. What i liked was the portrait (albeit limited) of life in 19th C Switzerland primarily. The descriptions of the houses, food, and daily life - obviously from the perspectives of the characters - were very interesting. (their attitudes towards bread, milk and cheese as primary dietary sources is amazing - not a vegetable in sight!).

Another reviewer mentioned the 'christian' point of view. Yes that's there, but i saw more of 'god' rather than any explicit christian ideology - however obviously that was the perspective. What i think more than anything is that the writing about theological issues just reflects the attitudes of the time - or perhaps the 'ideal' attitudes. I regarded it as every bit an artifact of the context (19thC western Europe) as the descriptions of the other elements in the story.

Anyway, for the price, you can't go wrong!
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