Read Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody Online

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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 eqRalph 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....

Title : Father and I were Ranchers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780803281783
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 260 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Father and I were Ranchers Reviews

  • Lesli
    2019-06-30 10:56

    I finished Little Britches by Ralph Moody. I didn't want to read it because I thought it was a dumb title, and I don't like sad farming stories set in the Great Depression. I blame that on Steinbeck. I know it is so un public school taught of me, to not like Steinbeck but come on his stories are such downers. He is a good writer, but that doesn't mean I want to read his pathetic tales. The title makes more sense after reading the story, and it wasn't a downer story about the failings of capitalism in the great depression (by the way, I don't think the great depression was a fault of capitalism, it was the fault of government intervention). It turned out to be a good quick read, and my husband really enjoyed it. He dreams of living on a ranch/farm, and he liked the lessons it teaches. I think these were a few of this favorites: "Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government (80)." "Son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn't like to, in order to protect his family (120)." I bet this was my husband's favorite: "There are only two kinds of men in this world: Honest men and dishonest men. ...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 (177)."

  • Scott Axsom
    2019-07-18 14:39

    I am, to use my dear, late, cowboy grandfather’s lowliest epithet, a dude. I'm city-born and horse-shy, but I'm also descended from Colorado ranchers and horsemen dating back to 1870, so I'll be the first to admit that I have a serious soft spot for all things cowboy and all things Colorado - it’s just in my jeans, I guess. With that in mind, you'll probably want to take what follows with a block of salt:Written in beautifully spartan prose, Little Britches is told through a series of (autobiographical) parables derived from life on a dirt ranch near the Colorado foothills beginning around 1906. Moody delivers his endearing style through the (remarkably authentic) voice of an eight year-old boy as he leads the reader to numerous, and occasionally elegant, lessons in honor, duty and pride. The writing is compelling and often hilarious but, be forewarned, the facts of Colorado ranching life at the turn of the century will occasionally bring you to your knees. A thorough and honest look at an over-mythologized epoch, through the eyes of a remarkable young man, Little Britches will steal your heart and give you pause to ponder some of life’s most poignant lessons. I loved every word.

  • Jim
    2019-07-19 17:33

    Set from 1906-1908 in Colorado, this follows Ralph for a couple of years. He's quite the young man with quite the father, but that's not what made the book for me. It was the wonderful look into the world of that time. Not much more than a century ago & there were only a few cars in the story. Most work was done by horses. No antibiotics, indoor plumbing, or so many of the things we take for granted today. It's a great look at a small farm, too.There's a great set of morals running through the story which makes it a great YA book. Written in 1950, they're of the "Leave It To Beaver" sort. Perhaps "Little House On the Prairie" or "The Waltons" might be closer. Ralph is pretty special, but he's a very typical boy in many ways. He makes his share of mistakes & learns from them with the help of his parents, especially his father. It's a bit sappy in places, but not too much. Pretty perfect read for the Xmas season.Don't read the book descriptions for the next book, which does follow Ralph, until you've finished this one as it contains a big spoiler. I hate that. Looks like there are 8 books in the series. I think my library has them all, but I'm not in a rush to start the next immediately. I will continue them, though.

