Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody

I learned about Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody through another homeschooling mom when she shared how much she and her children had enjoyed it.  I checked it out from my library and we got started.

The setting of the story is early 1900s.  The story line is about a family who moves away from the city to begin ranching.  It is the story of their successes and struggles to try to make a new life for themselves while ranching.  More importantly it offers up many lessons in values not often seen today such as hard work, honesty, integrity and working for the good of your family (not just yourself) even when you are only a child.

Ralph, who eventually becomes known as Little Britches, meets many interesting people throughout this story.  Hi, the Cowboy, Two Dog the Indian, Mr. Thompson and the Sheriff are just a few of the fascinating characters you will meet.

I love that this book portrays Ralph’s father, Charlie, as strong and wise.  Unfortunately today we don’t see many books, TV shows or movies that portray fathers as someone to respect and admire.   I also love that Ralph cares about what his father thinks of his choices and he often considers his father’s wisdom when deciding how to handle things in his own life. 

There was some swearing in the book, though not by the main characters.  The author makes is clear that his father never swore and wouldn’t allow him to speak that way either.  For this reason, I would recommend this as a read aloud for the younger ages. 

I was very moved by the book and cried through a bit of the last few chapters.  Lucky for us there are several sequels!  We have already started the next in the line of stories, The Man of the Family.

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