Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shaking the Nickel Bush (Little Britches, #6)” as Want to Read:
Shaking the Nickel Bush (Little Britches, #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shaking the Nickel Bush

(Little Britches #6)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  984 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Skinny and suffering from diabetes, Ralph Moody is ordered by a Boston doctor to seek a more healthful climate. Going west again is a delightful prospect. His childhood adventures on a Colorado ranch were described in Little Britches and Man of the Family, also Bison Books. Now nineteen years old, he strikes out into new territory hustling odd jobs, facing the problem of g ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Bison Books (first published August 28th 1976)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shaking the Nickel Bush, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shaking the Nickel Bush

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  984 ratings  ·  61 reviews

Sort order
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexis Neal
Aug 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
November 2016:
Re-reading; man, this book is tough.

October 2014:

A genuine disappointment.

Yes, Ralph is in a desperate situation. Yes, Ralph is a man. Yes, it is the Great Depression. Yes, there are whole number of reasons why this segment of Ralph's life is grueling - but - he is acting out of character for most of the book. He enables his kind hearted but dishonest amoral friend far too long and at too great a cost to Ralph's character.

Ralph lies constantly - to everyone - including himself.
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love how this shows that the author can pretty much turn his hand to anything he tries, and he's tried quite a few things. I don't know how I'd present the "lying to Mother so she doesn't worry" aspect of the book.
Denae Christine
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Reader thoughts: Even after knowing how it ends, I keep reading and hoping it's different this time. No, it's not as bad as the ending to Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers, but it's still pretty upsetting. I completely agree with Ralph when he says he still doesn't know if meeting Lonnie was good or bad.

