Saturday, October 15, 2011

Seventh Grade Reading: The Home Ranch (A Review)

Book: The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
Genre: Memoir
Rating: A-
For: Seventh Grade Reading
From: School

This year I've a feeling that I'll be reading a lot of books on my daughter's 7th grade reading list. "Mom, you've got to read this with me and help me answer the questions!"  But it's fun, so why not, right? It's possible I'll be adding some required 11th grade books to TBR too! The Scarlet Letter is looming!

But back to 7th grade. Our first book of the year was The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody. I'd never heard of this book before. It's a memoir about the author's experience going to work on a ranch in Colorado during the summer when he was 12 years old. It was 1911. His father had died, and they needed the money I guess, so his mom let him go. He actually rode out all by himself to meet the rancher guy, sleeping over night on the trail alone even, before he caught up to them. Did I tell you he was 12? Crazy!

That summer he does a lot of growing up and learning about how a ranch is run. He makes friends with the 12 year old daughter of the rancher and teaches her how to do rodeo tricks.... mainly somersaulting off the horse and landing on your feet in front of it. And she taught him how to round up the cows and find them hiding with their calves in the "thicket."

He had all kinds of experiences like getting lost in the mountains, dealing with a mean old cowhand, watching another cowhand court and fall in love, teaching a wild horse how to ride and herd cattle, and bonding in general with all the guys.

Bottom line: It was a really cute, fun story and I'm glad I was "forced" to join in! This author has several other memoirs about his growing up years that I bet would be equally as fun to read.

All the ranch/cow/horse talk made me long for the movie The Man from Snowy River and I thought if my daughter watched it she would get a much better feeling about all the cowboy lingo. So we watched it (with her a bit unwillingly at first... it sounded BORING!) and she enjoyed it and said it did help. I love that movie so so much, as you already know from my posting about this already! Seriously people, if you haven't watched it, you must give it a try!

This month for 7th grade reading we are enjoying Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one of my all time favorites! We are reading this one very slowly, just a few pages a week, but getting quite deep into the story. It's been a long time since I've read this one, and I've forgotten the whole approach, so it's being very fun to revisit it. I think for this experience, we might try watching an old silent movie with John Barrymore. Netflix says it's good. As you may remember, I also love the musical based on this story.

If you are a parent or teacher, what are your kids reading? Parents, do you read along with them? Sometimes? Usually? 

1 comment:

  1. i'm waiting for (6th this year) Natalya's class to read something that sounds interesting, but we always talk about what she's reading. Her whole middle school is reading Francesco Dadamo's Iqbal, which I might actually read.

    we watched Mamoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) in a film class. that and Mary Reilly (1996, Malkovich, Julia Roberts) are probably my favorite film responses to the book.




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