  • Jennifer
    2019-07-16 11:34

    I was very moved by the last chapter of Little Britches when Ralph assumes his Father’s place at the table. In his own words, “That night [Mother] nodded to me, and I became a man.”How many young men or ladies could fill a parent’s shoes in their family at the age of 11 or 12? Most couldn’t because instead of becoming young men and women, they become teenagers. What is the purpose of a teenager’s existence? What is the benefit of such a period of life? What good comes of it? I believe that preparing our children for teenage years rather than young adulthood robs and blinds them. It robs them of the confidence and security that would come of knowing how to do a man or woman’s work, of knowing they make a material difference to their family, of the opportunity to learn and practice adult skills while there is still a safety net to catch them when they fall. It blinds them to the true sources of happiness and prosperity: personal integrity, hard work and responsibility.We often hear of widespread teen angst and depression. So many teens today sense the meaninglessness of their lives. They combat this with drugs, sex, gangs, friends, and entertainment. There is a prevailing attitude in society that teens should have fun while they can because it’s all downhill once they become adults. Most of them aren’t having much fun now and they are told they have nothing better to look forward to. No wonder they are depressed!Growing-up used to be something that children looked forward to. Growing-up used to mean something about the character of an individual rather than just their age. Growing up used to mean new freedoms coupled with responsibilities. Kids today are taught all about so-called freedoms that come with growing up but there is little talk of new responsibilities. And the so-called freedoms are not what our founding fathers meant when they established the land of the free and home of the brave. There is little talk about the right to vote, the right to pursue happiness through hard work, the right to speak and think freely. The responsibilities they should be preparing for are represented as evils they should free themselves from: family, home, church, and service. The mantra goes something like, “You don’t owe anybody anything. The world owes you.” And so they are encouraged to get an early start on experimenting with sex, drugs, financial irresponsibility and hedonistic living. It was so refreshing to read about Ralph Moody’s experience growing up. This is what I want for my children. His parents, especially his father, taught him good, bad, right, wrong, true, and false. They taught him to work. They taught him about the importance of family relationships and responsibility. They helped him develop personal integrity and character. They gave him opportunities to practice in the safety of their care. Then, when it became necessary, Ralph was ready to become the man of the family. Rather than looking back on his childhood and feeling robbed of his “teenage” years, I’m sure Ralph felt deep satisfaction and gratitude for the way they helped him to become a man.

  • Sally
    2019-07-15 18:51

    This is first of a series of auto-biographies. I read the first one to see what all the fuss was about ("must-read classic") and plowed right through all of them. THey are:Little BritchesMan of the FamilyThe Home RanchMary Emma and CompanyFields of HomeShaking the Nickel BushThe Dry DivideHOrse of a Different ColorI had a hard time getting through Fields of Home because of that tarnal fool of a Grandpa of his. I either wanted to knock him over the head, commit him to a group home or send them all the family counseling. That's the only book I didnt' finish, and I hear it has a good ending. Life of a young boy through his teen years, loss of his father, working as a ranch hand.... But those words can't capture the wonderfulness of these books.

  • Susan
    2019-07-10 15:42

    In 1966 I was in the first grade, and suffering because my newly minted teacher did not believe in children who could read without having completed all the Phonics lessons in the workbook first. My reading tastes were catholic *in the sense of universal* and included National Geographic Magazines form the '20's and '30's, my Great grandfather's Oklahoma grade school textbooks, The Farmer Stockman, The Reader's Digest, any newspaper, cereal box, or other printed matter I could find, and a hand full of little Golden Books, carefully gleaned from many trips to the grocery store and good behavior. My father read many things aloud, but he had the discouraging habit of skipping long sections as he got interested and read silently. He would never go back either! Noting my discouragement at school, he handed me a copy of Little Britches, and I read my first novel. WOW-- it was a life changing experience. For a week or so, I lived, breathed, ate, and slept in Colorado (I'd been there, but at first I didn't realize that the long word: COLORADO actually corresponded to the place. I was in too big a hurry to stop and sound it out! I laughed, cried, suffered, hoped, and grew along with Ralph, Grace, Phillip and Muriel, Father and Mother, King, and of course, Fanny and Two Dogs. I almost cried myself sick when the Flood came. And when the book was done, I cried and cried and cried. When my mother asked me if it was a sad book, I said "No~but it's over!. Thankfully, it was not over, because I have read it at least once a year since then, along with the rest of Mr. Moody's memoirs. I also have read it to a class or two, loaned it to a special student who would appreciate it, and best of all, read it with my own son. This is a treasure`

  • Ryan
    2019-07-18 12:52

    My favorite quotes from the book: "Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government (80)." "Son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn't like to, in order to protect his family (120)." "There are only two kinds of men in this world: Honest men and dishonest men. ...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 (177).""A man's character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn't do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth."

  • Mitzi
    2019-07-19 14:41

    I checked this book out from the library.... I definitely need to acquire this one for myself. It's one I would read again many times, as well as read to my children. I LOVED it! I love the simplicity of how the story is told through the eyes of an 8-year-old boy, and how he's able to portray such a vivid picture with his memories. I love the relationship between Ralph and his parents, but particularly his father. I love his father's wisdom (there are many parts I would underline if I had my own copy) and the gentle yet memorable ways he teaches him to be an honorable man. With both humor and sorrow, an unconquerable spirit, hard work, and faith - if only all families had such fortitude..... Such a good book!

