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Mary Emma & Company (Little Britches, #4)
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Mary Emma & Company (Little Britches #4)

4.43  ·  Rating Details ·  1,073 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
The protagonist, Mary Emma Moody, widowed mother of six, has taken her family east in 1912 to begin a new life. Her son, Ralph, then thirteen, recalls how the Moodys survive that first bleak winter in a Massachusetts town. Money and prospects are lacking, but not so faith and resourcefulness. "Mother" in Little Britches and Man of the Family, Mary Emma emerges fully as a c ...more
Paperback, 235 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Bison Books (first published 1961)
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Jul 16, 2014 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds

We love reading of the adventures of the now beloved-to-us Moody family, narrated by the young Ralph (11yo). These are excellent read-alouds, all of them (and especially for boys, I think). Ralph is a hard-working, inventive boy, respectful of authority. He acts out of a clear knowledge of right and wrong. I can't recommend this series enough.

Mary Emma (Ralph's mother) comes to the forefront in this book, but the story is still told through Ralph's eyes and in his words.

Some new cha
Dec 21, 2011 Trace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't dish out 5 stars readily... but I knew right from page 41 that the widowed heroine of the story, Mary Emma, would be a kindred spirit.

This is a story about a family who uprooted and moved from Colorado to Massachussets in 1912 and how they industriously made a new life for themselves. It was a VERY inspirational read.

And about page 41? Mary Emma was quote on that page as saying to her children: "Until you are all grown and ready to have homes of your own, I will not be separated from
Joseph Leskey
Jan 24, 2017 Joseph Leskey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody, as far as can be reckoned
Shelves: reviewed, fact, humor
The author has quite some talent and no mistake! This is some of the most interesting writing I've ever seen. It's even more immersing than many works of fiction. This is quite a feat, by my standards leastways.
Mar 19, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, audio
Another solid 4-star book in the Little Britches series. In this book, the Moody family moves to Massachusetts and basically starts over from scratch. I was amazed at the creative ways this family found to support themselves. I was inspired by the way they accepted their situation and worked like all get-out to to solve problems and improve their future.
Jun 12, 2012 Mitzi rated it really liked it
4.5 stars... Another great book in the Ralph Moody autobiographies. I'm loving this series, and am so impressed with this family!
Feb 23, 2017 Wil rated it really liked it
We continue with their life in Medford MA; Ralph just can't get a break and is eventually drummed out of town by the cops.
Alexis Neal
Jun 15, 2011 Alexis Neal rated it it was amazing
Another excellent read from Ralph Moody. I think I liked this one more than Fields of Home and very nearly as much as Man of the Family--largely because the Moodys are once again trying to make a living at odd jobs in a new situation. Ralph exercises his ingenuity and incredible work ethic, his mother works to provide for her family while also protecting their education and childhood.

I think I particularly like the way his sister Grace is portrayed. As a girl, she doesn't have the same ability
Denae Christine
Jan 04, 2010 Denae Christine rated it it was amazing
Reader thoughts: I wished it was longer. I think this is one of the shortest in the series.

Ralph's stories have caught my heart. I especially love reading about his mistakes and clumsy moments. The good times are great, but barely scraping through makes the Moody family look mighty courageous and God-reliant. I love reading about the trouble they have to go through, and learning that they had to pay $6 for a ton of coal. Wow. And $15 for a month's rent. And Ralph is a genius.

Oh, and the try-try-
Sep 21, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-boys
I feel so lucky to have discovered this series. Reading them to boys is creating memories I will cherish forever.
An Odd1
May 23, 2014 An Odd1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
Jan 1912 Bedford Massachussetts. Mary Emma, widowed in Colorado, shares six children in rooms of brother Frank, wife Hilda, and two toddlers. When classmate Al ducks in a fight, narrator Ralph 13 instead punches principal, who reports the boy to police. Cop Watson strokes his thick white mustache sympathetically, but another fight, though provoked by others, plus an accidental high step into the backside of girl in line, land Ralph in the official black book three times "no livin' way to get it ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, 2013
I love love love this series! It is so inspiring to me. It reminds me of days on grandpa's ranch and helps me see a little more of what he did there and why he loved it so much. It's inspiring in this book how Mary Emma (a widow now) is always able to make ends meet following the inspiration of God and with help from her husband, from "the other side". I love how every one of her 6 kids have a job to do to help the family and they do it at all costs. What responsible kids. It's just proof that t ...more
Sep 10, 2009 Alexis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-aloud
We are already loving this fourth book in the series by Ralph Moody. I put off reading the fourth book because I didn't feel Moody had anywhere else to go with his series. How wrong I was. The first three books were fantastic and each of them rank very near the top of list of treasured read-alouds. Today, just five chapters in, Mary Emma and Company has pulled us in.

