free Bio

This blog is managed by us two sisters, known to some as Ants and Epic. We're a pair of up-and-coming authors and avid readers. This blog is mainly full of honest, Christian book-reviews and an occasional update about our writing. We love hearing from you all so feel free to drop a comment anywhere to just say hi!
Also, got any book suggestions? Something you'd like to see reviewed? Leave the title in the comments and we'll try to get to it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Series Review: Little Britches

Summary: Little Britches: In 1906 Littleton Colorado, near Denver, Ralph Moody 8 learns how to be a man from his father and cowboy Hi. Mother Mame tries to enforce Sunday bible standards. The family of seven build a ranch, participate in auctions, roundups, picnics. They suffer from irrigation wars, tornado wind storms, flood, gain and lose stock. 1950 literary debut continues for 8 books.
 Man of the Family: Early 1900s Colorado. Fortified with Yankee ingenuity and western energy, the Moody family, transplanted from New England, builds a new ranch life. Father has died and Little Britches shoulders the responsibilities of a man at age eleven. Determined Grace and religious Mother cooks beans, bread and repair lace curtains while Ralph builds frames and delivers baking.
The Home Ranch:  Ralph Moody turns again to Colorado, the scene of those two delightful earlier books about his boyhood, Little Britches and Man of the Family.
This is an extension of Mr. Moody's recollections of his twelfth year, and fits withing the framework of Man of the Family between chapters 25 and 26.

 Mary Emma and Company: The protagonist, Mary Emma Moody, widowed mother of six, has taken her family east in 1912 to begin a new life. Her son, Ralph, then thirteen, recalls how the Moodys survive that first bleak winter in a Massachusetts town. Money and prospects are lacking, but not so faith and resourcefulness. "Mother" in Little Britches and Man of the Family, Mary Emma emerges fully as a character in this book, and Ralph, no longer called "Little Britches," comes into his own. The family’s run-ins with authority and with broken furnaces in winter are evocative of a full and warm family life.Mary Emma & Company continues the Moody saga that started in Colorado with Little Britches and runs through Man of the Family and The Home Ranch. All these titles have been reprinted as Bison Books, as has The Fields of Home, in which Ralph leaves the Massachusetts town for his grandfather's farm in Maine.
The Fields of Home: 1912 Massachussetts. Narrator Ralph 15 battles maternal Granpa Tom Gould, who swears at "tarnal" boy, cook Millie, old "yalla colt". Ralph tames buckskin by tricks - ties ears back, fills mouth with dirt, apple bribes. Granpa busts invented "contraptions". Millie goes. Uncle Levi advises patience. Pretty Annie and Ralph hold hands. Rocks, roots dynamited. Barn raised.
Shaking the Nickel Bush:   Skinny and suffering from diabetes, Ralph Moody is ordered by a Boston doctor to seek a more healthful climate. Going west again is a delightful prospect. His childhood adventures on a Colorado ranch were described in Little Britches and Man of the Family, also Bison Books. Now nineteen years old, he strikes out into new territory hustling odd jobs, facing the problem of getting fresh milk and leafy green vegetables. He scrapes around to survive, risking his neck as a stunt rider for a movie company. With an improvident buddy named Lonnie, he camps out in an Arizona canyon and "shakes the nickel bush" by sculpting plaster of paris busts of lawyers and bankers. This is 1918, and the young men travel through the Southwest not on horses but in a Ford aptly named Shiftless. New readers and old will enjoy this entry in the continuing saga of Ralph Moody.
The Dry Divide: 4 July 1919 Nebraska. Ralph Moody "Bud" 20 is diabetic, down to last dime when put off a freight train. Three months later he owns 8 teams of horses and rigs. His girl Judy works alongside. On wheat and corn farm of bully Hudson, he pulls together Swedish brothers, drunk Doc, Spanish-speaking Paco, Irish "Jaiko Jack", Old Bill, into first-rate harvest crew.
Horse of a Different Color: Horse of a Different Color ends the "roving days" of young Ralph Moody. His saga began on a Colorado ranch in Little Britches and continued at points east and west in Man of the Family, The Fields of Home, The Home Ranch, Mary Emma & Company, Shaking the Nickel Bush, and The Dry Divide

Thoughts: I realize that these probably weren't the best of summaries but it was the best I could find at the moment. So, here goes...I cried. These were stories my mother started reading out loud to us at night but that I later went back, reread and recently finished myself. Ralph Moody spins a tale of childhood bordering the turning of an age, as one culture becomes lost and another begins. He was, in a sense, one of the last cowboys. It's a saddening yet insightful and enjoyable series. Don't get me wrong, half the time Ralph didn't seem to know or care what age it was! He never lamented the past and his stories are full of fun and crazy adventure that constantly had me questioning its probability. After all, how many people succeed in herding a wild cow with a car, tying her up, and milking her for Christmas dinner? Full of fun for everyone, these are great stories for boys and girls alike of all ages!

Content: There's some 'cowboy talk' as far as language goes but it rarely gets too offensive. Aside from that this series is pretty much friendly for readers young and old! (And highly recommended for both!) 

No comments:

Post a Comment