Read The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody Online


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....

Title : The Fields of Home
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780803281943
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 335 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Fields of Home Reviews

  • Marcy
    2019-07-22 15:31

    The Fields of Home is my least favorite of this series but I highly recommend you don't skip it. At this point in the story Ralph is living with his grandfather and it seems like he is constantly criticizing Ralph. But it has it's redeeming qualities and I wouldn't want to miss this portion of Ralph's experiences and how he handles all of it.This book takes place in Maine & I found the following review from Amazon of interest and thought I would share it:"If one was brought up ( as I was ) in Maine, farming with horses - the reality of the narrative is apparent.... Moody was writing about real people who actually existed! Tom Gould (the Grandfather) was a Civil War Vet - Company I, 16th Maine; he actually did work the farm described in the book; his father, Jacob, actually did clear the farm from the wilderness; Tom actually was born when his father was 72, etc., etc. A boulder in nearby Hillside Cemetery in Lisbon memorializes Jacob, Tom and the farm which is the setting for this book. This is a cultural thumb print of turn-of-the-century Maine. One might also explore the writings of another of Tom's grandsons (and Ralph Moody's first cousin), Maine author, John Gould."

  • Shiloah
    2019-06-27 17:30

    These books are rich in many beautiful lessons. My husband and I are enjoying this series together.

  • MaryAnn
    2019-07-06 16:47

    I think everyone should read all of the Little Britches series, but my favorites were Little Britches and Mary Emma and Company so I'm only giving the other books a four rating even though I really enjoyed all of them. They give a glimpse into life that makes us realize how important hard work and cheerfulness and determination really are and how much they can impact our success in life.

  • Christy
    2019-07-02 12:55

    There are two books in this series that the repeated exclamations used drove us absolutely CRAZY! "Betcha my life" of The Home Ranch and "gorry sakes alive," "tarnal" anything, " and "great day of judgment" from The Fields of Home. In fact, if ever I want to tease and get a rise out of one of my boys, I use those phrases. ;) Even with all the wonderful examples of work and skill in these books, the repetition of those phrases by Grandpa and Uncle has ruined the reading aloud of any more books in this series. My boy insists that that isn't the reason, but I can see it is a major part of it. Do your self a favor, from the very start don't read aloud those phrases, not even in your mind. I am a sucker for memoirs of days gone by when 11 yr olds are sent out to get a chicken from the yard, dress it and bring it in for dinner. Ralph is 15 in this book and his skill and competence at work, invention and self sufficiency amazes me. I long for a lifestyle like that for my family. Ralph's ability to stay with that tarnal fool grandpa of his amazes me, not many would have stuck it out. It was refreshing to finally see the change in him, but it didn't happen soon enough or for a long enough duration before the book ended. In my mind, his is still mostly a sick man.

  • Don
    2019-07-09 10:30

    My favorite Ralph Moody book so far. His memoirs of growing up in 1910's America show how much life has changed in 100 years. I doubt teens today could do half of what they did back then.

  • Allyson
    2019-06-27 15:44

    This is the first Moody book I've read, so I can't say anything about this installment compared to the rest of the series; but I can say that I loved every page of this one and was itching to read some passages aloud, even if just to myself! :) Grandfather, Millie, and Uncle Levi are true New Englanders to the core and the interaction going on amongst themselves and with Ralph is so very entertaining on a number of levels! Aside from just the humor and colloquial fun of the book, there are also a lot of great lessons being learned on all sides--deeper developments in the characters that are sometimes not even really addressed but are still evident and important.I would say that this (and probably the rest of the series) is a must-read for any boy, and when I (Lord-willing!) have boys of my own one day, I fully plan on reading these aloud to them. Can't you see it now--me, with book in hand, surrounded by an adorably hearty and barefoot swarm of tanned boys in overalls? Doesn't that just strike a picture of irresistable quaintness in your mind? (I have a thing for little boys, particularly barefooted ones in overalls... ;)

  • Barbara Radisavljevic
    2019-06-25 10:36

    Though all the Ralph Moody books are well-written and are good for families to read aloud together, this ohe is my personal favorite. It shows how a teen-age boy and his ornery grandfather who could get along with no one managed to live and work together in spite of their differences in age and outlook. Thjeir relationship was tested often as the grandfather kep calling Ralph a "tarnal fool" when he wanted to use more modern technology on their farm, when he wanted to use eggs in cooking , etc. I know few 15-year-old boys today who would take the verbal abuse as well as Ralph did, and he was often tempted to run away and go back west where his grew up. But the two finally learned to love and appreciate each other.

