'I would rather be with my grandfather on the Alp than anywhere on earth!'
When Heidi is sent to live in the Swiss mountains with her bad-tempered old Grandfather, everyone in the village feels sorry for her. What will a little girl do in such an isolated home, and with such a grumpy companion? But Heidi soon discovers a secret: Grandfather isn't nearly as cross as he looks - plus she can play all day in the fields among the bright flowers. But then Heidi is whisked away again to be a companion to a injured girl in the city. She longs for her beautiful mountain home - how will she ever get back again?
BACKSTORY: Find out which character you most resemble and try out some Heidi-inspired activities!
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The narrative is so simple, yet so evocative that you can almost smell the Alpine trees...It was one of the first books to celebrate the way children see the world around them and was intended, according to Spyri, as 'a story for children and those who love children'. - Daily Mail
The story of the orphan sent to live with her grandfather on his alp, her stay in Frankfurt and triumphant homecoming is, arguably, more popular with the world's children, than the Harry Potter series - Daily Telegraph
Like Huck Finn and Harry Potter, Heidi is an orphan in a strange, foreign world who overcomes obstacles, remains strong and good-humoured and evokes emotions and sympathies that children can relate to - Independent on Sunday
Many a childhood vision of the Alps was founded on the nineteeth-century Swiss classic - Guardian
So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics! - National Association for the Teaching of English
Johanna Spyri was born in a country village in Switzerland in 1827. Her father was a doctor and she had five brothers and sisters. Later she moved to the capital Zurich to go to school and she eventually settled there with her husband Bernhard,who was a lawyer. Johanna began writing in 1871 and wrote many stories which quickly became very popular. Her husband and son both died tragically in 1884, but Johanna consoled herself with charity work and writing, as well as looking after her orphaned niece. She died in her Swiss village home in 1903. Heidi is Johanna Spyri's best known and most popular novel - it has been translated from German into over fifty languages and over fifty million copies have been sold worldwide.