Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates Author:Mary Mapes Dodge It is the rare writer who through reading and the reminiscences of immigrants alone can bring to vivid life an adventure set in a foreign land. Such a writer was Mary Mapes Dodge, a 34-year-old American magazine editor who in 1865 produced HANS BRINKER, OR THE SILVER SKATES -- a tale of Holland so conviningly detailed that even the Dutch found i... more »t an authentic picure of their country.
But this children's classic, composed in a New Jersey farmhouse, offers much more than quaint portraits of dykes, canals and windmills. If Mrs. Dodge had to study Holland, she knew her characters from her heart, and few who met the cheerful Hans and his sister Gretel will fail to respond to her love for them. The impoverished Hans actually has two goals in history. One is to get costly medical aid for his long ill father, the other to win a pair of glorious silver skates in a climactic race. The tale is thus both deeply moving and breathtakingly exciting, and Hans himself a boy who in any land would stir one's enthusiam and admiration.« less