Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

If you are like me, you have a number of books that you read growing up that live somewhere in the recesses of your reading heart/brain waiting to be remembered and read again. There are several especially from my teen years that beg returning to. Little Britches was one of those.

It took me a couple of weeks to land on the title again. I have a mental image of the cover but couldn't find it online. I had a vague recollection of the story but was unable to be specific enough to actually articulate an effective search. But after wandering around my brain and the web, I finally found it. Thank goodness for internet!!

Little Britches is the story of a boy growing up in the early 1900's just east of Denver. Denver was a teeny city at the time, especially compared to now, and Colorado was still The West. Moody, the author, relives his childhood through his tales of growing up. I have keen mental images of neighbor Fred Autland, of Hi the cowboy, of Mother, and particularly of his father. I well recall being a teen and so wanting to change places with Moody, to live out among horses and cows and wide-open plains and the life of a rancher. While that transition never really happened, I can guarantee you it happened in my heart many times. I wonder how many times I read Little Britches as a teen: the number is at least in the 20's. I believe I received this book from my mother who shares my love of reading and whom I know I learned about the dire importance of place-based reading, of living into the written stories of the physical place we lived. Now that I think about it, I realize that when I rode horses then I actually brought a little of Little Britches with me onto that horse.

This autobiographical story telling actually extends through a number of books (surprise: I have more reading to do!!). If you are looking for a sweet, simple read with the 1900's, Colorado, and The West in mind, this might be a great read for you. I enjoyed rereading it again.

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