Hans Brinker Or the Silver Skates

Mary Mapes Dodge
Dover Publications
Number of pages: 
288 pages
Grade / Age level: 

Hans Brinker is a story designed to bring children of the 19th century (from around the world) an understanding and appreciation of the culture, traditions and history of Holland. The story focuses on the Brinker family. Ten years before the story begins, the father was seriously injured working on the dikes (which keep the water out of the reclaimed land of Holland), leaving him with the intelligence of a small child. Mrs. Brinker struggles to meet ends while remaining faithful to her husband's wish to never sell a watch he had given her. The two children, Hans and Gretel, are shunned by many at school for their shabby clothing. Meanwhile the story develops with a number of Hans' schoolmates who take a skating trip along the frozen canals through several important Dutch cities. The boys visit various churches and museums, allowing the reader to be impressed by many interesting tidbits from Holland's history. In the end, Mrs. Brinker and her family's perserverance faithfulness is greatly rewarded. A heartwarming classic tale and a great read-aloud for the family.

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