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Man of the Family (Little Britches, #2)
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Man of the Family (Little Britches #2)

4.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,633 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Early 1900s Colorado. Fortified with Yankee ingenuity and western energy, the Moody family, transplanted from New England, builds a new ranch life. Father has died and Little Britches shoulders the responsibilities of a man at age eleven. Determined Grace and religious Mother cooks beans, bread and repair lace curtains while Ralph builds frames and delivers baking.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 1993 by University of Nebraska Press Bison (first published 1951)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,339)
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Jan 29, 2015 Trace rated it it was amazing
As my son says - we would rate this 10+ stars if we could. It's so hard to put into words how much this series has come to mean to us and how much of an influence Little Britches has had on my son. He has become a literary hero of sorts, to my son.

We purposely took our time with this book - we just didn't want it to end. But all good things must eventually end... :) And we look forward to reading the next one in the series.
Wow! Wow, wow, wow. Loved it.

We all felt sad as Ralph's father died at the end of Little Britches. This story picks up as the family moves into Littleton, knowing they can't survive without a man on the ranch. Ralph's mother pulls the family together and with will and determination and family pride keeps them afloat. The children help, of course.

There are funny moments, teaching moments, serious moments, tense, sad, and on and on. There's a fun surprise that I didn't expect at all in the middle
Feb 07, 2008 Sondra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Katrina, Travis Ray, Kristy, everyone
This is a wonderful treasure of a book. This is the 2nd book in the Little Britches series. Please don't let the name "Little Britches" scare you away from these books. They aren't just for kids. My husband and I love them just as much, if not more than our kids do. These books are the true story of the life of Ralph Moody. And what a life he lives! His books are full of excitement, love, hard work, family, all of the good stuff.

You know, sometimes we don't have all of the things in our lives w
Jan 26, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, audio
Ralph Moody is forced to grow up a bit in the second book in the Little Britches Series. Since his dad has passed away, 12-year-old Ralph does all he can to help support his family. His efforts are impressive, considering the amount of hard work most 12-year-olds in our era are willing to do. I was amazed at the variety of jobs Ralph's mom took on in order to earn enough to feed her family. This is really a great story, reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie, but for an older audience. T ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Marcie rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this series. They are clean and wholesome! They make me want to churn my own butter. :)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Forsberg
Nov 03, 2014 Jennifer Forsberg rated it it was amazing
Fabulous, I want to read it to my kids. Good work ethic.
Mar 17, 2013 Christy rated it really liked it
Love love love Little Britches and the lessons in it.

This book gave prompt to talk about how Ralph hid his racing earnings from his mom. I also wished that Mom would be more welcome to people helping her. It is one thing to be self-sufficient, and on other to be prideful.

I LOVED the example of entrepreneurship throughout the book. A stark contrast to today when a fatherless family lives off the govt.

Feb 10, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing
I originally had this book read aloud to me when my mom was homeschooling my brothers and I. I believe it was part of the Sonlight curriculum. My brothers and I loved these books (although I don't think we read the third one) very much. Reading it again now, makes this book that much more special because I have my own memories of being curled up on the couch listening to my mom read this enchanting story of a young boy, who was my age, helping to take care of his family.

Reading it now, the writ
Michelle Kelly
Jan 09, 2014 Michelle Kelly rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and Inspiring

Man of the Family begins shortly after Charlie Moody, Ralph’s father, has died. There are many struggles and surprises for the family as they learn to survive and thrive without husband and father. Ralph, being the oldest son, assumes the role of “man of the family”. With his sister, Grace, Ralph finds many creative ways to help support the family. One could be very inspired by the determination and creativity of this family!

