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Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates: A Story…

Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland (original 1865; edition 1933)

by Mary Mapes Dodge

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2,598193,324 (3.6)63
Title:Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland
Authors:Mary Mapes Dodge
Info:Goldsmith Pub. Co (1933), Hardcover, 245 pages
Collections:Your library

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Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge (1865)



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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
What a delightful book this is. I am generally disappointed by children’s books, but Mary Mapes Dodge did not talk down to her audience, and as a result the read is enjoyable, even for an adult.

Interestingly enough, I had thought this book was written by a Hollander, but it was written by an American. She obviously wanted her young readers to learn something about a nation that she so clearly admired, so she included a great deal of history, descriptions of customs and well-drawn images of the countryside and the cities. The history was interwoven into the story as a group of boys showed off their land to a visiting English lad. It was done deftly, so that you could learn a great deal without feeling you had just sat through a lecture, and it did not subtract from, but rather added to, the boy’s adventures.

The story at the heart of the book, a tale of a poor but proud family with a seriously ailing father and a race in which the two children, Gretel and Hans compete to win a pair of silver skates, was nothing like the idea that I had harbored over the years. I never read the book as a child, so somewhere along the way I had adopted an erroneous idea of the plot. The actual story was much more complex and far more interesting than the one had imagined.

I’m sure modern children might find this a little old-fashioned, but it was sweet, had a good moral purpose, and would make a worthwhile read for them all the same.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
My kids and I enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book. It was fun hearing references to some of the events we learned about in our history lessons, but even my kids found it a little difficult to believe that the characters were so apt to do the right thing even when it was unpleasant to do so. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Oct 11, 2017 |
Some of the themes in this book: redemption, forgiveness, perseverance, and knowing who you are rather than living by other people's opinion of you. I liked how Mary Mapes Dodge created the conversations between characters. Some of the descriptive parts were a bit long for me.
  MarisaVarley | Sep 24, 2017 |
Hans and Gretel Brinker dream of winning the silver skates offered as first prize in the Great Race on the frozen canals of Broek in Holland
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
This was a more difficult read than I remembered. Perhaps I read an abridged version as a child. I was reminded of Moby Dick in the way that she brought so much nonfiction into the tale. Lots of history. It felt almost like two books, one of Hans Brinker and another of the four boys'adventure. An interesting glimpse of another time and place. Very dry. Good discussion with the Vintage Book Circle. ( )
  njcur | Dec 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Mapes Dodgeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baldridge, Cyrus LeroyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burd, Clara M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carsey, AliceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooke, EdnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, George WhartonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enright, Maginel WrightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galdone, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jameson, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marshall, ChristineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDonough, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spier, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Stockum, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyeth, N. C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my father, James J. Mapes, this book is dedicated in gratitude and love
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On a bright December morning long ago, two thinly clad children were kneeling upon the bank of a frozen canal in Holland.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main entry for Hans Brinker; or, the Silver Skates.

Be careful when combining works with this entry—there are several adaptations of this work, as well as at least one film adaptation, which are not the same as the main work.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689849095, Paperback)

Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates was published in 1865 and received more reviews than any other children's book that year. Today it continues to delight countless readers with its story of a virtuous family who inspires us all to have the courage to pursue our dreams.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:42 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A Dutch brother and sister work toward two goals, finding the doctor who can restore their father's memory and winning the competition for the silver skates.

(summary from another edition)

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