Unfortunately this evening both boys choose to play/wrestle/generally horse around during the getting ready for bed time. Instead
Nov 11, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
My bookmobile librarian recommended this book to me. I was happy to see that it would help me reach my non-fiction goal for the year. I've mentioned it before, but I'll admit once again that I struggle with non-fiction. It makes me think of textbooks, and I don't recall any textbooks that I enjoyed reading.

But, Mary Emma and Company did not read like a textbook. It is part of Ralph Moody's autobiographical works. When I first started the book, I kept wondering if it was really fiction, because i
Sep 29, 2011 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heard, memoir
The fifth book in Moody's autobiographical series is the lightest one yet. The family has moved back east, and needs to make a living- not unlike what they needed to do in Colorado. This time, though, it's a tad more uneventful- and the illustrative stories are just a bit weak. I found the parts about Ralph getting his name written down in the "bad boy book" by the police to be interesting, and I wonder how his memory colored that- was there, in fact, such a book, and if so, could it have been s ...more
Celeste Batchelor
Sep 01, 2009 Celeste Batchelor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I absolutely LOVE this series by Ralph Moody! I am so impressed with the good examples Ralph and his family were to each other. I am particularly impressed with Ralph's mother who tried so hard to never let her children see her discouraged. Throughout all of their trials they work hard themselves and also look to Heavenly Father for His blessings. They never sit back and wait for charity to bail them out of tough spots. The family sticks together and does not berate each other, fight, or blame. ...more
Jun 06, 2009 MaryAnn rated it it was amazing
This is an all-time favorite for me. The values and character traits emphasized in this book, such as the importance of family, the value of hard work and working together for a common good, perseverance and creative thinking are beautifully illustrated. I love the way the family works together and helps each other in hard times and I love the ways they had fun without spending any money. I also really enjoyed the way Ralph thinks and uses his abilities to create business opportunities at a very ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Ariel rated it really liked it
This book (and the whole series, I think? I'll find out in a bit) is meant for younger kids, but it's still a good story and I really need some "fun" books to read (seriously... mom scolds me for reading only practical books). That aside, I really enjoyed Mary Emma & Company. It's got a wonderful innocence to it and I especially appreciated the Moody family's quiet trust in God and their creativity in how they made a living. It's amazing how hard kids back then (this book is set in the early ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This continues to be the most interesting, encouraging, and personally challenging biographical series I have ever read. I have difficulty imagining anyone of any age not enjoying this and profiting from reading it. These children amaze me, and I have to look at the adults to see the reason why they are this way. Quite the example they set! The Moody family is not perfect, but they have incredible work ethic and love for one another--and they are real.
A fantastic read.
Aug 07, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great installment in this series. It's great to see how resourceful the whole family is, figuring out how to make a living as they start out their new lives in MA. I love seeing such a strong work ethic, especially in kids! Even the younger siblings want to contribute in a useful way. Despite all kinds of setbacks, they don't give up. Ralph's mom (Mary Emma) holds the family together, with high standards for workmanship, yet also never compromising on quality family time.
T.K. Naliaka
Jan 17, 2015 T.K. Naliaka rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in a series often considered the boy's equivalent of the "Little House on the Prairie" series. A beautifully-presented edition of the account of a boy growing up, with real-life hardships and challenges, a very personal account of family and people making it through despite tough circumstances, yet always with the bracing expectation that boys were expected to act like men in the face of adversity.
Oct 25, 2011 Shaun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sweet story (autobiographical) written from the perspective of a young 10-12 year old boy around the 1930s. His father has died and the mother moves the family from Colorado back to Boston, where the mother is from. It tells how they learn to survive in tough economic times. This is a series of books and I would like to check out other books in the series. It kind of reminded me of Great Brain books, which I enjoyed a lot as a kid.
Apr 11, 2009 Lacy rated it really liked it
This book didn't have me at the edge of my seat. I wasn't riveted and I could put it down. However, I always wanted to return and just felt uplifted and peaceful when it did. I loved it. I loved that it was told from the perspective of a 12 year old boy. I loved that the boy was acutally the real author and that it was all true according to his recollection. I loved their old fashioned family values and that faith and hard work held true.
Feb 19, 2015 L. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 10 to adult
Recommended to L. by: The librarian in our small town
Book Three in the Ralph Moody series Little Britches. I am so enjoying reading this series from my past. It's just as interesting as it was when I first read it and I'm glad I still have more to read of the series. Ralph Moody was an excellent writer and you are sucked into the book and the plot from the first page.
Feb 08, 2013 Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I love this book which tells of the Ralph Moody's determination to keep her family together even when she is struggling with making a living. The book shows the ingenuity of the family as they each work towards bringing in some money for the family to be able to live independently and not with relatives.
Julia Bowling
Nov 01, 2015 Julia Bowling rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Another great Moody title. If you're not fond of "survival" or self-sufficiency-type stories, you'll find this one depressing. It still has great value as a read-aloud as it 1) teaches great character lessons, 2) teaches children the value of money, hard work, and discipline, 3) teaches one to value family relationships. Amazing book.
Jul 17, 2009 Tina rated it it was amazing
This is part of the memoirs of Ralph Moody who, in this installment, moves to Massachusetts after the death of his father. It is inspiring to read of their hard work ethic and self-reliance. Mary Emma, Ralph's mother, is such a great example of patience and fortitude. This is a great book to read to your kids when they are old enough to listen to chapter books.
Stacy Mallory
Mar 19, 2013 Stacy Mallory rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, but my husband and children didn't love it as much as me. As a mother it really spoke to me, especially the part where she was holding dinner and trying to get the furnace working. Sometimes as a Mom you just want things be nice and run smoothly. I love the struggle and triumph that Mary Emma went through in this book.
Feb 20, 2008 Christy rated it it was amazing
The examples of self sufficiency, responsibility, work, family unity and entrepreneurship makes this a valuable read aloud.

