Little Britches

Little Britches : Father and I Were Ranchers

4.29 (8,611 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Ralph Moody was eight years old in 1906 when his family moved from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Through his eyes we experience the pleasures and perils of ranching there early in the twentieth century. Auctions and roundups, family picnics, irrigation wars, tornadoes and wind storms give authentic color to Little Britches. So do adventures, wonderfully told, that equip Ralph to take his father's place when it becomes necessary. Little Britches was the literary debut of Ralph Moody, who wrote about the adventures of his family in eight glorious books, all available as Bison Books.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 260 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 22.86mm | 281g
  • Nebraska, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illus.
  • 0803281781
  • 9780803281783
  • 41,803

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Review quote

"The story of the Moody family is told without embellishment in a simple, straight-forward style. It is especially suited for reading aloud as a family. The difficulties Ralph faces, the mishaps and consequences, will provoke quality discussions with middle schoolers and older students, although children as young as third grade will enjoy and benefit from the story."-Homeschooling Today -- Barbara Blakey * Homeschooling Today * "Ralph Moody's books should be read aloud in every family circle in America"-Sterling North -- Sterling North "Enthusiastically recommended for young and old."-Library Journal * Library Journal * "You will search long . . . To find a more disarming and refreshing account of family life than Ralph Moody has set down in Little Britches."-Chicago Sunday Tribune * Chicago Sunday Tribune * "A most appealing book . . . Its genuineness and its simplicity will build up a large audience of enthusiastic readers."-San Francisco Chronicle * San Francisco Chronicle * "This is a gallant book-from the first sentence until the last. It is a true story, written in the first person, written without sentimentality but with extraordinary drama."-Christian Science Monitor * Christian Science Monitor * "[Moody] has a splendid talent for bringing the ashes of the past into life."-Chicago Sunday Tribune * Chicago Sunday Tribune *
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About Ralph Moody

Ralph Moody (1898-1982) is the author of Come on Seabicuit! as well as the Little Britches series about a boy's life on a Colorado ranch, all available in Bison Books editions.
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Rating details

8,611 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 52% (4,444)
4 31% (2,708)
3 13% (1,105)
2 3% (250)
1 1% (104)

Our customer reviews

It is 1906, and eight-year-old Ralph Moody's family is getting ready to move. They live in East Rochester, NH, and Ralph's father Charles works in the woolen mills, but it isn't good for his lungs. Cousin Phil, who lives in Denver, CO, visits and convinces Father that ranching in Colorado would be better for his health. So Father, Mother, Grace, Muriel, Philip, Hal, and Ralph rent a ranch on the Fort Logan-Morrison road, near Littleton, CO, not far from Denver. This autobiographical book chronicles their first year which involves settling on the ranch, meeting neighbors, planting crops, raising animals, going to school, experiencing a huge wind storm,and fighting over irrigation rights. Ralph, who becomes known as "Little Britches," learns how to be a cowboy and even participates in a rodeo, but will the ranch be successful? Will the family even survive? This series of books has long been recommended by homeschoolers as the "Little House for Boys." First, there are some negatives, one of which is language issues. One source says, "Be aware, however, that there is some inappropriate language used - no doubt in keeping with the actual verbiage of rugged cowboys and characters of the time." Another source says, "an excellent read-aloud selection (which will allow you to filter out the smattering of 'cuss' words that occur, and which Moody himself wasn't allowed to use as a lad)." And still another source says, "A customer pointed out that there are a few undesirable words used to watch out for." Also, several who have read the entire series have noted that the later books, especially after Ralph goes to live with his grandfather in The Fields of Home, are not as good as the earlier ones which detail his childhood because they are more "dark" with lots of bad attitudes which are displayed over and over. However, there are also some strong positives. Little Britches is rich in the values of family unity, honesty, inventiveness, earning others' trust, and satisfaction in a job well done. And there is great emphasis on character development. Ralph gets in several predicaments and doesn't always make the right choices, but he learns to do better by heeding hisfather's wise advice, who said, "Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest. The same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest." Amen! What an important lesson that is so needed today! The seven sequels are Man of the Family, The Home Ranch, Mary Emma and Company, The Fields of Home, Shaking the Nickel Bush, The Dry Divide, and Horse of a Different more
by Wayne S. Walker
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