Read Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge Online


"Gretel looked at her mother in troubled silence, wondering whether it were very wicked to care more for one parent than for the other-and sure, yes, quite sure, that she dreaded her father, while she clung to her mother with a love that was almost idolatry." from Hans Brinker A beloved childhood favorite for a century and a half-and a book that readers continue to enjoy a"Gretel looked at her mother in troubled silence, wondering whether it were very wicked to care more for one parent than for the other-and sure, yes, quite sure, that she dreaded her father, while she clung to her mother with a love that was almost idolatry." from Hans Brinker A beloved childhood favorite for a century and a half-and a book that readers continue to enjoy and appreciate long into adulthood. Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates went through more than 100 editions during the author's lifetime alone. First published in 1865, this replica of the 1917 edition features the exquisite illustrations by Alice Carsey, whose sensitive eye and delicate pen-and-ink lines enliven the tale of the poor but virtuous Dutch boy in a way that few other artists have achieved. This replica edition brings the enchanting work of Dodge and Carsey to a new generation of children. Author and editor Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905) was born in New York City. She served as editor of the children's magazine St. Nicholas, to which she attracted such writers as Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Rudyard Kipling. She also authored the short-fiction collection Irvington Stories (1864)....

Title : Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596056664
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 244 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates Reviews

  • Sara
    2018-11-25 21:10

    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.

  • Heather
    2018-12-09 01:48

    I'm reading this to decide if it gets to stay with me or not. I have a very, very bad (or maybe good) habit of buying books I haven't read because I've heard they're good. Or I want to read them. Or they're on sale. This was one such book. 'Hey, everyone has read Hans Brinker, I should too.'Thus far I'm really liking it so maybe it was a good thing I bought it (several years ago and am just now getting around to it).September 20, 2009 - I finished! Yes, it took me much longer to read than normal, but I only read it when I was upstairs, with nothing to do, which pretty much never happens.I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet and nice and gentle but didn't feel all girly and foofy. I think my boys will like it. You learn a lot about Holland and about history along the way. The story plot is interesting and the characters intriguing. There isn't a lot of character development, but you still get a pretty good feel for them and most of them are just such good, decent, kind people that you love them even if you don't know much about them.I think we'll read this when we study Holland. And it will get to stay with me.

  • GoldGato
    2018-11-18 00:55

    Luxuries unfit us for returning to hardships easily endured before.That is one of the little gems which pop up throughout this classic book of children's literature. Published in 1865, it was second only to Dickens that year in sales. Written by an American who had never been to the Netherlands before the book was written, it has, apparently, been a much-loved book handed down through the generations. Although I come from Flemish/Dutch ancestry, this book was unknown in my family, perhaps because it is truly an American invention. Indeed, it even contains the story of the Little Boy And The Dike (not Hans Brinker), which is also a pure American legend attributed to the Dutch. Strange.Hans is a very poor boy who lives with his mother and little sister in a run-down hovel. They used to have a middle class life with a healthy father, but he fell off a dike and hurt his head. Comatose, he is of no use to the family who must rely on poor Hans for any income he can provide. The Silver Skates are the prize to be rewarded to the fastest boy and girl in the Dutch speed races on the frozen canals. Hans really wants those skates, but his love of family comes first.Although Hans Brinker is the title character, much of the book is given to the journey of a group of local well-to-do boys who skate through the towns, providing a narrative of the various Dutch museums, Dutch traditions, and Dutch food for the reader. It all eventually comes back to the little poor family and the quest for a happy ending.I really enjoyed reading this book and its various descriptions....we Americans, who after all are homeopathic preparations of Holland stock...ANDThe Dutch have always been forced to pump for their very existence and probably must continue to do so to the end of time.The frightening possibility of being flooded in the middle of the night is never forgotten here, as the tragic floods of the past are mentioned. There's also the tale of the Rasphouse, which was a cell for lazy prisoners. Into this tiny space would pour a steady stream of water and the prisoner would have to pump constantly to keep himself from drowning. Very interesting.Mostly, I loved the family spirit and the steady get-through-the-day background which also permeated my own parents. 'Little and often soon fills the pouch' was a motto for my mother, that is, don't get seduced by the fast American lifestyle, just live the simple life and save for the future. I like that. My klompen still go out every December 6th, albeit with Flemish, not Dutch, tokens.As Samuel Butler versed,A land that rides at anchor, and is moor'dIn which they do not live, but go aboard.Book Season = Winter (frozen waterways)

