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Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates [NOOK Book]

Overview


Set against a backdrop of frozen canals in a winter wonderland, the year's most exciting event in a little Dutch village is about to take place. But will Hans Brinker and his sister Gretel, with their hand-carved wooden skates, be able to compete against their well-trained young friends who own fine steel blades?
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Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates

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Overview


Set against a backdrop of frozen canals in a winter wonderland, the year's most exciting event in a little Dutch village is about to take place. But will Hans Brinker and his sister Gretel, with their hand-carved wooden skates, be able to compete against their well-trained young friends who own fine steel blades?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486146911
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 7/6/2012
  • Series: Dover Children's Evergreen Classics
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 547,600
  • File size: 744 KB

Meet the Author

Mary Mapes Dodge was born Mary Elizabeth Mapes on January 26, 1831 in New York City. She was educated by private tutors. In 1851, she married William Dodge and had two sons. In 1858, William, suffering serious financial problems left his family and disappeared. He was found dead from drowning a month later.

In 1859, Mary began publishing two magazines with her father and found success writing, writing her classic novel, "Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates" in 1865, which became an instant bestseller. As time went on, she became editor of another magazine with Harriet Beecher Stowe, then became chief editor for "St. Nicholas Magazine" getting Robert Louis Stevenson, Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain to contribute stories. She was able to make it the most successful children's magazine of the time.

Dodge died on August 21, 1905, at the age of 74, in Tannersville, New York. She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, New Jersey.

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Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates


By Mary Mapes Dodge, JANET BAINE KOPITO

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14691-1



CHAPTER 1

Hans and Gretel


ON a bright December morning long ago, two thinly clad children were kneeling upon the bank of a frozen canal in Holland.

The sun had not yet appeared, but the gray sky was parted near the horizon, and its edges shone crimson with the coming day. Most of the good Hollanders were enjoying a placid morning nap. Even Mynheer von Stop-pelnoze, that worthy old Dutchman, was still slumbering "in beautiful repose."

Now and then some peasant woman, poising a well-filled basket upon her head, came skimming over the glassy surface of the canal; or a lusty boy, skating to his day's work in the town, cast a good-natured grimace toward the shivering pair as he flew along.

Meanwhile, with many a vigorous puff and pull, the brother and sister, for such they were, seemed to be fastening something upon their feet—not skates, certainly, but clumsy pieces of wood narrowed and smoothed at their lower edge, and pierced with holes, through which were threaded strings of rawhide.

These queer-looking affairs had been made by the boy Hans. His mother was a poor peasant woman, too poor even to think of such a thing as buying skates for her little ones. Rough as these were, they had afforded the children many a happy hour upon the ice. And now, as with cold, red fingers our young Hollanders tugged at the strings—their solemn faces bending closely over their knees—no vision of impossible iron runners came to dull the satisfaction glowing within.

In a moment the boy arose and, with a pompous swing of the arms and a careless "Come on, Gretel," glided easily across the canal.

"Ah, Hans," called his sister plaintively, "this foot is not well yet. The strings hurt me on last market day, and now I cannot bear them tied in the same place."

"Tie them higher up, then," answered Hans, as without looking at her he performed a wonderful cat's-cradle step on the ice.

"How can I? The string is too short."

Giving vent to a good-natured Dutch whistle, the English of which was that girls were troublesome creatures, he steered toward her.

"You are foolish to wear such shoes, Gretel, when you have a stout leather pair. Your klompen [wooden shoes] would be better than these."

"Why, Hans! Do you forget? The father threw my beautiful new shoes in the fire. Before I knew what he had done, they were all curled up in the midst of the burning peat. I can skate with these, but not with my wooden ones. Be careful now—"

Hans had taken a string from his pocket. Humming a tune as he knelt beside her, he proceeded to fasten Gretel's skate with all the force of his strong young arm.

"Oh! Oh!" she cried, in real pain.

With an impatient jerk Hans unwound the string. He would have cast it upon the ground in true big-brother style had he not just then spied a tear trickling down his sister's cheek.