  • Sandra
    2019-07-07 14:39

    I am stuck trying to think of something to say that won't, in some way, spoil it a little bit....therefore, I'll recommend Ralph Moody's autobiographic series of books be first read in its queue up to Fields of Home to reap the most pleasure. Oh, read it! It is my favorite so far. This is the 2nd x read of The Fields of Home for my son and I. ~~ Now I am editing - just to say that Moody's next book, "Shaking the Nickel Bush", is not to be missed! A gem...and if you are fortunate, you will listen to it by CD with companionship.

  • BowbytheBay
    2019-07-05 15:48

    Wonderful book in this series which I highly recommend. Especially good for parents raising a boy to read this aloud. There are lots of opportunities to pull "life lessons" from these books. I cruised through this one because it was so good and because I have a bad cold and I couldn't do much else.In this installment Ralph goes to Maine to live with his grandpa and help him farm. His grandpa is difficult to live with (an understatement!), but they find a way to get along by the end. I got a little teary here and there.

  • Kassie
    2019-06-27 16:43

    I loved this installment in the Ralph Moody biographical series. To my mind, this is the best one, after the first, Little Britches. I love the characters of his grandfather, Millie and Uncle Levi. This would be a fun one to read aloud to be able to put all the life into the words of Grandfather. He's a hoot. Lots of good lessons to be learned from this book.

  • Sara
    2019-07-16 13:41

    This one did not disappoint! Wholesome and entertaining. Our favorite line from the book: "Gory sakes alive! That oatmeal's saltier than Lot's wife!"

  • Sara
    2019-07-01 13:50

    Second reading Sep 2016This book is definitely darker and harder and more mature than the first four, but it is A really nice maturing of Ralph.First reading Oct 2014

  • Morgan
    2019-07-23 11:33

    This is seriously one of my most favorites book series ever!

  • Elizabeth
    2019-07-08 14:48

    Sometimes hard for 10, 8 and 6yo boys to keep pace with as a read aloud but the story is so good and character building!! Will likely have them read again independently as 11-12yo. We have read all the Little Britches aloud and while this one moved slower, the lessons of hard work, ingenuity, compromise, and self-control are worth the commitment.

  • Andrea
    2019-07-17 09:40

    This is a great book about adapting to a cranky grandfather and setting reasonable boundaries. I liked the americana setting and old-fashioned way of life. It was nice to see grandfather change over time. Older people can and do change when motivated. We must never give up hope. This book is a powerful example of what a grandchild can do for a grandfather and essentially the power of family.

  • Massanutten Regional Library
    2019-07-08 13:45

    Leslie, Central patron, June 2017, 5 stars:Great stories about living on a Maine farm in the early 1920s.

  • Caleb
    2019-06-28 16:53

    it was great

  • Charlotte
    2019-06-28 17:49

    I was so mad at grandfather for most of this book, but Ralph managed to survive him. It was fun to have some romance come into the Little Britches books and alls well that ends well.

  • Nathaniel
    2019-07-04 17:52

    i liked it..?