  • Carol
    2019-07-21 17:34

    I read this (~a chapter/week) aloud to three grandsons (ages 11, 7, 5) who are into horses and mini-farms. I've always considered this series a "Little House" for boys. {I believe both series work for both genders, but Laura appeals more to girls and Ralph more to boys.} The vocabulary and content were a stretch, especially for the younger boys. I paused often to explain words like "horseless carriage". Their interest flagged and flared. As we finished today, I read through tears amidst a thick silence around the table. Hours later, one boy asked questions revealing his lingering interest. He also asked if I would read the next book in the series, which was an easy 'yes' since Man of the Family is my favorite.But, evaluating the whole experience, I find myself reluctant to recommend this to all but the very bright reader. Borderline archaic. I hate saying that, but the difference between reading this to my sons twenty-five years ago and with my grandsons this year astonishes me. However, my memory may be flawed (25 years, you know). And having so much space between readings probably didn't help.

  • Slotowngal California born
    2019-07-02 15:40

    This book is the first in a whole series of biographies about the Moody family, who went west around 1908 to become farmers in Colorado. The story of young Ralph Moody, his interactions with his parents, his lively descriptions of neighbors, cowboys and other characters all make his set of biographical novels a pleasure from start to finish. I read these first as a child, but have kept a copy of all 8 books nearby to re-read on a regular basis. Try them out.... they are worth the time.

  • Andee
    2019-07-03 11:48

    Wonderful story!! My husband read it to the kids in summer of '08 then I read it myself that fall. I cried at the end of the story and loved the family relationships displayed in the book. Especially between Ralph and his dad. GREAT!!

  • Jasmyn
    2019-07-14 15:34

    Update 11/13 - Finished with kids. Still wonderful--if I can be as wise a parent as this father, my kids will be all right.Wow! Great book - I read this the summer I graduated, along with every other book he wrote in this series that I could get my hands on (BYU's library didn't have them all, sadly). These books are autobiographical and describe a boy coming of age with his father at his side--a great book for anyone raising little boys! I loved the strong moral message of this book and the "work hard" aspect of everything he learned from his father. Definitely want to read this again for literature with my own kiddies someday!

  • Melanie
    2019-07-02 17:59

    9/30/2016. I love this book more every time I read it. A true classic! Especially for parents of boys!3/30/15 I think I enjoy this book more and more every time that I read it. I love the beauty and the simplicity of Ralph's relationship with Father. Ralph wasn't forced or coerced into things by his father. He was inspired by him and wanted to follow in his Father's footsteps. I love watching his transition from boy to young man. The love, the level of responsibility, and the respect he showed for all of his family was beautiful.I was so inspired by the building up and maintaining of his "character house" as he grew and matured.6/13/14 I love this book. I read it this time for the 7 Keys Certification. I know I learn so much more from it everytime that I read it. What a wonderful relationship Ralph has with his father!This was my second time reading this book. I read it this time with my boys. I loved it more this time than the first time. It is such a great story about raising children and about Ralph learning and becoming a man.

  • Rebekah W.
    2019-07-16 16:36

    This is the Boys' version of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books.This is a brilliant antidote to the childish, fatherless culture that neither understands boys nor accommodates them.There is some language, and there are a few bad choices, though I believe the appropriate consequences are always shown--there might be one exception.A great choice for family read-alouds and dirt- and cowboy-loving boys everywhere.

  • Amy
    2019-07-20 13:29

    This is what I call the "Little House on the Prairie" for boys. This is set in the same type of setting, rural farmland and a little boy and his family. I thouroughly enjoyed it. It showed his respect for his family and his love of horses. You can see how children at that time were forced into maturity at an earlier age. Life seemed more fragile, simple and gritty at that time.

  • Cheryl
    2019-07-22 17:37

    In some ways this is like the boys' version of Little House on the Prairie. But judging by its bestseller status, a lot of adults were reading it, too. Appeals to nostalgia, to a time when it seemed that life was simpler, people were closer to God and nature, neighbors knew each other. I'm so glad I didn't live back then.Father 'teaches' the downright naughty Ralph lessons in being a man. He's a slow learner, but, "I always loved him more after he scolded me than I did at any other time." (Actually, a reader is given the impression that spankings were doled out as often as scoldings, and those, too, strengthened the bond between them.)"Grace could ride a stacker horse just as well as I could and she didn't think it was fair that I got all the money-making opportunities while she had to stay at home and help Mother." And since she is two years older than Ralph, when he goes off at age 11 to be a cowboy, she gets her wish."You know, Son, sometimes a fellow has to take a licking for doing the right thing. A licking only lasts a short while, even if its a hard one, but failing to do the right thing will often make a mark on a man that will last forever."If you like that sort of thing, it's a five star book. Me, not so much. No interest in the sequels.