"I'll fix it—never fear," he said with sudden tenderness, "but we must be quick. The mother will need us soon."

Then he glanced inquiringly about him, first at the ground, next at some bare willow branches above his head, and finally at the sky, now gorgeous with streaks of blue, crimson, and gold.

Finding nothing in any of these localities to meet his need, his eye suddenly brightened as, with the air of a fellow who knew what he was about, he took off his cap and, removing the tattered lining, adjusted it in a smooth pad over the top of Gretel's worn-out shoe.

"Now," he cried triumphantly, at the same time arranging the strings as briskly as his benumbed fingers would allow, "can you bear some pulling?"

Gretel drew up her lips as if to say "Hurt away," but made no further response.

In another moment they were laughing together, as hand in hand they flew along the canal, never thinking whether the ice would bear them or not, for in Holland, ice is generally an all-winter affair. It settles itself upon the water in a determined kind of way, and so far from growing thin and uncertain every time the sun is a little severe upon it, it gathers its forces day by day and flashes defiance to every beam.

Presently, squeak! squeak! sounded something beneath Hans's feet. Next his strokes grew shorter, ending oft times with a jerk, and finally, he lay sprawling upon the ice, kicking against the air with many a fantastic flourish.

"Ha! ha!" laughed Gretel. "That was a fine tumble!" But a tender heart was beating under her coarse blue jacket, and even as she laughed, she came, with a graceful sweep, close to her prostrate brother.

"Are you hurt, Hans? Oh, you are laughing! Catch me now!" And she darted away, shivering no longer, but with cheeks all aglow and eyes sparkling with fun.

Hans sprang to his feet and started in brisk pursuit, but it was no easy thing to catch Gretel. Before she had traveled very far, her skates, too, began to squeak.

Believing that discretion was the better part of valor, she turned suddenly and skated into her pursuer's arms.

"Ha! ha! I've caught you!" cried Hans.

"Ha! ha! I caught you," she retorted, struggling to free herself.

Just then a clear, quick voice was heard calling "Hans! Gretel!"

"It's the mother," said Hans, looking solemn in an instant.

By this time the canal was gilded with sunlight. The pure morning air was very delightful, and skaters were gradually increasing in numbers. It was hard to obey the summons. But Gretel and Hans were good children; without a thought of yielding to the temptation to linger, they pulled off their skates, leaving half the knots still tied. Hans, with his great square shoulders and bushy yellow hair, towered high above his blue-eyed little sister as they trudged homeward. He was fifteen years old and Gretel was only twelve. He was a solid, hearty-looking boy, with honest eyes and a brow that seemed to bear a sign GOODNESS WITHIN just as the little Dutch zomerhuis [summer house] wears a motto over its portal. Gretel was lithe and quick; her eyes had a dancing light in them, and while you looked at her cheek, the color paled and deepened just as it does upon a bed of pink and white blossoms when the wind is blowing.

As soon as the children turned from the canal, they could see their parents' cottage. Their mother's tall form, arrayed in jacket and petticoat and closefitting cap, stood, like a picture, in the crooked frame of the doorway. Had the cottage been a mile away, it would still have seemed near. In that flat country every object stands out plainly in the distance; the chickens show as distinctly as the windmills. Indeed, were it not for the dikes and the high banks of the canals, one could stand almost anywhere in middle Holland without seeing a mound or a ridge between the eye and the "jumping-off place."

None had better cause to know the nature of these same dikes than Dame Brinker and the panting youngsters now running at her call. But before stating why, let me ask you to take a rocking-chair trip with me to that far country where you may see, perhaps for the first time, some curious things that Hans and Gretel saw every day.

CHAPTER 2

Holland


HOLLAND is one of the queerest countries under the sun. It should be called Odd-land or Contrary-land, for in nearly everything it is different from other parts of the world. In the first place, a large portion of the country is lower than the level of the sea. Great dikes, or bulwarks, have been erected at a heavy cost of money and labor to keep the ocean where it belongs. On certain parts of the coast it sometimes leans with all its weight against the land, and it is as much as the poor country can do to stand the pressure. Sometimes the dikes give way or spring a leak, and the most disastrous results ensue. They are high and wide, and the tops of some of them are covered with buildings and trees. They have even fine public roads upon them, from which horses may look down upon wayside cottages. Often the keels of floating ships are higher than the roofs of the dwellings. The stork clattering to her young on the house peak may feel that her nest is lifted far out of danger, but the croaking frog in neighboring bulrushes is nearer the stars than she. Water bugs dart backward and forward above the heads of the chimney swallows, and willow trees seem drooping with shame, because they cannot reach as high as the reeds nearby.

Ditches, canals, ponds, rivers, and lakes are everywhere to be seen. High, but not dry, they shine in the sunlight, catching nearly all the bustle and the business, quite scorning the tame fields stretching damply beside them. One is tempted to ask, "Which is Holland—the shores or the water?" The very verdure that should be confined to the land has made a mistake and settled upon the fish ponds. In fact, the entire country is a kind of saturated sponge or, as the English poet Butler called it:

A land that rides at anchor, and is moor'd,
In which they do not live, but go aboard.


Persons are born, live, and die, and even have their gardens on canal boats. Farmhouses, with roofs like great slouched hats pulled over their eyes, stand on wooden legs with a tucked-up sort of air, as if to say, "We intend to keep dry if we can." Even the horses wear a wide stool on each hoof to lift them out of the mire. In short, the landscape everywhere suggests a paradise for ducks. It is a glorious country in summer for barefoot girls and boys. Such wading! Such mimic ship-sailing! Such rowing, fishing, and swimming! Only think of a chain of puddles where one can launch chip boats all day long and never make a return trip! But enough. A full recital would set all young America rushing in a body toward the Zuider Zee.

Dutch cities seem at first sight to be a bewildering jungle of houses, bridges, churches, and ships, sprouting into masts, steeples, and trees. In some cities vessels are hitched like horses to their owners' doorposts and receive their freight from the upper windows. Mothers scream to Lodewyk and Kassy not to swing on the garden gate for fear they may be drowned! Water roads are more frequent there than common roads and railways; water fences in the form of lazy green ditches enclose playground, farm, and garden.

Sometimes fine green hedges are seen; but wooden fences such as we have in America are rarely met with in Holland. As for stone fences, a Dutchman would lift his hands with astonishment at the very idea. There is no stone there, except for those great masses of rock that have been brought from other lands to strengthen and protect the coast. All the small stones or pebbles, if there ever were any, seem to be imprisoned in pavements or quite melted away. Boys with strong, quick arms may grow from pinafores to full beards without ever finding one to start the water rings or set the rabbits flying. The water roads are nothing less than canals intersecting the country in every direction. These are of all sizes, from the great North Holland Ship Canal, which is the wonder of the world, to those which a boy can leap. Water omnibuses, called trekschuiten, constantly ply up and down these roads for the conveyance of passengers; and water drays, called pakschuyten, are used for carrying fuel and merchandise. Instead of green country lanes, green canals stretch from field to barn and from barn to garden; and the farms, or polders, as they are termed, are merely great lakes pumped dry. Some of the busiest streets are water, while many of the country roads are paved with brick. The city boats with their rounded sterns, gilded prows, and gaily painted sides are unlike any others under the sun; and a Dutch wagon, with its funny little crooked pole, is a perfect mystery of mysteries.

"One thing is clear," cries Master Brightside, "the inhabitants need never be thirsty." But no, Odd-land is true to itself still. Notwithstanding the sea pushing to get in, and the lakes struggling to get out, and the overflowing canals, rivers, and ditches, in many districts there is no water fit to swallow; our poor Hollanders must go dry or drink wine and beer or send far into the inland to Utrecht and other favored localities for that precious fluid older than Adam yet young as the morning dew. Sometimes, indeed, the inhabitants can swallow a shower when they are provided with any means of catching it; but generally they are like the albatross-haunted sailors in Coleridge's famous poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." They see

Water, Water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink!


