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Hans Brinker

Duration: 1st January – 31st January
Number of books: 7
Hosted by:Crazy Challenge Connection

I loved this story when I was child. My family has some Dutch heritage and it was nice to know a story about my ancestors’ homeland.

1. American author Mary Mapes Dodge wrote Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland in 1865. Though fictional, the book portrays life in the Netherlands in the early 19th century. The Dutch sport of speed skating is introduced to America and Hans Brinker is still considered the prototype of a speed skater.
⛸ Read a book that takes place in the 19th century OR read a book which features a winter sport.

2. Ms. Dodge didn’t visit Holland until after the novel’s publication, but had a great interest in the Netherlands and learned much from her Dutch immigrant neighbors. The book became an instant bestseller and has never gone out of print. It remains a classic Children’s story.
⛸ Read a book that takes place in the Netherlands OR read a book from the NY Times Bestseller list (be sure to tell us when the book was on the list).

3. The story opens with 15 year old Hans Brinker and his younger sister, Gretel, excitedly hoping to win the big ice skating race on the frozen canal. In reality, they don’t have much hope of winning with their homemade wooden skates, but Hans works several jobs to earn money to buy steel skates.
Read a young adult (YA) book OR read a book in which the MC character faces a task without much hope of succeeding; briefly tell us the circumstances. – When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs (taking on a thousand plus year old demon with next to no knowledge)

4. The siblings’ father, Raff Brinker, had fallen from a dyke several years ago and suffered head trauma. Due to amnesia and occasional violent outbursts, he can no longer work and the family is very poor. By chance, Hans meets the great surgeon, Dr. Boekman, and begs him to treat his father. The treatment would be risky and expensive; moreover, the gruff Dr. Boekman, having recently lost his wife and had his son disappear, is not receptive.
⛸ Read a book where a character is grieving something (tell us what) OR read a book featuring a doctor or someone who works in the medical field. – Greylands by Isobelle Carmody (the death of Jack’s mother)

5. Hans offers Dr. Boekman all the money he has saved to buy steel skates. The magnanimous offer touches the doctor’s grieving heart and he agrees to see their father for free. The doctor diagnoses pressure to the father’s brain and performs surgery to alleviate the trauma. In the meantime, Hans is able to buy steel skates for himself and Gretel.
⛸ Read a book whose title starts with a letter in SKATES (ignore a/an/the) OR read a book in which a character could be described as generous; briefly tell us why.

6. The day of the race arrives. Hans lets his friend, who needs the prize money and silver skates more than he does, win the boy’s race. Gretel wins the girl’s race and receives the eponymous silver skates. Mr. Brinker, now recovered from his head trauma, remembers where he had his savings buried and is able to restore the family’s finances.
⛸ Read a book in which a character wins a race or competition (tell us what) OR read a book whose author’s first and last initials may be found in BRINKER.

7. Mr. Brinker also has information that leads to finding Dr. Boekman’s missing son, thus restoring some hope and good cheer to the doctor’s life. Dr. Boekman helps Hans go to medical school and he becomes a successful doctor. As all really good stories do, this tale ends happily ever after.
⛸ Read a book with its own HEA ending OR read a book where a missing character is found. – Wild Fire by Christien Feehan

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