Mary Mapes Dodge (January 26, 1831 – August 21, 1905) was an American children's writer and editor, best known for her novel Hans Brinker. Mary was born in New York City. She acquired a good education under private tutors. In 1859 she began writing and editing, working with her father to publish two magazines, the Working Farmer and the United States Journal. Within a few years she had great success with a collection of short stories, The Irvington Stories. Dodge then wrote «Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates», which became an instant bestseller.
The novel «Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates» takes place in the Netherlands and is a colorful fictional portrait of early 19th-century Dutch life, as well as a tale of youthful honor. Poor but industrious and honorable 15-year-old Hans Brinker and his younger sister Gretel yearn to participate in December's great ice skating race on the canal. They have little chance of doing well on their handmade wooden skates, but the prospect of the race and the prize of the silver skates excites them and fires their dreams.