  • Sierra
    2019-07-20 09:37

    Loved the work ethic lessons that Ralph learned in this one

  • An Odd1
    2019-07-23 11:32

    1912 Medford Massachussetts Ralph 15 gets sent by widowed mother with large family to her father Tom Gould's farm near Lewiston, to appease city police chief with eyes on reform school. In smooth shaded illustration, by oil lanterns, old iron cookstove, deep forest -- balky heifer tugs rope, shy sweethearts catch glimpses, fresh home baking steams apple scent into air. A brow is furrowed in concentration, brow dried of sweat, dynamite blows roots and jay hither thither."His younger brother, Uncle Levi .. half a dozen times .. loaded down with fruit, nuts, and candy, .. didn't know a man I liked any better" p 15 unbelievable as wise owl psychoanalyzes anger "war", advises calm, patience "cause he knows you're right" p 200. "Great thunderation! Don't cal'late your granpa's getting old enough to be forgetful, do you? Course not! 'Course not! I ain't but seventy-two. Gorry sakesk!" p 22 "Tarnal pesky critters! .. Old Bess ain't more'n fourteen, be you, girl? .. early spring of '97" .. sides of her face were grizzled like an old man's beard" p 23. He never seems to stop yammering, screaming, cussing, smashing whatever "tarnal" Ralph and Levi build and repair "tarnal contraptions". An old "yalla colt .. ears were pinned back, his teeth bared, and he struck both ways like a coiled rattlesnake". Shouting "tarnal fool colt" p 30 sends him kicking jumping biting, fierce. Ralph recalls tricks -- ties ears back together, fills his mouth with dirt. Finally tamed, bribed with apple chunks makes friends. Housekeeper Millie takes every screech until Granpa breaks her new screens, flies were coating her kitchen ceiling. Last words about factories send Granpa watching workers leave for her, then asking payroll book-keepers. At last Levi asks agencies that hire out cooks, finds her right off, drops hints so Granpa follows the trail himself. Neighbor "Annie Littlehale .. black hair rippled in a cascade over her shoulders, and her face was the prettiest I had ever seen" p 173. Levi brings red ribbon. She teaches Ralph how to cook johnnycake. Before, he and Granpa burn all their limited diet - oatmeal, salt pork. Ralph has to sneak eggs because Granpa complains of expense, waste. I still smell the smoke. Like Maid Marian and Robin Hood, "Annie knew so much more about the woods, the flowers, the birds, and the wild animals .. She could name every bird .. imitate the song or call of most of them, and knew the sign of all the animals" p 178. Pages and pages of cussin' till we are as exhausted as the victim. Rare comic relief. "When a squirrel began scolding .. I asked him if he thought his name was Thomas" p 172. Like yalla colt, Granpa Tom is eventually soothed. From high vantage point clifftops, spread of woods, color of sunset, the land calls poetry to their souls and ours. Granpa also outwits mean neighbor Swale, clever at "powerful good trades" p 56. When Granpa's bees swarm, Ralph and Millie run after them in a rush. "Bees .. More sense than most people .. Always providing ahead" p 102. "Was all men as respecting of the Almighty as bees is of their queen, there'd be no call for neither jails nor courthouses" p 169. Sometimes wise sayings are buried in the narrative. (view spoiler)[ Right off the bat, Ralph recognizes a high field warmed by stones could bring in high-paying crops of strawberries and tomatoes, earliest of competition, get best prices. "Hmfff! Hmfff! Strawb'ries! Grandfather exploded" p 43, scoffs, berates, admits truth to self before grandson. When Granpa suggests "have to call this Ralphie's field", boy "wants to laugh and cry at the same time" p 329. After piles of arithmetic, figuring how many plants, money for seeds, measuring "story pole", hiring, all the fields are cleared, planted, harvested, in berries, tomatoes, potatoes, corn. With reliable Bill Hubbard guiding the blasting, dynamite blows rocks and roots out. Over winter, chestnuts are cut down for a new barn, raised over summer "thirty-eight hungry men washed up and ready to eat" p 334. People come from far. Good feelings.(hide spoiler)]

  • Wil
    2019-06-27 10:45

    This book is much different from my memories (rather faint indeed) of having read it 45 years ago. Ralph is living with his maternal grandfather in Maine, and seems to have a really difficult time catering to the multiple neuroses of the old man, and having to subsist mainly on salt pork, potatoes and biscuits. He has always had a severe weight problem, and these years of malnourishment undoubtedly led to the life-endangering case of childhood diabetes described early in the following book. Nevertheless, his adventures are fascinating, the characters described are unforgettable, and Ralph's ingenuity is boundless.