  • Julie
    2019-07-13 17:44

    What a wonderful story! Read this aloud to my son and daughter and we all three loved it. That last chapter...whew!

  • Elaine
    2019-07-09 12:36

    I loved this book! It's been called a "Little House on the Prairie" for boys, and it's got similar themes-hard-working but poor family moving west to start fresh and live off the land, lots of kids, parents imparting wisdom, kids learning some hard-learned lessons. But since it's a boy, the adventures are more...adventurous! Lots of wild horse-riding, sneaky escapades, and growing up. It's a wonderful tribute to the author's father, as throughout the whole book, you see how Ralph draws closer to his father, and comes to understand his dad's character, as he goes from a little boy to working partner to support the family. The father is a man of few words and emotions, but full of love and respect for his son. He's a smart, honest, and hard-working man, living in the 'wild west' where things are often settled by fist fights, and he is a great role model for Ralph and for all kids reading this book. Ralph learns a lot of good hard lessons from this father who seems to know just what little boys do, and who knows when to discipline and guide vs. when to let his son takes his own path. I wish I had that much wisdom in parenting!I read this aloud to the kids, and they both loved it. It's full of exciting and suspenseful moments, and quite some humor in the mix. I did have to explain a lot (and look things up myself) when it came to reading about cattle ranching, horses, and farm life. There's also a bit of mild cursing (damn, hell) in the dialogue, reflecting the speech of the cowboys and neighbors that they lived among, but Ralph makes clear that this is something his parents wouldn't approve of, and that he himself doesn't do. While reading, I tended to just re-word those lines, but I did have a conversation with them about it, and sometimes when I wasn't on my toes with scanning ahead, I'd just read it right out loud! oops! One of the things that struck me (and this seems to be true whenever I read historical novels centered on kids) is how much responsibility and independence Ralph had. Ralph was taking a job herding cows, breaking colts, riding into the nearest town alone(which I'm sure was NOT that nearby), and living away from home for a long-term summer job, all on his own, between the ages of 8-11! When I think about kids now, they seem to barely clear the table on their own! It was definitely a different time. I can't imagine sending Timothy off on a horse to the center of town on his own. It just makes me realize kids CAN take on a lot of responsibility, and I think they're better off for it, if they can feel useful and make a contribution to the family at an early age. Just a warning though, the book ends in a sad, but poignant, ending. I really want to read the next one, but not sure how soon it'll be. This book wasn't at our library, and neither are any of the others in this series.

  • Abigail Larsen
    2019-07-08 12:49

    "Son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn't like to, in order to protect his family."In this autobiography that's anything but dry or textbook-ish, Ralph Moody begins the story of his childhood. His unique story-telling voice is authentic and appealing, drawing both young and old in. The emotions conveyed throughout these pages are compelling--surprisingly so since it's told from a young boy's perspective.The account begins in 1906, and Ralph's family has just moved from the East Coast to a Colorado ranch in hopes of improving Ralph's father's health. Using both the risks and the excitement of their new ranching lifestyle, Ralph's father teaches his eight-year-old son the weighty principals of integrity, courage, and upright character."A man's character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn't do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth," his father explains.Ralph and his family encounter a variety of exciting events during their first few years in Colorado: tornados, school fights, rodeos, auctions, personal tragedies, roundups, and trick riding, to name a few. Each new experience increases the father-son bond and puts Ralph one step closer to manhood. But don't let me deceive you into assuming this book is all seriousness; there are plenty of hearty laughs to be had along the way!While Ralph's story may be especially appreciated by those with a soft spot for cowboys, it is also sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by practically anyone who loves family or has been a child once himself. The tenderness, joys, humor, and heartaches conveyed within Father and I Were Ranchers are universal experiences that we can all, at least to a certain extent, relate to. And I raise an skeptical eyebrow toward anyone who won't admit to shedding genuine tears by the end of this, the first book in the Little Britches series. Though not without its flaws, Father and I Were Ranchers provides excellent springboards for discussion on many important life issues.This one is definitely worth owning. It's also an excellent audio book. Five very enthusiastic stars!Recommended read-aloud age: all agesRecommended read-alone age: 12 and up (due to reading level)My blog: www.oursureanchor.com

