Friday, July 24, 2009

Little Britches

I have been reading this book to the kids and read ahead to finish up the last few chapters tonight. I practically cried through one of them while reading earlier today so I figured that if more crying was in store that I needed to get through it before reading the rest aloud.
I really enjoy reading children's literature, but I need to qualify that. I like reading old children's literature. I am not sure how old, old is, but most of the children's books today just aren't up to snuff. They might be funny or entertaining but don't seem to have depth of characters or the sense of real life that earlier books seem to have.
I love it when we find a book that have strong characters with Christian values that let you know that they seek to live out a life pleasing to God, but without making that the book's goal. This naturally comes through because they are Christians(or have Christian values) and their lives reflect that.
Little Britches is a memoir that Ralph Moody writes about his life from about age 8-11. His family moves to Colorado to try become Ranchers. He tells of his experiences and how he learned to ride horses and become a cow poke. Interwoven are the lessons his father taught him through their experiences and how to be a man that chooses right over wrong and values God's commandments. Seriously, it makes me teary-eyed when I think of this 9 yr old boy choosing to work hard and help his parents, to admit when he does something wrong and be up front and not sneaky, to be manly and not cowardly. Even a 9 yr old can do hard things.
I enjoyed seeing how he found joy in his work as well as his play. He seemed to understand Work while you work and play while you play. The things that made him proud were knowing his dad considered him his partner, that he helped provide for his family, and that he could be trusted. Little Britches has kept my kids on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what would happen next while at the same time setting an example of how to live life fully.
As a side note, one of the fun things about reading this book aloud is how involved Jack gets. There is a part in the book where you know that Little Britches is going to get disciplined. Jack started running around the room, covering his ears, saying, "I don't want to hear this part." He has done this in various parts of the book. In fact, all the kids get involved differently. Elizabeth has been totally fixated on a minor character and constantly wants to know where he is and why don't they go see him. Emma just enjoys the time snuggled on the couch and Anne Michal could probably quote the book back verbatum and is always happy to sit and fold a load of laundry or whatever to convince me I have time to read a chapter or two. And even Creed will slow down every now and then and seem like he is listening.
I have the next book on hold at the library and and a little nervous that Ralph Moody will not grow up to be the man he already was at 9. I guess we will find out.

1 comment:

Marian said...

We love LITTLE BRITCHES too and we brought it on our trip to read in the car. MAN OF THE FAMILY is a good read also.
Marian :)