It is enjoyable as a long time Colorado resid
Feb 08, 2015 L. rated it it was amazing
I am reading the whole Ralph Moody series, which I loved as an adolescent. It is such a pleasure to revisit Moody's real-life stories (much in the style of the Little House books) but about a boy and growing up during the depression years. Father is gone and Ralph has to be the man of the family as he is the eldest son, although about 10 years old. His mother and he decide to give up the farm they love so much and move to town. This creates a whole new set of trials for Ralph and also lessons le ...more
Peter N.
Apr 03, 2014 Peter N. rated it really liked it
A really good book for understanding some of the changes in our culture from the early 1900's. The author of this book was rounding up cattle at 8 and spent a summer away from home working on a ranch at 12. You cannot bring the past into the present, but we can learn. The prose is simple and unsentimental. He is just telling a story, his story, with some of his thoughts as he moves along. He love for his mother and sisters if fantastic. It is not explicitly Christian, but Christians can learn a ...more
Linda Hart
Feb 05, 2016 Linda Hart rated it it was amazing
This is a great book.
Vaughn Ohlman
Dec 26, 2014 Vaughn Ohlman rated it really liked it
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
A Review of ‘Little Britches’ and ‘Man of the Family’ by Ralph Moody

The Ralph Moody books are not Christian. I am an overtly Christian blogger and blog on overtly Christian themes, so I thought that was worth mentioning. Ralph Moody, himself, may or not have claimed to be a Christian. This semi-autobiographical work (at least, I have heard that it is only ‘semi’ au
Oct 20, 2008 Marcy rated it it was amazing
We have taken many a vacation listening to the Little Britches series. I can't say enough good about everyone of these autobiographies(8) by Ralph Moody. The whole series is just full of love for family, integrity, self-reliance and hard work. We've talked many a time about our character houses since reading Little Britches.

The chronological order of the books are as follows: "Little Britches Father and I Were Ranchers", "Man of the Family", "The Home Ranch"(belongs between chapters 25 & 26
Mar 30, 2010 Bitsy rated it really liked it
The second book in Ralph Moody’s series about his childhood, starting with Little Britches, picks up where the first left off with Ralph now being eleven years old and becoming the “man of the family” in the wake of his father’s death.

While having a lot of the same strong messages and themes that Little Britches had, namely morality, hard work, honesty, and the meaning behind being a respectable man, this book took a much lighter tone even if it had a dark beginning. With the family’s main form
Rebecca Jessup
Sep 04, 2012 Rebecca Jessup rated it it was amazing
In the first book, "Little Britches", we met Ralph and his family who had come to live on a ranch in Littleton, Colorado, beginning in 1906 when Ralph has just turned 8. The west is "settled" to the extent that they arrive by train and are surrounded by other white settlers, but when Ralph and his sister Grace report to the local school, they become the 9th and 10th students. In Man of the Family, the second of eight autobiographical books, the saga of the family continues, and I'd rather not di ...more
May 11, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
Ever since my friend Ashley recommended this book (the second in a series of eight), I'd been looking forward to reading it -- it sounded like one I'd like. And now that I finally got around to it, I can vouch for it, too -- what a good read!

This book has instantly likeable characters that exemplify the values of hard work, honesty, and family togetherness. I was downright amazed at the ingenuity and discipline of twelve-year-old Ralph Moody. I marveled at his mother, who had saint-like patienc
T.K. Naliaka
Jan 17, 2015 T.K. Naliaka rated it really liked it
This is the second 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.
Denae Christine
Nov 14, 2009 Denae Christine rated it it was amazing
Little Britches (aka, Ralph) is so honorable and good and loyal and hard working, even when he and his sister are coming down with the measles. He loves horses, and his family stays optimistic and cheerful in the midst of hard times (blizards, accidents, being cheated). RM recounts his boyhood with the eyes of an eleven-year-old who knows how to shoulder responsibility. I mean, Little Britches is the main bread-winner for his household most of the time.
It's also so very hilarious, lik
Jan 27, 2015 Cale rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because it is a true story about a family that moved from the east to the west and they are trying to get all there stuff together because life in the west is way more different than the east because it is more moist so it is easier to grow crops their then in Nevada and just a year before his dad died that is why this book is called Man of The House
Jun 20, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
This second story about the Moody family shows how they successfully pull together after the death of their father. Their moral strength and character follows a predicable pattern until the end, when out of fear the family makes a surprisingly, unpredictable move out of state. This unexpected turn of events doesn't seem to fit the rest of the story. But fear can make people do uncharacteristic things. Truth sometimes is stranger than fiction.
Sep 08, 2012 Aine rated it it was ok
I was very disappointed in this book. I have read Little Britches and I looked forward to reading this one, as I had heard such glowing reports. However, the faults of the mother are stifling, as she, through her fears, encourages a break down of integrity, even to the end, where she shows by example that it's okay to thwart the law when you disagree with it. I also have trouble with a woman that's supposed to be "goodly" refusing help from her neighbors. It's one thing to be provident and self- ...more
Alexis Neal
Apr 29, 2011 Alexis Neal rated it it was amazing
Another stellar entry from Ralph Moody. Even if it does make me feel like a lazy, incompetent layabout in comparison. I think I liked this one better than Little Britches--instead of being the superstar golden boy, Ralph is forced to use his skills to provide for his family.