Even though Ralph is just as resourceful and hard working, my heart breaks a little that he is in the a big city, yanked away from his beloved ranch life.

Love this series. The family has moved to Medford, Massachusetts. Ralph struggles to fit into town life. Mother's character is more developed as she works to start a hand laundry business and provider for her family.
Dec 08, 2010 Kelliec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
I am constantly amazed at how this series by Ralph Moody inspires me on to work harder, pray longer and love my family deeper. Mary Emma, Ralph's mother, is an inspiration to me. I'm honored to know her through her son's eyes.
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Ralph Moody was an American author who wrote 17 novels and autobiographies about the American West. He was born in East Rochester, New Hampshire, in 1898 but moved to Colorado with his family when he was eight in the hopes that a dry climate would improve his father Charles's tuberculosis. Moody detailed his experiences in Colorado in the first book of the Little Britches series, Father and I Were ...more
More about Ralph Moody...

Other Books in the Series

Little Britches (8 books)
  • Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers (Little Britches #1)
  • Man of the Family (Little Britches, #2)
  • The Home Ranch (Little Britches, #3)
  • The Fields of Home (Little Britches, #5)
  • Shaking the Nickel Bush (Little Britches, #6)
  • The Dry Divide (Little Britches, #7)
  • Horse of a Different Color: Reminiscences of a Kansas Drover (Little Britches, #8)

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“...I'm going to stop worrying about what might happen to us. With the Lord's help we've been able to make ourselves a good living ever since Father died, and the fortune that has befallen us here in Medford certainly doesn't lead me to believe we will be abandoned now.” 1 likes
“One is respected in a community to the extent, and only to the extent, that he or she respects his own position in life. There are doctors, lawyers, and even clergymen who are a disgrace to humanity, and the disciples of Christ were lowly fishermen. I would not, for all the world, have any one of you children grow up to feel that you were less than equal in every way to any other human being who walks the face of the earth.” 1 likes
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