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Orphan Heidi is abandoned by her cousin and foisted onto her mean Grandfather who lives all alone on a mountain. Her various adventures as she betters everybody who comes into contact with her.
I actually read this because I didn’t have any other paper books that I wanted to read at the time.
It is the classic story (Spyri lived back in the mid 1800’s] about a young orphan girl who simply transforms everyone she comes into contact with. Think Swiss Pollyana.
My first reaction was “oh boy, saccharine out the wazoo!”, but as I kept reading, I found Heidi not to be saccharine, but an agent of change. In many ways, she is in the background while the side characters stand out for a couple of chapters. But her presence is always there, making their life better, if even in ways that they are not aware of.
I also liked the acknowledgement that “good” doesn’t simply happen. It has an Author.
I could see reading this book to a younger child, a chapter or two a night until it was done. None of the plot points are overly drawn out or tedious and everything seems to be “chunked up” into just the right size for someone with a smaller attention span, ie kids.
But it is a sweet story for adults too. After the grime and grit of a lot of modern SFF [which is what I mainly read], or even the hard realities presented by authors like Austen or Dickens, this was like eating an orange: sweet and yummy and good for you.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Author: Johanna Spyri