Heidi Book Summary

by Johanna Spyri18


Heidi is a beloved children's novel about a young orphan girl who brings joy to her reclusive grandfather in the Swiss Alps and later befriends a disabled girl in Frankfurt.

Cover of Heidi Book Summary

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What is Heidi about

Heidi, written by Johanna Spyri in 1881, is a classic children's novel that tells the story of a young orphan sent to live with her reclusive grandfather in the Swiss Alps. Initially wary of her presence, the grandfather soon grows to love Heidi for her innocence and intelligence. The story takes a turn when Heidi is taken to Frankfurt to be a companion to Clara, a disabled girl. Set against the backdrop of beautiful landscapes and the contrast between country and city life, Heidi explores themes of faith, friendship, and the importance of home.

Heidi 5 Key Takeaways

Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather.

Heidi's aunt Dete brings her to the Swiss Alps to live with her reclusive grandfather, known as the Alm-Uncle. Initially, he is resistant to Heidi's presence, but he soon warms up to her.

Heidi forms bonds with the neighboring family.

Despite not being allowed to attend school, Heidi befriends Peter, a young goatherd, and his family. They accept her as one of their own, and her life becomes filled with newfound joy and friendship.

Heidi is taken to Frankfurt.

Heidi's aunt Dete returns and takes her to Frankfurt to serve as a companion to Clara, a wealthy yet crippled girl. This drastic change introduces Heidi to a new set of challenges and friendships.

Heidi and Clara become fast friends.

In Frankfurt, Heidi and Clara quickly form a close bond. Through their companionship, Heidi learns to read, write, and delve into the teachings of Christianity, but she longs for her life in the Swiss Alps.

Heidi returns to the Alps.

Heidi's homesickness grows unbearable, and she eventually returns to her beloved mountains and grandfather. The story culminates with Clara visiting Heidi and experiencing the healing power of the Alps.

Heidi Best Reviews

  • The New York Times describes Heidi as 'a timeless tale that continues to resonate with readers of all ages,' emphasizing the book’s enduring appeal and its touching narrative.
  • The Guardian praises Spyri's ability to 'bring the Swiss landscape to life' and highlights the novel's 'beautiful depiction of friendship and faith.'

Top Heidi Quotes

  • “Oh, it’s so lovely to be up in the mountains!”
  • “I want to go about like the light-footed goats.”

Who should read Heidi?

Heidi is perfect for children aged 6 and up who enjoy outdoor adventures and stories of friendship and personal growth. Adults will also find it a heartwarming read, filled with timeless lessons on faith, belonging, and the healing power of nature.

About the Author

Johanna Spyri was a Swiss author best known for her children's book Heidi. Born in 1827, Spyri drew inspiration from her rural upbringing in Switzerland to create vivid and memorable stories. Heidi remains her most famous work, having been translated into numerous languages and adapted into various films, TV series, and animations. Spyri's contributions to children's literature have left an enduring legacy, making her one of the most celebrated authors in the genre.

Heidi FAQs

What is the story of the book Heidi about?

Heidi is about a young girl named Heidi who goes to the Swiss countryside to live with her grandfather. She eventually travels to Germany to be a companion for another girl, Clara, who needs a wheelchair to move around.

Is it worth it to read Heidi?

Yes, Heidi is a marvelous book and will probably be delighting children for centuries. The story is heartwarming and teaches lessons about friendship, faith, and the importance of home.

What age is the book Heidi appropriate for?

Heidi is suitable for children aged 6 and up. It can be read to younger children who enjoy stories about the outdoors, or older children can read it themselves.