UNLIMITED Audiobooks and eBooks

Over 40,000 books & works on all major devices

Get ALL YOU CAN for FREE for 30 days!

Hans Brinker

Mary Mapes Dodge

Book Overview: 

Mary Mapes Dodge created an instant bestseller with “Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates.” She wanted the book to be partly a book of travels and partly a domestic story. It is a tale written for children that adults also find interesting and uplifting. Dodge writes as if she is sending a series of letters from Holland to children in America, and her you-are-there perspective is aided by a nice attention to detail and vivid imagery.

The Brinkers are a poor but stoic family under a dark cloud – Raff, the man of the house, fell from the dikes while reinforcing them during a bad storm, and for ten years he has been in a vegetative state. With no steady income, the family’s lot is grinding poverty. Despite their unfortunate circumstances, Hans and Gretel are cheerful children, yet always attentive to the needs of their mother and their present-but-not-really-there father. Their social standing is very low, but they both attract firm friends, even among the gentry, for their honesty, industry, and good-heartedness.

Then a glorious skating race is proposed for the town of Broek, with the prize a pair of silver skates for both the winning boy and girl. In the weeks leading up to the race, we follow the adventures of five of the local boys who are showing a visiting relative from England the sights of the Netherlands. Hans improbably meets the one man who might be able to heal his father, and somehow Hans finds a way to afford some skates so that he and Gretel can enter the race.

This all leads up to a dramatic, moving, and entirely satisfactory conclusion. “Hans Brinker” hits a series of high notes and encourages children to cultivate and display their finer qualities.

How does All You Can Books work?

All You Can Books gives you UNLIMITED access to over 40,000 Audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses. Download as many audiobooks, ebooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during the FREE trial and it's all yours to keep even if you cancel during the FREE trial. The service works on any major device including computers, smartphones, music players, e-readers, and tablets. You can try the service for FREE for 30 days then it's just $19.99 per month after that. So for the price everyone else charges for just 1 book, we offer you UNLIMITED audio books, e-books and language courses to download and enjoy as you please. No restrictions.

Book Excerpt: 
. . .Blushing and brightening, she hastily wiped her eyes, and looked upon them as only a mother can.

"Hoity! Toity! pretty talk we're having, and Saint Nicholas' Eve almost here! What wonder the yarn pricks my fingers! Come, Gretel, take this cent,[11] and while Hans is trading for the skates you can buy a waffle in the market-place."

"Let me stay home with you, mother," said Gretel, looking up with eyes that sparkled through their tears. "Hans will buy me the cake."

"As you will, child, and Hans—wait a moment. Three turns of the needle will finish this toe, and then you may have as good a pair of hose as ever were knitted (owning the yarn is a grain too sharp,) to sell to the hosier on the Heireen Gracht.[12] That will give us three quarter-guilders if you make good trade; and as it's right hungry weather, you may buy four waffles. We'll keep the Feast of Saint Nicholas after all."

[Pg 51]

Gretel clapped her hands. "That will . . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 b...more

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...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 seco...more

Super naivi, bet arī ziemīgi un labsirdīgi, kā jau decembrim pienākas. Un pat diezgan aizraujoši!

Audiobook #192

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 Ame...more

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.

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.

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,γενναιοτ...more

Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905) was, at the time she wrote this novel, a widowed mom who'd moved back in with her well-to-do family after the death of her financially-embarrassed husband. Herself well educated by private tutors, she originally began to write educational short stories for her own kid...more

View More Reviews