  • Μαριάννα
    2018-12-01 19:59

    Το κοριτσακι με το άσχημο , φτωχικό παιδικό περιβάλλον, με εναν πατερα βαριά άρρωστο που βγαινει πρωτο σε παγοδρομίες και βαζει κατω τις σνομπ γνωστες της με τα λεφτα και τα φτιασίδια, ένα υπεροχο βιβλίο! Κερδίζει το έπαθλο σε πείσμα όλων και ας μάχεται με τις πιο αντίξοες συνθήκες !ψυχη,γενναιοτητα,ηθος!

  • Ilona
    2018-12-04 18:59

    This is one of the greatest books for children I've ever met. Indeed you won't meet such books nowadays, not with such a beautiful language and such good lessons to teach. I've read Hans Brinker twice. The first time was when I was 11 or 12 and it impressed me so much that till now it is the second association with Holland for me (after the tulips :))So when this year I was searching for something to read during the Christmastime and occasionally saw the title among the list of other Christmas books on some website I had no doubts I should reread it. Now I'd like to offer a list of reasons why I believe this book to be a must-read for children in particular and for anyone else who wants to remember his\her childhood:1. As I've already put it the language is really beautiful, but at the same time it's simple enough for children to understand. here I'd like to stress that you'll like this book much more if you have a good imagination for the innumerable descriptions are aimed to satisfy it and enable you to see everything with the eyes of your own. Here is the one I personally liked most of all:"Some one was playing upon the organ. As the boys entered, a swell of sound rushed forth to meet them. It seemed to bear them, one by one, into the shadows of the building.Louder and louder it grew until it became like the din and roar of some mighty tempest, or like the ocean surging upon the shore. In the midst of the tumult a tinkling bell was heard; another answered, then another, and the storm paused as if to listen. The bells grew bolder; they rang out loud and clear. Other deep toned bells joined in; they were tolling in solemn concert—ding, dong! ding, dong! The storm broke forth again with redoubled fury—gathering its distant thunder. The boys looked at each other, but did not speak. It was growing serious. What was that? Who screamed? What screamed—that terrible, musical scream? Was it man or demon? Or was it some monster shut up behind that carved brass frame—behind those great silver columns—some despairing monster begging, screaming for freedom? It was the Vox Humana!At last an answer came,—soft, tender, loving, like a mother's song. The storm grew silent; hidden birds sprang forth filling the air with glad, ecstatic music, rising higher and higher until the last faint note was lost in the distance.The Vox Humana was stilled; but in the glorious hymn of thanksgiving that now arose, one could almost hear the throbbing of a human heart. What did it mean? That man's imploring cry should in time be met with a deep content? That gratitude would give us freedom? To Peter and Ben it seemed that the angels were singing. Their eyes grew dim, and their souls dizzy with a strange joy. At last, as if borne upward by invisible hands, they were floating away on the music, all fatigue forgotten, and with no wish but to hear forever those beautiful sounds."2. Strange as it may seem never having been to the Netherlands Mary Mapes Dodge created the book that made thousands of people visit this country. There are some chapters which are entirely devoted to the description of Dutch cities and way of life. Silver Skates is a real encyclopedia of Dutch culture so anyone who reads it for the first time will certainly find something new and curious for himself.3. The plot is quite interesting if you don't mind many descriptions but this is NOT a page turner. This is a book of atmosphere so to say, you are to take delight in reading it slowly, carefully, attentively, if you want something exiting with a complicated plot structure, than leave this book for a more suitable mood.4. And of course I can't but admit that Hans Brinker or Silver Skates is a moralistic book, but it's lessons are not boring ones, they are put not only through the words, but through the situations through the characters themselves. This book teaches children to be kind, generous, honest, to be grateful to their parents and true to their friends.I hope I've said enough to persuade ou that this work is worth reading and if not, just open the first page and the book will speak for itself.

