The Little Riders

By Margaretha Shemin

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Living in Holland during the Nazi occupation, Johanna takes comfort in watching the town’s clock tower from her attic window. Every hour, twelve metal figures on horseback parade out in a joyous salute. When the Germans threaten to melt down the “little riders” for ammunition, Johanna bravely risks danger to save them.

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Mary Mapes Dodge: Crafter of the Silver Skates and Godmother of Children's Literature

The author of Hans Brinker, a famous book about poor children who lived in Holland, grew up rather rich and never visited Europe. She was a New York City girl, born on January 26, 1831, to a well-off family who helped her on the way to becoming a beloved children's writer and magazine editor. This writer had an unusual and privileged background. Miss Mary Mapes did not go to school with everyone else. She was taught at home by tutors and governesses. There she studied French, Latin, music, drawing, and literature. Her family's circle of friends included some very intelligent people. Horace Greeley, a hugely important newspaper publisher, and the famous poet-journalist William Cullen Bryant were often hosted at the Mapes home.