One of my favorite books when I was a little girl was Heidi. I even enjoyed the Shirley Temple movie version of the story, even though it was not that close to the original.
For my tenth birthday, I received Heidi Grows Up. It was so much fun to read Tritten's continuation of the beloved story.
I had no idea that there was a second sequel until about four months ago when I read Barbara Fisher's March House blog, highlighting her latest find, Heidi's Children. While I couldn't afford to send to England for Ms. Fisher's pristine copy, I did find an old,beat-up library copy in readable condition, for dirt cheap on Amazon.
This book is just as sweet and wholesome as its predecessors. There is a strong Christian theme running throughout which I found comforting rather than preachy.
Marta, Jamy's sister, is an anxious child, prone to bouts of hysteria. She is unsure of herself and her place in the world since the grandmother who raised her has died and her parents are wealthy party people.
Heidi and her grandfather try to teach Marta the power of prayer as well as two phrases which really rang home with me, "Have courage" and "Be ready to forgive!" If you have been following this blog for awhile, you may remember that I have struggled with both of these issues (The Year of No Fear, My One Word for 2013: Courage). It was nice to see a fresh reminder from so many years ago!!
I think this book (in fact, all 3 of them) would be a fine addition to any pre-teen's library. The beautiful descriptions of the Swiss countryside, combined with the look inside Heidi's family, make for a charming piece of historical children's literature. I give Heidi's Children four milk cans!!!