This would be a great book to read to little boys . . . plenty of action and cowboys and adventure and shenanigans for them, but Ralph's moral center (impressed on him by both his mother and his now-deceased father) makes hi
May 21, 2010 Spencer rated it it was amazing
Earlier this year I spent a good deal of time reading as many of these Ralph Moody books as I could. They really appeal to me. Ralph is young and has a knack for dickering (making deals), fixing things, and finding ways to make money for his family, since his dad has died. Ralph's mom loves her children and continues to teach them to work. They support themselves, though occasionally they get help from neighbors and friends.

Their moral character is top notch.

This is not a novel, but it is writ
Jun 23, 2012 Betty rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Betty by: my mother
Man of the Family is #2 in the series of Moody's memoirs. Set in Littleton, CO in 1910, Ralph Moody describes surviving with his mother and brothers and sisters after his father's death from TB. Only 11 years old, he's clever and plucky and optimistic. It just makes you feel good to read it. Moody started writing these when he was in his 50's. It's been over 60 years now and they are still in print. Start reading with the first of the series, "Little Britches".

I read the series years ago and was
Apr 29, 2014 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this 2nd book in the Little Britches series. I'm amazed at the responsibility and independence that Ralph had, during these years, when he is between ages 11-13. Yes, it was a different time, and a different place, and different circumstances, but makes me feel like we should be expecting a lot more out of our young pre-teens.
Misty aka Elvisgirl
Jun 08, 2015 Misty aka Elvisgirl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
The 2nd book in the "Little Britches" series. My son (age 12) said Man of the Family was even better than Little Britches. There are a lot of surprises and ingenuity. The family has to really pull together after Dad passed away at the end of the 1st book. Very enjoyable read!
Apr 19, 2009 Jeniann rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the Little Britches series and I liked it even better than the first one. This one focused more on the mother of the family so it appealed to me more. The mother of the family is raising 5 children by herself and it talks about the things that they do in order to make a living and have the things they need. They are so resourceful and work hard and come by everything honestly, and it's such a great example of families pulling together. I really like this series of stor ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Alexis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-aloud
This book is exceptional. I adore a read-aloud that; 1) leaves the kids begging for more, 2) subtly imparts valuable moral lessons, and 3) is well written. Ralph Moody delivers all of this in a non-fiction package. This second book in the series is every bit, if not better than, the first. This is a book that I look forward to experiencing again as the boys get older.

In "Man of the Family," the reader enjoys a historical glimpse at a society that flourished less than 100 years ago. Ralph Moody's
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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)
  • The Home Ranch (Little Britches, #3)
  • Mary Emma & Company (Little Britches, #4)
  • 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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“We argued most of the way home. I thought it would be nicest for Hal to take his two dollars in to Mother first, bu Muriel didn't think so. She always wanted to do things as if it were a play. "That wouldn't be any good," she said. "If Hal goes in first and gives her the money, she'll start crying right away. But if you give her yours first, she'll just say we were smart children to make so much money. And then I'll give her mine, and she'll say, 'Why, why... where in the world did you get so much money?' And then Phillip can give her his, and she'll look like she thought maybe we'd robbed a bank. And then when Hal gives her his, we'll all want to cry."

It worked just the way she thought it would.”
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