  • ladydusk
    2019-07-18 13:31

    Own.What a fantastic book. Definitely one of the best reads our family has read together! Ralph's family moves out west to Colorado on the advice of Cousin Phil to help Father's health. The family works together to learn and grow at ranching - the great independent American Dream. Ralph learns lessons in character, honesty, and manhood from his father along the way. It took both of us to get through the final, heart-wrenching chapter. This book ought to be read aloud to edit for coarse language.We've already begun using some of the lessons Father taught Ralph - ideas like don't burn down your character house.The children were perhaps a little young for this book and it will definitely be a book we revisit later. We intend to continue in the series.Highly (highly!) recommended by parents and children. (M-girl has declared that this was her favorite read aloud).

  • momma.hailey
    2019-07-21 17:55

    Five years ago I read this for a book club and couldn't wait to introduce it to my family. We just finished listening to it on Audible read by Cameron Beierle. Mr. Beierle was outstanding and I felt that he brought the characters to life in a way that I could not. My 4 and 5 year olds listened as well, although I did have to explain what cursing was and why we don't do it. I was prepared for that though. My 8 year old son has asked incessantly to begin it again.

  • Christy
    2019-07-18 11:43

    We LOVE this book; this was our third time through. This time, we are continuing on with the rest of the series. I noted lessons on character, thrift, education, self-sufficiency, honor, work, pride, charity, ingenuity, government and relationships.I envy the environment that produces 11 year old boys to have the skills that enable him to run a farm. It is inspirational.

  • Bailey
    2019-07-01 15:50

    I saw this referenced as a "Little House on the Prairie" for boys, and was eager to read it. In this memoir, which takes place in the early 1900s, Ralph (a.k.a. Little Britches) learns what it means to be a good man in the wilds of Colorado with the help of his wise and wonderful Pa.

  • Angie Libert
    2019-07-06 12:48

    I first read this book in September 2012 and I only gave it 3 stars. This time reading aloud to my children, I am giving it a full 5 stars! What an excellent read aloud book! Ralph Moody is a complete inspiration to us all!

  • Suki
    2019-07-13 18:52

    You go and read it.

  • Sara
    2019-06-27 15:50

    First reading: March 2014Second reading: 2015Third reading: July 2016I actually think it gets better on every reading.

  • Kristy
    2019-06-26 16:46

    Five stars. Read aloud as a family. I, too, cried at the end. That is all.

  • Alison
    2019-07-14 11:37

    This book started out a little slow but steadily grew on me and by the end, I was fully invested in the Moody family, seeing them through the eyes of Ralph Moody who is 8 years old when the story begins and 11 at the end. He gives a fascinating and genuine picture of what life was like in the early 1900's for a country family. It gave me a great sense for the reality of the physical perils that surrounded people back then... accident and sickness, for both young and old alike. The fact that Ralph survived his boyhood is a wonder, in and of itself! My favorite thing about this book are the poignant life lessons taught to Ralph by his father in the beautiful and simple way. "You know, Son, sometimes a fellow has to take a licking for doing the right thing. A licking only lasts a short while, even if it's a hard one, but failing to do the right thing will often make a mark on a man that will last forever" (251). If only more parents lived and taught this kind of philosophy today! Growing up I was a big fan of the Little House series and this book is very similar but from a boy's perspective.

  • Ashley Jacobson
    2019-06-22 12:39

    The first few chapters did not catch my attention. They were a bit sappy and it sounded like this was going to be a book filled with quotable moral advice and nothing more. But I pressed on and it ended up to be a great story. There was a good plot and characters I cared about. I saw the ending coming, maybe because I heard it was sad, but it was well done and didn’t ruin the book. I liked the examples of good parenting and shaping your character. It’s definitely a book I would be happy with my kids reading. They would “get it” now, but still appreciate it when they are older and can handle the me book on their own. It’s a novel that can be appreciated by most any age!

  • Jenna
    2019-06-26 13:43

    Read as a read aloud to my 11 year old son. He loved it and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Some characters used colorful language but it was easy to work around when reading aloud. Lots of good biblical, moral, and work ethic lessons.