Great flapping windmills all over the country make it look as if flocks of huge sea birds were just settling upon it. Everywhere one sees the funniest trees, bobbed into fantastical shapes, with their trunks painted a dazzling white, yellow, or red. Horses are often yoked three abreast. Men, women, and children go clattering about in wooden shoes with loose heels; peasant girls who cannot get beaux for love, hire them for money to escort them to the kermis [fair]; and husbands and wives lovingly harness themselves side by side on the bank of the canal and drag their pakschuyts to market.

Another peculiar feature of Holland is the dune, or sand hill. These are numerous along certain portions of the coast. Before they were sown with coarse reed grass and other plants, to hold them down, they used to send great storms of sand over the inland. So, to add to the oddities, the farmers sometimes dig down under the surface to find their soil, and on windy days dry showers (of sand) often fall upon fields that have grown wet under a week of sunshine.

In short, almost the only familiar thing we Yankees can meet with in Holland is a harvest song which is quite popular there, though no linguist could translate it. Even then we must shut our eyes and listen only to the tune, which I leave you to guess.

Yanker didee dudel down
Didee dudel lawnter;
Yankee viver, voover, vown,
Botermelk und Tawnter!


On the other hand, many of the oddities of Holland serve only to prove the thrift and perseverance of the people. There is not a richer or more carefully tilled garden spot in the whole world than this leaky, springy little country. There is not a braver, more heroic race than its quiet, passive-looking inhabitants. Few nations have equaled it in important discoveries and inventions; none has excelled it in commerce, navigation, learning, and science—or set as noble examples in the promotion of education and public charities; and none in proportion to its extent has expended more money or labor upon public works.

Holland has its shining annals of noble and illustrious men and women; its grand, historic records of patience, resistance, and victory; its religious freedom; its enlightened enterprise; its art, music, and literature. It has truly been called "the battlefield of Europe"; as truly may we consider it the asylum of the world, for the oppressed of every nation have there found shelter and encouragement. If we Americans, who after all are homeopathic preparations of Holland stock, can laugh at the Dutch and call them human beavers and hint that their country may float off any day at high tide, we can also feel proud and say they have proved themselves heroes and that their country will not float off while there is a Dutchman left to grapple it.

There are said to be at least ninety-nine hundred large windmills in Holland, with sails ranging from eighty to one hundred and twenty feet long. They are employed in sawing timber, beating hemp, grinding, and many other kinds of work; but their principal use is for pumping water from the lowlands into the canals and for guarding against the inland freshets that so often deluge the country. Their yearly cost is said to be nearly ten million dollars. The large ones are of great power. The huge circular tower, rising sometimes from the midst of factory buildings, is surmounted with a smaller one tapering into a caplike roof. This upper tower is encircled at its base with a balcony, high above which juts the axis turned by its four prodigious ladder-back sails.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge, JANET BAINE KOPITO. Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Page,
Preface,
A Letter from Holland,
Dedication,
1. Hans and Gretel,
2. Holland,
3. The Silver Skates,
4. Hans and Gretel Find a Friend,
5. Shadows in the Home,
6. Sunbeams,
7. Hans Has His Way,
8. Introducing Jacob Poot and His Cousin Ben,
9. The Festival of Saint Nicholas,
10. What the Boys Saw and Did in Amsterdam,
11. Big Manias and Little Oddities,
12. On the Way to Haarlem,
13. A Catastrophe,
14. Hans,
15. Homes,
16. Haarlem—the Boys Hear Voices,
17. The Man with Four Heads,
18. Friends in Need,
19. On the Canal,
20. Jacob Poot Changes the Plan,
21. Mynheer Kleef and His Bill of Fare,
22. The Red Lion Becomes Dangerous,
23. Before the Court,
24. The Beleaguered Cities,
25. Leyden,
26. The Palace and the Wood,
27. The Merchant Prince and the Sister-Princess,
28. Through The Hague,
29. A Day of Rest,
30. Homeward Bound,
31. Boys and Girls,
32. The Crisis,
33. Gretel and Hilda,
34. The Awakening,
35. Bones and Tongues,
36. A New Alarm,
37. The Father's Return,
38. The Thousand Guilders,
39. Glimpses,
40. Looking for Work,
41. The Fairy Godmother,
42. The Mysterious Watch,
43. A Discovery,
44. The Race,
45. Joy in the Cottage,
46. Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Higgs,
47. Broad Sunshine,
48. Conclusion,

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 19 of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Good book

    Hans Brinker is a realy awesome book that is old

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Children's Class Literature

    I remember loving this book as a child, so when my fifth graders began to study The Netherlands, I decided to read it aloud to the class. The basic story is good, and the book has led to many class discussions. However, the book was written in 1865 and the style and vocabulary reflect that. The author includes whole chapters that lend little to the story line, but rather are intended to instruct the young reader on the customs or culture of Holland at that time. I have found myself replacing words here and there as I read for better student understanding. Also, because of this, it is taking longer to read aloud than I anticipated. There are also many, many Dutch words and names on every page.
    However, if your purpose is to increase knowledge about old Holland, to expose your young person to a classical style of literature,and you plan to give the book to an above average reader of middle elementary years, this would be the perfect book. Just understand that it's a classic book written in the style of more than one hundred years ago, and not the fast-paced edgy writing that young people are independently choosing today.
    The updated cover is very attractive. This book will not only entertain the reader, but educate them as well. And I did buy a copy of Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates for each of my students as a gift when I finish reading it to them in class.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    Introducing: the exciting but heart warming book of Holland!

    Hans Brinker was an outstanding read. It was one of the books where once you start reading you can¿t stop. In some parts it gets kind of lengthy, but what do you expect from a book? It has excellent descriptions of Holland and teaches you a lot of different words and traditions from the vivacious and distinctive wintry land of Holland. The book is very thrilling at times and makes you wonder what will happen next. At many times I was tempted to read the last page but I warn you it will ruin the whole thing! I recommend this book for everyone, and hope you get to read it, it is a very `filling book¿.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    What Comes First

    Hans truly has the heart of an angel. Not only does he skate about Holland for weeks, but he has the guts to bring back the most distinguished doctor in Holland. He wins the race of skating, and the race of life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2002

    it sounds good

    On Mother's Day, My Nana gave me Hans Brinker and A Tale of Two Cities. I think that Hans Brinker will be the best of the two because it is more for my age.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    a reviewer

    IT IS A BOOK ABOUT TWO CHILDREN THAT WANT KNEW PAIRS OF SKATES AND ONE DAY A GIRL LOOKS IN A STORE WINDOW AND SAYS OH MY GOD I WANT THOSE SO THEY HAVE A CONTEST TO WIN IT THE GIRL WINS AND GETS IT

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2014

    Classic book

    I love this book as much as i did when i was 10! At first i was a bit worried about scanning errors, but the typos are not major.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Good

    I like it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Icecloud

    Silverwhisker? She called.
    •Icecloud•

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    G

    He walks next to his new mate to their new clan.

    =(Silverwhisker)=

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Classic tale of Holland's ice skating children

    This is a wonderful story. Yet its wordiness might bore some readers. Please persevere, like the poor honest Brinker's do. You'll also be rewarded with a happily ended story read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Great read but not necessarily for younger people who are into todays fast pace!

    This a great story book with lots of history. It is considered a childens book but i didn't and would never read if a kid. Loved it now as a grandma and great grandma.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    Everstream

    Im locked out

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Cool book

    Its an awesome book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2003

    a BIG disappointment

    I found this book quite boring. Chapter 2 is nothing but details on Holland. The author should have just sprinkled in the details (highlight of good writing) And the rest of the book is a mess--unfocused and jumps around too much. There also should have been more action and suspense in the novel. I did like the children.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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