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“A picked flower soon fades, and there ain’t nothing to do but heave it out… The Almighty meant ’em to be left on the bush till seed time.”
-from The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody
My love and I both love to read. We’ve spent hours discussing books together during the many years of our friendship.
There are always new titles to peruse, new authors to become acquainted with. But we always go back to a few favorite titles we read, re-read, recommend, and re-discuss.
And one of those old favorites will forever be Little Britches. My husband grew up listening to his dad read the series by Ralph Moody. My dad had read the first two books in the series when he was a teenager, and then read them aloud to my brother and me when we were very little—skipping the mild language of the cowboys, of course.
By the time I’d been married a year and heard my husband and his family reference the books over and over again, I decided they would make the perfect birthday gift. But I think I was more the beneficiary: I spent the next year listening to my husband read the series aloud to me! He enjoyed watching my suspense and interest grow as each book progressed. I’d been too young when I’d heard them before to remember much of the story. Plus there’s just something about listening to a book being read aloud that makes you wait and listen more carefully—especially when it is read by the voice you love best!
From horse saddles to hair ribbons, flapjacks to kisses, Ralph Moody chronicles his own real-life adventures of growing up and making his way in the world of the early 1900’s. The ingenuity of his inventions keep one intrigued. There wasn’t an odd job that boy didn’t have, nor a way he didn’t get into trouble. But through it all, he learned what it meant to be a man.
You’ll soon adore his mother and sisters. His father you can’t help but respect. And the ranch hands who befriend “Little Britches” will seem like your friends as well. You’ll feel the pathos of every situation right along with Ralph, from spreading manure to holding hands. As my husband says, most every page will make you laugh and cry—not to mention keeping you on the edge of your seat to see what scrapes Ralph gets himself into next!
Ralph Moody’s Little Britches series is like the book Farmer Boy, times eight, but with biblical principles held high and important life lessons passed on from father to son. The men and boys will probably get something different out of the books than the girls will. But you can’t help but be influenced by the timeless truths about life and love found in the pages of the Little Britches books. They belong in every family’s library.
The series order can be a bit confusing, especially since they aren’t numbered. (The Home Ranch should be read after Man of the Family, but it develops a story mentioned near the end of Man of the Family.) You’ll find the reading order below, along with order links. (You can also get hooked on the first few chapters at Google Books.)
- Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
- Man of the Family
- The Home Ranch
- Mary Emma & Company
- The Fields of Home
- Shaking the Nickel Bush
- The Dry Divide
- Horse of a Different Color: Reminiscences of a Kansas Drover