  • Denae Christine
    2019-07-08 11:56

    Reader thoughts: This is my least favorite among all the Ralph Moody books. I think this is mostly due to the grandpa (he is so belligerent and cantankerous and foul-mouthed and arrogant) but also due to the lack of money problems. In all the other books, Ralph or the family has to work, like, 16 hours a day just to make ends meet. In this book, they had enough money; they just weren't all getting along.So, the grandfather. By the end, I did understand him better, but I still disliked him. I think it helps to think of him as having some sort of mental disorder. The uncle even said the grandfather had been like this ever since he was in the war and got Malaria. So, maybe it's some form of lingering PTSD that makes the grandfather so hopping mad and shouting "Tarnal Fool" at everyone and the horses and the machines.I liked how much Ralph was determined to bring machines to the farm, the manure spreader and the hay stacker and even a screen door (on hinges, no less!). It was interesting to watch him wage that battle, knowing that many youngsters fight the same fight every generation. Still, it must have been extra hard against a man whose own father was born before the USA became a nation. That's right, Ralph's grandfather was born in the 1700s and had Ralph's grandfather at age 72. Then Ralph's grandfather was in the Civil War (at 20, I think), and now Ralph is learning to farm from this American hero (at age 15).I don't understand why Ralph didn't stay on the farm. The doctors told him to get healthy exercise and sunshine in Shaking the Nickel Bush, about 4 years later. Why doesn't Ralph return to his grandfather's farm? Why does he feel he has to find grueling work all the way out in AZ and NM? Maybe I'm more comfortable in the known and wouldn't want to travel so far, and Ralph certainly isn't afraid of working hard, but still.Writer thoughts: So, how does a writer include such a contrary character and still get readers to like him by the end?1, RM wrote that the uncle understood and liked the grandfather. Ralph respected his great uncle so much that he was willing to give his grandfather another try, and the reader was too.2, the grandfather was so distraught over losing Millie that the reader felt sorry for him. It's hard to stay mad at a character who is so upset and lost and full of grief like that. This makes him more sympathetic.3, The grandfather cared about his bees (and the farm) so much. He never got made at them, and he would light up when he talked about them or checked on them.4, he worked so hard. Yes, the grandfather would go around shouting at people, but he put in a lot of hours and effort to fix the things he thought others were getting wrong.

  • Melody
    2019-07-05 09:36

    Easily my least favorite of the series. Grandfather's an evil, abusive, horrible man. I don't give the proverbial south end of a northbound rat that he shows his softer side by the end, he's still a pure D jerk. Every time he opened his mouth to berate someone, I cringed. Every time he begrudged Ralph or Millie the very food they ate, I got mad. This book was also much more overtly religious than the others, with the unlikely proselytizer being the evil grandfather. I can't imagine that such a deeply misanthropic git as the grandfather would be welcomed by St. Peter, based on what I know of religion. I understand the lesson here, about loving those who are not lovable, and suffering long and becoming a better person because of it. However, I don't believe this philosophy, and would have run away to Colorado by the end of the first week. Though I did, in fact, suffer through every word of this book.The narrator, in addition to the over-enunciation I've almost grown used to, mispronounces several words throughout. It sounds inauthentic in the extreme to hear farm people referring to 'vicTWOulls' and 'hay MOs', among other things.

  • Rebecca Jessup
    2019-07-19 09:40

    I am in the middle of reading this aloud to my husband for the second time. We love it. We now live in Maine, a couple of hours from the scenes where most of this book takes place, and when we drive around the Maine countryside we sometimes see a place that we'll call Ralph Moody's field, or sometimes Ralphie's field -- one with a ton of rocks in it. I love Moody's writing -- his metaphors, his approach to the story, the way he is able to write from the perspective he had at the time rather than from the mature mindset of an older man looking back. Certainly his grandfather, Thomas Gould, was an extremely difficult and somewhat tortured soul, but Ralph rises to the challenge as he has to all the extreme challenges of his young life so far -- with grit, ingenuity, strength and intelligence. In this volume his heart is sorely tested by his bitter grandfather, and Ralph's heart and compassion grows -- with particular help from his great-uncle Levi, Thomas' brother. Every character is profoundly real, well-drawn, and meaningful to the story and the reader. This is a wonderful series.

