Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates
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Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  6,960 ratings  ·  188 reviews
From glistening ice roads to frozen canals, in a wonderland where even the richest nobles thrill to the gliding joys of winter, everyone is awaiting the fabulous race to win the magnificent Silver Skates --

Except Hans Brinker and his sister Gretel. For the Brinkers are desperately poor, friendless; with a father felled by a crippling head wound, Mother and the children mus...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 15th 1993 by Tor Classics (first published 1865)
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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...more
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 sec...more
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 b...more
Ms Anderson
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...more
John Yelverton
A sad book, and an uplifting book at the same time. Well worth your time to read.
Barbara VA
This is the 2nd time that I read this book and I loved it both times. I have read the other reviews and there is so much that I agree with as far as the family values, hard work, education and joy of hime and homeland. What i did not agree with were the comments regarding the history or the boys trips through the cities. Yes, the history is not entirely accurate, the exposure that Dodge had at the time precluded that and the book was not intended as a non-fiction history. With guidance it is a j...more

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 o...more
Ένα παραμύθι από περασμένες εποχές που όμως ξεπερνά σε λόγο και πλούτο συναισθημάτων τα κακογραμμένα ως μέτρια παιδικά βιβλία τα οποία συναντά συχνότατα κανείς στις μέρες μας. Μακάρι να είχαν όλα τα παιδιά την ευκαιρία και την τύχη να διαβάζουν (!) πρώτα απ'όλα και στη συνέχεια να επιλέγουν τέτοια βιβλία οι μεγαλύτεροι για να τους προτείνουν.

Θεωρώ πως αποτελεί ένα βιβλίο απόλυτα διαχρονικό, το οποίο είναι ευκολοδιάβαστο και απευθύνεται σε κάθε ηλικία- τα παιδιά μαθαίνουν τις έννοιες της αγάπης...more
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,...more
I picked this up at a library book sale with my mom, and she asked if I was going to read it. I was like "no, I don't plan to." Under her disapproving eye I resolved to at least read a little of it. But seriously, it matches some of my other hardback young reader books so well that I would have been content to have it as "book decor."

I read the first 100 pages or so. For what it is (a book about life in the Netherlands meant for children), it is pretty good. It does have a bit of a fairytale fe...more
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.
I hadn't read this since I was a kid. I remember LOVING it as a child but I was more frustrated with it this time around. The beginning of the book and end of the book are actually about Hans Brinker and how he and his family deal with his father who was injured ten years before the story starts. That's a good story! The middle 200 pages are basically a travel log of things to do in The Netherlands from Amsterdam down to The Hague. Hans is only briefly in these 200 pages and the rest of the stor...more
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:-)).
Free on Amazon! My first book from the Netherlands. Thanks to Megan for pointing me in the direction of this children's classic.

Hans and his family are struggling, following his father's injury working on the dykes. You'll find yourself empathizing and wanting them to overcome their stark circumstances. In the mid-section, some well-to-do boys are on a "frolic" through the towns around Amsterdam (skating, via canal). For me, although a delightful thought, this section ran a bit too long and was...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Hemmeke
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." Somet...more
Anne Hawn Smith
I read this to audition a book for my grandson's homeschool literature lesson. As I child, I loved this book, although I probably got lost in the chapters where boys from the town skate to Haarlem and go to the museums and churches. I found this to be a plus for homeschool lessons since I was able to find many of these places and works of art on the internet which I can also use for lessons.

