Heidi

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Heidi Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Classic story has lost none of its joy and power.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows life in the city and mountains of Switzerland in the late 1800s. 

Positive Messages

Keep a positive attitude, no matter what life throws at you. Being kind to those who are suffering makes you a better, stronger person. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heidi is kind, strong ans resilient. Her grdfather is a hermit, who'd rather live alone but opens up after Hiedi comes to live with him. 

Violence

Heidi's separation from her beloved home and grandfather is upsetting. Peter's jealousy causes him to destroy Clara's wheelchair.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Heidi is a classic story by Swiss author Johanna Spyri, first publiished in 1880. It's beautifully written, but it may not be not to every contemporary kid's taste. It tells the story of an orphaned young girl sent to live with her grandfather in the mountains of Switzerland. It was adapted for a 1937 film starrring Shirley Temple and again in 1993 and 2015. An animated film version was also released in 2015. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byhannah1991 February 20, 2020
Orphaned Heidi is taken to live with her grandfather, a grumpy gentleman. However, the "bond of love" that grows between them is "distrupted... Continue reading
Adult Written byvkirchofer April 9, 2008

Heidi Johanna Sypri-must read for anyone 8 years and up!

It took our family into the adventure of Heidi's life. WE took turns reading to eachother and our youngest who is four loved hearing the story as well! Ver... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old May 28, 2020

So Well Written and Sweet!

I really love this book. I read it for the first time when I was about 8. I found it a little bit confusing at times because it had some words I didn't und... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bygirlygirlygirly April 26, 2019

Amazing book! Very funny and sweet!

Heidi is a wonderful girl where she lives with her grandfather. she is sweet and caring, kind and loving, nice and deeply affects anyone who meets her.

What's the story?

Orphaned Heidi is taken to live with her grandfather, a grumpy hermit. But the bond of love that grows between them is disrupted when Heidi is taken to live in the city as a companion to an invalid girl.

 

Is it any good?

Heidi's life on the mountain is so joyous, and vividly portrayed that kids may end up dreaming of such a life. There's a reason this book has stayed in print for more than 140 years. 

Her misery in the city, during the middle third of the book, is vivid as well, and readers will long with Heidi to get back to the healthy, sun-filled mountains. The final portion, with the healing of Clara, is, despite its predictability, exciting and moving. The rock-solid values the author espouses may seem simple and old-fashioned today, but you may find yourself longing for them again -- and immersing your child in them can only be healthy. This theme of the healing power of nature and optimism was a favorite in an earlier era. This classic story has lost none of its joy and power, but its slow pace and old-fashioned spirit is not for everyone. Young readers who have the temperament and experience to read or listen to a story of this length and pacing will be rewarded. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning from experience in Heidi. What does Heidi learn when she first goes up the mountain?

  • How does Heidi respond to the city, and how is she different when she returns to the mountains?

  • Have you seen any of the film versions of Heidi? How do they compare with the book? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Classics and stories of strong girls

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