Heidi by Johanna Spyri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this to audition the next book for my granddaughter's homeschool. This is not the translation I read, but it is just as delightful as it was so many years ago. Five year old Heidi has been brought up the mountain by her aunt to be cared for by her curmudgeon grandfather. He sees his duty and takes the child in. She is so delightful, and so appreciative of her splendid new Alpine home that he comes to love her, as do the rest of the people in her new world. She goes to the Alpine pastures with Peter the goatherd and visits his blind grandmother. All is idyllic when Dete comes back for Heidi and takes her to Hamburg to live with a wealthy gentleman to be a companion for his invalid daughter. Clara is delighted with Heidi and all her madcap adventures, but Heidi is so homesick, she becomes physically ill. She is returned to the Alps and the story comes to a very satisfying conclusion.
Today this unsophisticated story with all it's emphasis on morality and duty seems old fashioned, but I realized how much has been left out of modern day's children who get their role models on TV from characters like the Simpsons. Children need this kind of simple devotion to God, duty and the benefits of leading a faithful and good life. Sure there are people like the Simpsons, but why hold them up as an example? There is so much to be learned by these old tales of virtue rewarded and happy endings.
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