In this classic winter tale, set against a backdrop of frozen canals in a land of windmills and wooden shoes, the year’s most thrilling event is about to take place — the race to win the coveted Silver Skates. For youngsters of the Dutch village, the time is especially exciting. But Hans and Gretel Brinker, with their hand-carved wooden blades, can hardly expect to compete against their well-trained young friends who own costly steel skates. Raff Brinker, their father, is seriously ill, and the desperately poor family is struggling to survive. To win the race, the siblings will need a miracle — and a helping hand. First published in 1865, Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates was greeted with instant popular acclaim. The heartwarming tale continues to delight countless readers today with its messages of virtue rewarded and the importance of maintaining courage in the pursuit of one’s dreams.