Man of the Family by Ralph Moody
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 272
The Moody family, transplanted from New
England, builds a new life on a Colorado ranch early in the
twentieth century. Father has died and young Ralph shoulders
the responsibilities of a man at age eleven. Ralph is
determined to make a living for his family, and Mother is even
more determined that her son remains in school. This is an
affectionate portrait of ranch-town people who knew how to
help without humiliating, and a warm tribute to a woman who
was unable to give her children much in the way of material
Ralph learns many valuable lessons, and the
reader is awed by his determination along with his ability and
inventiveness in pursuit of employment to satisfy the needs of
- No price can be placed upon the storehouse of wealth by
way of virtue and example passed from Mother to son. Hard
work, determination, honesty, ingenuity and courage top the
list of gratuitous gifts.
- Above all, Ralph’s loyalty to his mother is matched only
by his practical consideration for his brothers and sisters.
- A keep portrayal of Ralph’s unselfish heart is evidenced
effectively when he is willing to always think less of
himself and more of his family.
- Demonstrates the willingness and courage of a boy to
shoulder responsibility, making sacrifices for love of his
- Acquaints the youth of today with the happiness of
living in the spirit of poverty.
- This is not a Catholic family. They are Protestant;
however, they do not work on Sunday.
- There are some curse words used by cowboys on certain
pages, i.e., pp. 21, 48, 51, 52.
This story has much to offer the elementary
school teacher by way of the forming of good character. If
taught with caution and explanation concerning the different
religion and rough occasional language of the cowboy, it is an
excellent portrayal of life in the mid-west during the early
years of 1900. It should not be a problem for use in the