So, Lonnie. Because I only meet him through Ralph's eyes, I think of him as a well-meaning bloke who doesn't quite have his head on straight. He loves his car to death, gets distracted
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Shaking the Nickel Bush" was very different from all the other books in the Little Britches series. This book focuses solely on Ralph and his life experiences. His family is mentioned occasionally, but Ralph does not really interact with them. His life has taken a different route, and he is on his own in this story. Although I enjoyed reading it and I really liked it, I have to say that so far, this is my least favorite book of the series. Ralph's life is drastically different from the previous ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiographical
This is the sixth book in Ralph Moody’s “Little Britches” series that I have read, and it was enjoyable but perhaps my least favorite so far. In this account, Ralph is now about 19 years old and heads west from Boston to Tucson looking for work as a cowhand. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes and given a rather dire prognosis, so the climate in the desert Southwest seemed like a good prescription. So, young Ralph finds himself in Arizona with little money, during the recession following WWI ...more
Elijah C
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Raymond Wharton
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ralph Moody is growed up to a young man, and forced to return west for climate to take care of his health. He heads out with plans to be a cow puncher, but circumstances force him to get creative to make a living and stay alive. A seriously good book, and a brilliant insights into a by gone era. Very enjoyable.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Ive read reviews that some people think book 5 is their least favorite of the series but in my opinion this is my least favorite. It was mostly due to Lonnie. I would have split ways with him long before he did :)
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how the Little Britches books keep going so strong, but I have loved them all (but I haven't read The Home Ranch.) This one started out different and I didn't know if I was going to love it, but it was great! I love Little Britches attitude and ability to figure things out!
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really like Ralph Moody's writing. Sometimes the content is a bit discouraging, as in the book about working with his grandfather, and as in the ending of this one, but I am still totally enjoying the series.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I spent the whole book frustrated that Ralph was being taken advantage of, but ultimately it was a great book. Ralph has a great entrepreneurial spirit.
Liz F.
This was a good book with some fun stories! Pretty different from the other ones, but I liked it. These stories are very good for reading out loud with family!
4 stars.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
i liked it
Misty aka Elvisgirl
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Another piece in the autobiography series of Ralph Moody. These books are so good! Great family read-alouds if you have sons, or just books for you sons to read.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
My husband is slowly continuing to read these at night to the children. They really enjoyed this one, except it definitely had some heart-wrenching moments.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ralph is finally on his own in this book...and wow, does he have adventures!
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adieo-books
i liked it a lot we listened to it while on a trip and you should read it
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How had i not heard of this true life wild west era series until now? Wow, how life has changed in only a couple generations. I need to find the rest of the series in audio format.
Yolanda K. Smith
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2018
This was one of the few Moody books I hadn't read in the past. Ralph's simple writing style underscores his superb storytelling skills. While the early books are my favorites, this title was still enjoyable.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Ralph has grown up by this part of the series and it was interesting to see his morals played out - he keeps his word staunchly yet at one point the book said that he "told just enough of the truth to deceive" or something along those lines. Interesting to see how he placed more emphasis on not sinning literally yet obviously had the intention of deception. That said, Ralph was far from an evil person. I also appreciated the stark reality of this book - Ralph has diabetes, flounders around tryin ...more
Mar 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults and parents of young adults
This is another in the litte Britches Series. Ralph is a young adult and is trying to make his way in the world when he is found to have diabetis. His doctor tells him to eat a diet high in protein (canned salmon) and low in carbs, and lots of fruit and veggies He tells him to move west and get lots of sunshine. So he does. He learns lots of ways to make money, and finds a friend who shares the experience with him. It is a good adventure with the usual moral values discussed, with one twist, he ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heard, memoir
I didn't much like this chapter of Moody's story. He's simultaneously perfect and hornswoggled, if one can imagine. His endless cataloguing of each and every breakdown of his piece-of-junk car grew wearying after the first breakdown. His patience with his wastrel companion was annoying, and the lack of resolution at the end was the last straw. I had a hard time reconciling the morally upright youth of the earlier books with this young man who is falsifying doctor's reports and lying to his mothe ...more
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ralph, at 19, is diagnosed with diabetes and advised to move to a drier climate. The adventures in this book take him to the American Southwest. Others have written that Ralph's response to life's challenges in this book were a departure from his boyhood values, but I was not bothered by his choices. Some parts were laugh-out-loud funny and other times I found myself wanting to warn him of possible pitfalls. I highly recommend!
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
We just started last night. Little Britches is 19 now and just diagnosed with diabetes. He heads out to Arizona just after WW1 he is discriminated against for not being in the war.
This was a fun story. We talked about Lonnie and his lack of beginning with the end in mind, and Ralph reacting to Lonnie and how it cost him all his money. Still more important then money is the fact that Ralph is alive...
A worthwhile family story for this winter especially if your kids are older.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, biographies
This was not my favorite book in the series, although it was interesting to see how the young adult version of Ralph Moody went about earning a dollar. Work was found in some unlikely places and situations and I appreciated Ralph's ability to develop his talents and discipline himself to be self-employed. I found myself a little irritated with Ralph though, for enabling a free-loader, being dishonest with his mother, and watching seven hundred hard-earned dollars, walk out the door.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Another great book from the series. I really love his can-do attitude despite his situation. I think too many people in his situation today, would demand government welfare to take care of all their needs. Not even a consideration with him. Of course today it would be harder to do what he did, due to the numerous laws that prohibit individuals to enter into contracts with another and to start a businesses.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians, Volume 1
  • No Life for a Lady
  • Laddie: A True Blue Story
  • A Bride Goes West
  • Birds: A Guide to Familiar American Birds
  • The Money Mystery
  • Papa's Wife (The Franzons, #1)
  • Michael Faraday: Father of Electronics
  • The Great Little Madison
  • Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor (The Story of the World #1)
  • Stalking the Healthful Herbs
  • Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry
  • Onions in the Stew (Betty MacDonald Memoirs, #4)
  • The Persecutor
  • Chip of the Flying U
  • Galen and the Gateway to Medicine
  • Trees
  • The Real Thomas Jefferson: The True Story of America's Philosopher of Freedom
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

Other books in the series

Little Britches (8 books)
  • Father and I Were Ranchers (Little Britches, #1)
  • Man of the Family (Little Britches, #2)
  • The Home Ranch (Little Britches, #3)
  • Mary Emma & Company (Little Britches, #4)
  • The Fields of Home (Little Britches, #5)
  • The Dry Divide (Little Britches, #7)
  • Horse of a Different Color: Reminiscences of a Kansas Drover (Little Britches, #8)
“But I knew a lot more than that; I knew exactly what sort of man he was in his old age, so it wasn't hard to guess what he must have been like as a young man--for a man's character doesn't change after he's thirty. It only becomes more firmly set, and is more deeply marked in his features.” 1 likes
More quotes…