  • Megan Anderson
    2018-12-16 23:50

    Worst. Book. Ever. Okay, maybe not the worst, but a really boring, awful book. The actual story of Hans could be told in about fifty pages. The edition I read on Google Books was nearly three hundred pages long. I can appreciate it for the historical things--I've read enough books from this time period to know that the personalities of the Brinker children and some of the other boys are how the authors imagined children, and the "history of Holland" asides are in there to educate small children back in the day--but the book was much too long and drawn-out to actually be entertaining, especially for a modern reader. I wouldn't recommend this at all.1/5 on here, 1/10 for myself

  • Sarah Grace
    2018-11-19 02:50

    A wonderful tale of a close-knit family, set in the beauty of Holland. I come back to this nearly every winter! A perfect read to curl up in front of the fireplace with.

  • Steve Hemmeke
    2018-12-17 19:16

    I can't believe I made it through an upbringing in Holland, Michigan as a descendant of Dutch Immigrants, without having read Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates before now.A good third of the middle of this book is a travelogue of the Netherlands, with some history thrown in. There are some classical references I had to look up, even though it's a children's story. It was written in 1865.It's full of pithy sayings, supposedly from the Dutch. My favorite was "Humble wife is husband's boss." Sometimes the wife wanted to oppose and contradict her husband, but this saying was drilled into her, so she didn't.The book popularized the story of the boy who plugs a leak in the dike with his finger all night. The main plot centers on the husband who suffered an injury and was imbecilic for ten years. The internet tells me the author based this on a true story.It is quaint and a bit too sentimental for my taste, but I don't think this is severe enough to be detrimental (note that it can be). Main characters set aside self interest and are willing to associate with the lowly. Excellent reading for the 11-15 age range.

  • Wes
    2018-12-02 19:05

    I quite enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me so much of Holland and at the same time produced much more to my interest. This book could now be taken to be a historical text for a lazy American (if this term is not too much redundant). Much history of Holland is laid out, some as a field trip through the countryside. This is not a challenging read but I bet that the orignal target audience of young folks will hardly touch it these days though the book is still to be found in the juvenile section of the library. The tale of the Brinkers is quite lively and the tale of the other inhabitants of Broek is woven into the book. There is a large section in the middle of the book that deals solely with folks other than the Brinkers and their lot. Also, pockets of history and worded paintings of the country and Dutch life are contingent. I must say that my list of places to visit in Holland has grown and Broek has been pushed up near the top of the list though only the fictional inhabitants of such seem the draw.

  • Janelle
    2018-12-15 20:56

    Mary Mapes Dodge tried to make a Holland sandwich with this book, and in my opinion, it's a culinary failure. Wanting to educate American children in the 1800's about life in Holland, she wrote a part fiction, part non fiction account of village children living near Amsterdam. Then she shoved it in the middle of a story about Hans Brinker and his troubled family, and added in some extra non fiction for good measure. This really spoiled the book for me. I liked Hans and his family, but I was frustrated by the diversions into other plot lines, and bored by the non fiction sections. I was willing, as some reviewers suggested, to skip the non-Hans chapters, until realised that I'd be skipping half the book. So I decided not to bother.

  • gaudeo
    2018-11-21 21:03

    This is an old-fashioned children's book, with a story meant to encourage the development of character and Christian values in its readers. I might be frustrated with its didactic tone if it were not for the fascinating background it gives on the Netherlands. Overall, it's rather charming.

