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The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages:


The Home Ranch continues the adventures of young Ralph Moody known as Little Britches. During the summer of his twelfth year he works on a cattle ranch in the shadow of Pike’s Peak, earning a dollar a day. Little Britches is tested against seasoned cowboys on the range and in the corral. He drives cattle through a dust storm, eats his weight in flapjacks, and falls in love with a blue outlaw horse.

Strong points:

  • This book shows decency, honesty and old-fashioned neighborliness.
  • The author recalls a rich boyhood, which takes on an added golden glow when viewed nearly a half-century later.
  • The hard work of a twelve-year old shows his determination to help support his fatherless family.
  • The boy’s summer is packed with enough action that would fill most adult years.


Based on the setting of Moody’s books and the cowboy characters involved, there is some objectionable language. God’s name is used in vain and there are a few swear words.

All of the characters are of the Protestant religion.


This story introduces boys to an American world as remote from today as if it had existed hundreds of years ago. As at any point in our history, not all Americans faced the same conditions in a given time period, but the ways in which the Moody family had to cope, the part the children played in the life of the family, and the expectations and opportunities (or lack of them) that shaped people’s lives are an integral part of American history. The Home Ranch reads like fiction in its exciting and event-filled narrative, but in reality it portrays significant aspects of our American past.