Cover image for Heidi
Spyri, Johanna, 1827-1901.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : W. Morrow, [1996]

Physical Description:
383 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
A Swiss orphan is heartbroken when she must leave her beloved grandfather and their happy home in the mountains to go to school and to care for an invalid girl in the city.
Reading Level:
960 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 3-5 7.9 15 Quiz: 05099.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



First published in 1880, Heidi introduces young readers and listeners to one of the most charming young heroines ever.

This beautiful, stirring novel tells of five-year-old Heidi, an orphan sent to live high up in the mountains with her cantankerous grandfather. Sweet-natured Heidi soon wins her grandfather's heart and makes friends with the lively young goatherd, Peter. Her newfound happiness ends quickly, however, when Heidi's aunt, Dete, takes her off to the city of Frankfurt to be a companion to a sickly child. Finally Heidi is restored to her Alpine home. And when her new friend, Clara, joins her in the mountains, Heidi's innocent charm and the majestic beauty of the Alps combine to work a healing miracle.

This edition of Heidi features ten gorgeous color plates and twenty-three black-and-white drawings by Jessie Willcox Smith. Smith's sumptuous pictures capture all the joy of this beloved classic, from the splendor of Switzerland's mighty Alps to the subdued drama of Clara's upper-class Frankfurt home to the exhilarating pleasure of an Alpine sleigh ride.

Now a whole new generation of young readers can fall under the enchanting spell that Heidi has cast for more than a century

Author Notes

Johanna Spyri was born in the village of Hirzel, Switzerland on June 12, 1827. She was tutored at home and attended school both at home and in Zurich. She married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer, in 1852 and moved to Zurich. She wrote her first story, A Leaf on Vrony's Grave, in 1871. She wrote numerous stories for both children and adults, but her most famous work was Heidi, which was published in 1880. Both her husband and son died in 1884. She spent her remaining years writing, raising her niece, and doing charity work. She died on July 7, 1901.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Spyri's classic gets a pared-down retelling in this picture-book adaptation aimed at younger audiences. The straightforward, descriptive narrative moves briskly through Heidi's arrival at Grandfather's cabin, her time with wheelchair-bound Klara in Frankfurt, her homesickness, and then her happy return to Grandfather's Swiss mountain home. The text includes many of the story's original elements, but there are some puzzling omissions; it's never mentioned that Heidi is an orphan, for example. With such a short length, the story has some abrupt transitions, including the characters' shifting attitudes and emotions, as in Grandfather's sudden change from grumpy to kind. In another scene, Peter, jealous of Klara, tosses her wheelchair off a cliff, but the action is glossed over as the story rushes to its happy ending. The colorful, soft illustrations depict Heidi in the idyllic, Alpine landscapes and upscale mansions, filled with period details. While it is certainly no substitute for the original, this slender offering is an accessible, visually appealing introduction to the classic story and its endearing, enduring main character.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2009 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Listeners will enjoy this sunny version of the 19th century classic by Johanna Spyri. This story has been a favorite for more than a century, and the fresh format should be well-received by a new generation of children. The abridgement is well done, streamlining the storyline for modern ears but leaving in all the essential plot elements. British actress Teresa Gallagher has all the characters' voices well in hand, making it easy to discern their different personalities. She is supported by interludes of appropriate 19th century classical music that provides occasional breaks in the action and lends authenticity to the performance. A simple story that takes place in the Swiss Alps, Heidi goes up into the mountain to live with Grandfather, a gruff old man with a heart of gold, and spends many idyllic days helping Peter the goatherd. She is sent to Frankfurt to be a companion to Clara, an invalid girl, but is so homesick that she returns to Grandfather and her beloved mountain. Eventually Clara comes to visit and learns to walk. This classic will continue to delight youngsters.-Maura Martin Smith, Somerset Elementary School, Shawnee Mission, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Heidi had never felt so happy in her life before. She drank in the golden sunlight, the fresh air, the sweet smell of the flowers, and wished for nothing better than to remain there forever. So the time went on, while to Heidi, who had so often looked up from the valley at the mountains above, these seemed now to have faces, and to be looking down at her like old friends.-- HeidiFew heroines are more beloved than Heidi, the spirited orphan who wins the hearts of her gruff grandfather, her lively friend Peter, and the lonely invalid, Clara.This story has been a favorite for more than a century.-- School Library Journal Excerpted from Heidi by Johanna Spyri All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Going Up to the Alm-Uncle
Good Deeds
The Visit