The classic story of the orphan Heidi has delighted children for years, and this abridgement will be no exception. Heidi has been cared for by her Aunt Dete. When Dete gets a new job, she is no longer able to care for Heidi, so she takes Heidi to her grandfather in the mountains. In the fresh mountain air of the Swiss countryside, Heidi grows into a strong young girl. She and her grandfather are happy, to everyone's surprise, until it is time for her to go to school. Her grandfather refuses to move to the village to allow her to learn and be around other children, so Aunt Dete returns to take Heidi to be a companion for Clara, an invalid girl in Frankfurt. Heidi and Clara become fast friends, but their guardian, Miss Rottenmeier, is cold and strict. Heidi becomes very homesick for Grandfather and her mountains. Finally, she is sent home. Clara comes to visit, and the fresh mountain air, sunshine, and warm goat's milk bring Clara back to health. Grandfather agrees to live in the village in the winter so that Heidi can go to school. Everyone is glad to see him again and happy to see how Heidi's love has changed him. The illustrations detail the emotions of the story, while keeping the tone of the original text intact. The language conveys the feel of the original well, but is understandable for today's readers and well-written at a fourth grade reading level. The design will attract readers of that age group who are not yet ready for the original. The intended interest level reaches up to ninth grade; however, the illustrations and the ribbon marker, that will be so attractive to the younger readers, will most likely seem juvenile to these older readers.
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann