100 Best Books for Children ~ Dodge

The children’s classic Hans Brinker; or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge is number 62 on The Hundred Best Books for Children list found in The Book-lover.

Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Mapes Dodge was an American author in the late 1800s. Her father was a scientist and editor who believed in providing his family with good literature. Mary was home educated by tutors and her father. It was after her early widowhood that she started her writing career to support herself and her two boys.

Two women of great ability who wrote at this time were Mary Mapes Dodge and Kate Douglas Wiggin. Mrs. Dodge (1831–1905) was the first editor of St. Nicholas magazine, which was founded in 1873. She guided it through one if its best periods, and her own verse and prose appeared often in its pages. Her book, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, became an American classic. Hans Brinker was published in the same year as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland — 1865.

“American Writers for Children,” The Book of Knowledge

Hans Brinker

It is no wonder that Hans Brinker ends up on nearly every homeschool reading list! The story takes place in Holland during a time when everything is frozen and travel is by ice skates. The Brinker family have found themselves in a state of sickness and poverty. Hans would love to win a set of silver skates in a skating race, but his chances are not great considering the quality of his wooden skates. Plot twists and turns, mysteries, and of course, plenty of action are found in this story of faith and persistence.

On her first visit to Holland, eight years after the publication of Hans Brinker, a bookstore owner recommended that book to [Dodge] when she asked him for a good guide to Holland. She of course did not tell him that she was the author and that she had never been there before!

Who Should We Then Read
Free eBook
  • This is one of those book that really should simply be enjoyed! Try reading it aloud during the winter months.
  • If you are looking for ways to interact with this title, try learning more about Holland.
  • Create an author page for Mary Mapes Dodge (along with the other authors in our series).

Additional Resources

Mother Carey’s Chickens ~ Free eBook
By author Kate Douglas Wiggin mentioned above.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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