Hans and his sister, Gretel, are very poor. Their father, a sluice gate tender, was injured on the job and...more
Thom Swennes
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 y...more

Set in Holland during the wintry 1860’s this children’s classic has proven a literary staple for generations. American author Mary Mapes Dodge revels in introducing English-speaking readers to the charm of the Netherlands—while displaying her knowledge of its art, customs and proud history. In this land of tulips, storks and windmills the people wage a relentless war and exercise constant vigilance against the encroachment of the sea, which is above the level of the la...more
Years ago I saw this same book in the library thinking it like the story of Billy the boy who just wanted to dance because there was a skinny boy on the cover who seemed nimble. You can see by my rating it was vary foolish of me to overlook it. When it finally found me again two years later I decided that, as old as it was, it would soot my needs for a decent story. Though this is not all entirely true because the book I read did not have the same cover as this edition. In fact the book I read h...more
Hans Brinker is a great example of how children's literature has evolved (or, perhaps, regressed)in the last 150 years. Things like education, hard work, charity, and kindness are elevated and rewarded by engaging characters in a gripping tale. I was impressed with the way Dodge was able to weave lessons of Dutch history, culture and geography into the story by including a visiting English cousin in the cast of characters. But that which impressed me was also my main gripe -- a little of sight-s...more
This is the type of book that I would imagine a woman named Mary Mapes Dodge would write. Geographical and Historical information with Morality and the real spice, and ICE RACE

WHat I love about older books. They have great conclusions. I don't mean that everything is happy ever after but that you know full well how each character lives out the rest of their life. And that is what was good about this book the end.

I think I would have liked this book when it came out though in the 1800's but the w...more
I had seen this book on my mom's bookshelf my whole life (or maybe my grandmother's bookshelf?), but never read it until recently she brought it over for my daughter to read. The edition she brought was published in the 40s, but I guess the original was published in the late 1800s. The story, set in the Netherlands, is about the family of teenager Hans Brinker, whose father cannot work due to a head injury, and the various things Hans and his sister do to try to help his mother support the famil...more
I'm not sure how I managed to miss this one in my childhood, but I am so pleased to have added it to the collection of stories read aloud to the children. This book is predictable, but so charming that I wanted to adopt all the children and add them to our brood. For months, we did not have a day without quoting the adorable Jacob Poot! Read this in winter! It will warm your soul!
I remember reading this as a child, and find it boring--perhaps because there are so many "history lessons" included. But I found it quite interesting this time. I wanted to read it again because I had just seen a movie based on it--I've seen two of them, now, neither of which (I think) are as good as the book. It is fascinating to see how much the ice was used for people to travel on, even with ice-boats! There are a lot of details, yet some excitement, as well, when it comes to the race. There...more
Tristan Naraine
The main reason why I found myself extremely fond of this book is that the characters (the Brinker Family) was very close-knit. In other terms, I mean that the events of the book is centered around the cause/effect of the events made by the members of the family. For example,when Mr. Brinker (the father) had his medical operation the family stayed with him to ensure that he would go thru the operation alive. They also had present-day related worries or concerns such as enough/or more income desp...more
Ellisa Barr
I liked this book, but it had a major flaw. Part-way into the great story about Hans Brinker and his family the book diverts for a really long time about an ice skating trip that some OTHER kids went on. It wasn't interesting at all, and I ended up skipping it finally because it went on for so long and I was very anxious to find out what happened to the Brinker family.

We listened to the book as a family just before taking a trip to Belgium, which is right next to Holland. I really loved hearing...more
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...more
Very sweet Victorian story. Deserving poor and satisfyingly cheerful ending, pleasantly intrusive narrator. My only complaint is that much of the book reads like a travelogue or a history book--the author seems to be excessively concerned with instructing her young readers. I did learn quite a bit about the Netherlands geography and history.

I mostly enjoyed though reading a book where the good people were so very good. Why complicate things with nuances? I kind of like having ideals. We know chi...more
A more challenging read aloud. If you can get through the "travelog" portions the story is wonderful. It takes some perseverance to dig the good stuff out.
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Mary was born Mary Elizabeth Mapes to Prof. James Jay Mapes and Sophia Furman in New York City. She acquired a good education under private tutors. In 1851 she married the lawyer William Dodge. Within the next four years she gave birth to two sons, James and Harrington. In 1857, William faced serious financial difficulties and left his family in 1858. A month after his disappearance his body was f...more
More about Mary Mapes Dodge...
I pattini d'argento Companion Library: Hans Brinker/ Heidi Pattini d'argento (BUR ragazzi) (Italian Edition) Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates Os Patins de Prata

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