  • Lisa Vegan
    2018-11-24 19:04

    I loved this book as a kid and reread it several times. It was especially enjoyable while eating Dutch chocolate shoes. ;-) This book made me fascinated with all things Holland. I still have the edition I read when I was 8 or 9.

  • Cynthia Egbert
    2018-11-23 19:17

    Shiloah just keeps finding books that I should have rated on here years ago. I love this book because of the memories as much as the content. My grandma read this to me a couple of times when I was a child and I do so cherish that memory.

  • Bookmaniac70
    2018-11-18 23:03

    Една от любимите ми детски книги. Чела съм я безброй пъти! Заради нея ми купиха кънки за лед и цяла зима ходех в неделя да се пързалям:-)).

  • John Yelverton
    2018-12-09 21:48

    A sad book, and an uplifting book at the same time. Well worth your time to read.

  • Yasha
    2018-12-13 19:17

    2.5 stars

  • Kelsey
    2018-12-02 20:18

    This book is about a boy named Hans Brinker, age 15, and his sister, Gretel, age 12, live in Holland in the mid-1800s. Ten years before this, their father, Raff, suffered an injury that left him hurt and useless. The children and their mother have lived in poverty ever since. They know Raff buried a big pile of mula, but he's was unable to tell them where it is. Raff also left a pricy watch with Dame Brinker just before his injury, making her promise to keep it safe. She doesn't know the point of the promise but she has often considered selling it to feed the family.Hollanders get around in the winter by skating on the frozen canals. Hans and Gretel can't afford real skates, so they strap blocks of wood to their feet. Though many wealthier children look down on the Brinkers, especially Hilda van Gleck, Peter van Holp and Annie Bouman, they show great kindness and generosity. Hilda and Peter buy Hans' homemade necklaces so he and Gretel can afford real skates that way they don't feel poor. These people provided for the Brinkers many more times as well like really important things. The kids in this book get really excited when they hear about the upcoming skating contest. The fastest girl and the fastest boy will each win a pair of silver skates. Man those will really sparkle.If you like a nice winter book combined into a book with some good Competition. You will be dying to know the rest. I rate this book a just book ( actually i do this was perfect for me) or a holiday book ( well a little because I took place in the winter)or a hard book.... I rate this an THE MOST Coolest BOOK EVER!!!!! Get it coolest because it's cold. Hah hah hah

  • Thom Swennes
    2018-11-30 21:05

    A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing but misinformation can be catastrophic. This book was written for youthful readers and has been a favorite tale for many years. Starting in the year 1872 (exactly 100 years prior to my moving to Holland) the story tries to combine the social life and historic heritage of the Low Countries with a fictitious story of the Brinker family. I can still remember the pictures this tale painted in my impressionable youthful mind the first time I read it fifty years ago. When I came to Holland to live I still vividly remember how cheated I felt at accepting literally what Mary Dodge had written in her story of 1865. The climatic conditions of the Netherlands are drastically different from what the story suggests as is the traditional celebration of St. Nickolas. This said, the story (for its own sake) is both interesting and even inspiring. I can still appreciate the fictional portions of the book but the proposed factual accounts are spurious at best.

  • Cindy
    2018-12-12 19:18

    would only be tolerable if abridged. I liked the story of Hans and his little family, their tragedy and their determination to get through it. But then somehow we got this group of young boys who were allowed to spend a winter holiday unsupervised with plenty of money skating all over Amsterdam, having various adventures, and delivering long tedious lessons about Dutch life and history and culture to the token English boy who makes all this slightly plausible. I SOOOOOOO didn't care. If want to read Dutch history - and I wouldn't mind, actually - I will, but if I want to read about the Brinkers, and I did when I picked up the book, TELL ME THE STORY YOU STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE! Skipped to end, where of course, everything turned out happily ever after. So there.

  • Data
    2018-11-20 02:13

    This is written as a children's book, but it is for children who are serious readers! The action is a bit milder than we so often see today. The only magic is that of human compassion, the life-or-death drama is that of an ill parent, the fabulous wealth is only that of the loss of the family's savings. Of course, the great prize is the silver skates. Every chapter is packed with history. The writing style is somewhat dated, but the characters are well-drawn.Fun to go back and read as an adult, especially if you have a little Dutch in you :)

  • Z
    2018-11-26 22:48

    Wouldn't read it again nor would I read it to a child. If I wanted to have some history of Holland based on stories from certain times in history, this would be great. Otherwise, the story is in parts too much history that is dated, too much kids being super nice to other kids, and tragedy becoming unrealistic miracles all in one story. Normally, I can consider the original context and appreciate the story for what it was intended to be. This was just over the top hokey for me.

  • Nick
    2018-12-07 23:06

    I was trolling my way through this one when my dog graciously destroyed it. He picked the right book at least. I could not get into this one at least when I was a teenager. I might try it again if someone convinces me that should waste the last few precious moments of my life reading bland descriptions of Holland's landscape.

  • Kierra
    2018-12-04 00:00

    I hated this book. The story of Hans Brinker itself is fine. What I detested was the break from the main story to follow a group of boys with too much time on their hands exploring Amsterdam and pointing out "fun facts" of art and history. Not incredibly well-written either.

  • Vanessa Dicesare
    2018-12-03 22:53

    I really enjoyed this story. It brought back childhood memories of my mom reading this to me on Saturday mornings in her bed. It is a disjointed story as the author adds facts about Holland, but still well worth the effort.

  • Rogue-van (the Bookman)
    2018-11-21 01:07

    Like Dickens, Mary Mapes Dodge tells a story about children trying to survive. Hans and Gretel's father is not in his right mind and cannot work. Although the chatty style and Dutch history lessons detract, the story is very moving when it gets back on track with Hans' quests.

  • Meagan
    2018-11-19 00:08

    Great story! I love that it emphasizes virtue and uses a higher vocabulary than you typically see in popular children's books. I will be sending this book to my 13-year-old niece to read. And then I will plan a trip to Holland because it sounds lovely.

  • Ruth
    2018-12-12 22:06

    Those are memory stars. I read this over and over when I was a kid. Have no idea how many stars I'd give it now.

  • Jane
    2018-11-29 03:03

    It's very difficult for me to say which book was (or is) my particular favourite at any given time, because I tend to have more than one book that I keep reading again and again. Silver Skates was one of those books that I kept reading all over again when I was about 8 to 10 years old, because I was completely mesmerised by the world of ice skating and the Netherlands. (To be honest, back then I was quite convinced that the entire country of Netherlands looks like Venice ...)It had been quite a few years since I last read it before I decided to pick it up this time round... and I have to say that the magic is kind of gone for me. I still adored the storyline about Hans and his family, but the 100 or so pages about the other boys who went on an ice skating road trip left me with a mostly bored expression to be honest and I couldn't wait till that history lesson was finally over and I could continue finding out (again) about Hans Brinker and his parents and smaller sister.It's a children's story, but I felt that the afterword was mainly meant for the older audience as I think most children don't care much about the happily ever after/grown up life these characters had. I certainly didn't care when I was smaller and I refuse to believe that I was the only one. The Book Challengers blog // The Book Challengers Instagram // The Book Challengers Twitter

  • Heidi
    2018-12-17 01:56

    I have a copy of this book that was my grandparents,' and it's been on my list to read for a long time since it's a book that takes place in Holland, where many of my ancestors are from. I finally started reading it when I visited Holland in September of this year. It took me several months to get through it, and I had to wade through a lot of the details of the boys' skating trip across Holland, but I adored the characters and loved the rest of the story. Reading a story that takes place in Holland was so enjoyable for me.

  • Ginnie
    2018-12-04 00:59

    A wholesome story with many characters. Lots of details about Dutch life in mid 1800's. Two stories in one, with the middle section give great detail about school boys' skating trip to the city to see museums. A little slow and detail dumps, but worth it in the end.The story of Hans, and the Brinker's and is really good and includes a pretty awesome plot twist.