  • Elaine
    2019-07-13 11:46

    I love this series! This one takes Ralph back to his rural days, after his adventures (and mis-adventures) in Medford, MA and he's back and forth at his cantankerous grandfather's farm in ME, until he realizes this farm is 'home' to him. I wouldn't say this was one of my favorite in the series, but I loved the progression from being a proud teen who had a deal with an over-the-top grump of a Grandpa to a humble young man who helps his grandfather to overcome his own pride and finally start accepting Ralph's ideas and abilities, as they partner together to turn the farm into a success. I loved the change in the grandfather and also in Ralph as they both learn humility and each other's value and it just gave me this wonderfully warm feeling to see Ralph 'finding his home' here at his grandfather's farm.We read this aloud to the kids, and I gotta say, it's hard to 'talk like a farmer' for the dialogue!

  • Vivian
    2019-07-22 13:54

    Most people who read this book have probably already read "Little Britches" in which Ralph Moody introduces himself and his hurried journey into manhood. In this installment his mother doesn't know what to do with Ralph as he turns 15 and finally decides to ship him up to Maine to spend a year with her father. Ralph is not keen about this and entertains thoughts of going back out west on his own. Ralph decides to stay with his grandpa -- at least for a day. A day turns into a week turns into a month turns into a year. There are many ups and downs as Ralph navigates his grandfather's tenacious grip on doing things his way. Ralph enjoys the thrill of first love, tries his hand at cooking, and comes to terms with a horse with Attitude.There is plenty of "how to" and "what-not-to-do" interwoven in this narrative for those who may want to try a little farming.I enjoyed the audio recording read by Cameron Beierle -- very well done!

  • Heather
    2019-06-27 15:48

    Another great chapter in the life of Ralph Moody. I've read the first two and the last two in the series before this so it was good to get some of the details of the in between time filled in, but each stands fairly well on their own, with an independent cast apart from the first person narrator of Ralph. Starts off a little slow and some of the detailed descriptions of building farm machines or whatnot kind of go over my head and I'm not too good at picturing what they mean all the time. You find Grandpa as hard to like as Ralph does, but by the end, you love him and the farm just as much and it goes to show that no dog is too old to learn new tricks. Back when a day full of hard work is just what was expected of you and you could gain great satisfaction from seeing the results of your work, and a complainer wouldn't last long.

  • Alexis Neal
    2019-07-17 15:32

    Not quite as good as Man of the Family or Little Britches. Moody's grandfather is infuriating to read . . . I can't imagine what he was like to live with. I was reminded of the frustration I felt in reading James Herriot's accounts of his partner Sigfried (though Moody was not quite as long-suffering as Herriot). I suppose, too, it was refreshing to see Moody's brilliant ideas fall short a few times (after essentially two whole books about his agricultural, equestrian, and engineering genius)--even if the cause of the failing was often his grandfather's interference. Objectively speaking, it's an excellent book, and one with a strong story arc--his grandfather's adjustment to time and progress--but it's hard for me to rate too highly a book that annoyed me so much. Still, I look forward to continuing the series.

  • Ariel
    2019-07-09 11:55

    Not as interesting as the others in this series have been, but I did learn some neat things about bees. Mostly, though, I was beyond exasperated with Ralph's grandfather who was constantly criticizing him for things he did and didn't do. In the end Ralph's perseverance earned him the respect he didn't (appear) to get from his grandfather at first. That was cool to see and to know that this is a true story so things like that actually do happen! I also was reminded of how some people simply don't show acceptance and love towards others in "normal" ways, as exemplified by Ralph's grandfather and Millie.