At nine o'clock one evening a very shy-appearing little girl stepped off the train at the big station in Lausanne.
Heidi Grows Up is the sequel to Heidi by Johanna Spyri written by Spyri's translator, Charles Tritten. The novel covers Heidi's teen years, for the most part. Readers briefly see a fourteen-year-old Heidi attend a French school. She meets other girls her own age and makes a few good friends. Her best friend being a girl named Jamy. The focus is on her first semester at school and her first summer vacation back home. The novel then speeds ahead to when Heidi has finished her schooling and is ready to teach school in the local village school. There readers are treated to learning about her first year as a teacher. We see her successes and failures as a teacher. We see her stand up to the school warden, and battle some of the bigger problems in the education department.
But Heidi Grows Up is still very much a sweet family story. We see a tender, loving Heidi who always knows what is most important in life. We see Heidi devoted and loyal as ever to her grandfather, to the doctor, to Peter, and even to the goats. One cute scene--early on in the novel--is when Heidi is praying. She's lifting her concerns for God and praying for those she loves best. And...at the end...she mentions each of the village goats by name. Yes, there's something very simple--and very pleasant--about this story.
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews