Monday, April 18, 2011

by Johanna Spyri

Heidi, aka The Mountains Aren’t Handicap Accessible, is the story of an orphaned 5-year-old who’s dropped at her recluse grandfather’s home in the Swiss mountains. Her sunny demeanor changes everyone around her. From her cranky grandpa to Peter the goat-herd to a blind elderly woman, she cheers up everyone she meets.

She’s the picture of innocence and optimism. Her naïve view of the world encourages others and gives them hope. She’s a bit of a Pollyanna and finds her greatest satisfaction in doing things for others.

Soon after moving to the mountains she’s sent off to Frankfurt, Germany to live as a companion to Klara, a rich girl who is confined to a wheelchair. She finds herself battling an overwhelming homesickness for her life in the mountains and detests city life.

It’s a good story, but Heidi is just so sweet. That’s not a bad thing it just meant there wasn’t much to dig my teeth into. I think this would be a perfect book to read with kids, although it was much longer than I expected it to be (almost 300 pages).

“How good it is that the dear Lord doesn’t give us what we pray so terribly hard for when He knows of something much better.”


Jeanne said...

I could never get my kids to read this, and now I think they're already too old and cynical (at 15 and 17)! I should have read it out loud to them when they were 8-10.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - I wish I'd read this around the same time I read The Secret Garden and The Little Princess (8 to 9ish). I think I would have liked it more. I do think it's hard to connect with such a sweet book when you've grown more cynical.

Darlene Messenger said...

Let me just say, I like to find a fellow book reviewer/blogger who can connect with her childhood classics. I've been reviewing so many recent works, I just had to pick up 'Little Women' and curl up for an hour or so. You inspire me to write better reviews and read more for the sheer pleasure of it. Thanks

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Darlene - Thank you for your kind words! I'm all about reading books that you love. It's hard to balance that with new releases when everything is being hyped, but it makes it much more fun.

Nancy said...

Awww, Heidid! Why didn't I read this to MY kids? Now I want to read it againg.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nancy - I'm already making list of books to read my kids... and I don't have any. I just keep thinking how wonderful it would be to re-read certain books again and share them with kids.

Bybee said...

I always wanted to try goat cheese after reading the Heidi books...yes...there's Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's children, too!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bybee - I saw those sequels, but they were by a different author. I wondered how they matched up to the original.