The Silver Skates

By Mary Mapes Dodge

Illustrated by Peter Bailey

Age range: 9–11

ISBN: 9781847497208

320 pages

RRP: £6.39

As their father is sick, Hans Brinker and his younger sister Gretel must work to support their family. Despite this life of poverty, they long to take part in the annual ice-skating races on the frozen canal, where the victors win magnificent silver skates. But how can they hope to enter the races – let alone win – when their skates are wooden and home-made?

After meeting the famous surgeon Dr Boekman, and hearing that he might be able to cure their father, Hans doesn’t hesitate in offering to pay for the necessary operation, although he has been saving up all his money to buy two pairs of swift steel skates. As the big day looms, can the children enter their respective races and win the longed-for prize?

“They are going to give a splendid prize to the best skater.”
“Yes,” chimed in half a dozen voices, “a beautiful pair of silver skates – perfectly magnificent – with, oh! such straps and silver bells and buckles!”

Beautifully illustrated by Peter Bailey, this edition contains extra material for young readers including a section on ‘Other Unforgettable Siblings in Children’s Literature’, a test yourself quiz and a glossary

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  • Just as new and interesting as when it was first told.

    Frank R. Stockton

Mary Mapes Dodge

Mary Mapes Dodge (1831–1905) was born into a well-educated family in New York. After her husband’s death, she began a writing career in order to support her sons. Best known for Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, which was an instant success and won her lasting popular attention, she was also a successful poet and magazine editor.