Book #30 Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates

Another of the aspects I love about a classical education is how all subjects fit together (most of the time). When we are studying a particular event in history, we can read literature that goes along with it, do art projects reflecting the theme, write about it, etc. So I got excited when we started reading Dutch history because I knew we would enjoy reading Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge. Believe it or not, it is one piece of children’s classic literature that I have never read. It’s a really sweet and triumphant story that both Mary Anneliese and I enjoyed reading aloud. It is the story of the poor Brinker family living in Holland. The father, Raff Brinker, is injured while working on a dike and is left with a brain injury causing him to be almost non-responsive for ten years. The children, Hans and Gretel, do their best to help their mother provide for the family. The children have some very sweet children who not only give them work so that they can support their family, but they also invite them to participate in a skating event at which they can each win a pair of skates. As usual, I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say that my sweet little girl who loves a happy ending was VERY pleased with how everything came together at the end of this book. She said, “Mom, I like this book as much as Hugo Cabret.” That’s high praise, my friends! Hugo was her all-time favorite!

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