Although I didn’t post my list earlier for the Classics Club Spin #25, I did read the book that corresponded to the number chosen. That book was Heidi, by Johanna Spyri. It was another book I had missed reading when I was growing up. Of course, I loved the movie starring Shirley Temple, but for some reason, I never read the book. I do love going back and reading the books I missed over the years! And this book was a sweet one.
Summary from the publisher:
When Heidi, a cheerful 5-year-old orphan, comes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, she brings a bright ray of sunshine into the lives of the people around her. Young Peter, a goatherd, shares her love of nature, and his blind grandmother delights in the little girl’s bubbling personality. Even Heidi’s surly and hermit-like grandfather, the old Alm-Uncle, finds his long-lost grandchild a source of immense pleasure.
A few years later, when she is forced go to Frankfurt to serve as a companion for Klara, a well-to-do but sickly girl, Heidi must leave her beloved mountains and friends behind—an experience that proves highly traumatic to the innocent and sensitive little girl. But her return home and a visit from Klara result in magical moments that will leave young readers thoroughly captivated by this heartwarming tale of an unforgettable child and her effect on the people around her.
Some favorite quotes from the book:
- “Let’s enjoy the beautiful things we can see, my dear, and not think about those we cannot.”
- “The fire in the evening was the best of all. Peter said is wasn’t fire, but he couldn’t tell me what it really was. You can though, Grandfather, can’t you?’ ‘It’s the sun’s way of saying goodnight to the mountains’ he explained. ‘He spreads that beautiful light over them so that they won’t forget him till he comes back in the morning.”
And some teacher humor that caught my eye:
“My tutor is very kind, and never cross, and he will explain everything to you. But mind, when he explains anything to you, you won’t be able to understand; but don’t ask any questions, or else he will go on explaining and you will understand less than ever. Later when you have learnt more and know about things yourself, then you will begin to understand what he meant.”
As I said before, it was a sweet book. Heidi was one of those wonderfully strong, free-spirited, deeply caring girls that I loved to read about in stories like Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it…and now I’d like to find the Shirley Temple movie and watch it again!
Heidi was one of my choices for my 50-books-in-5-years for The Classics Club.
I chose this book to read for my personal challenge, “Wanderlust: Reading the World,” an effort to read books that are from or take place in each country of the world. This was a book based in Switzerland.