For the real Western cowboy fan- young or old- this is a natural. I liked it best of the lot -- and I've liked them all, from Little Britches on. Twelve and still ""man of the family"" Ralph talks his mother into letting him take a summer job on a cattle ranch, and this is the story of that summer. One gets every phase of the work on the home ranch, where Little Britches earns the right to be called Ralph, and treated like a responsible adult. Whether Mr. Batchlett, his boss, or Mr. Bendt, left in charge when the men go out on the roundup, is in charge, Little Britches is lucky in having an understanding, competent control on the reins of his impetuosity. But it is on his own that the boy gains understanding of his own faults, that he wins the friendship of Hazel Bendt, who is suspicious and resentful of a contemporary on the home ranch, and that he comes to terms with the horses he drew for his string. There's a bit of everything that goes on about the ranch -- and the telling has the same warm, humorous, imaginative quality that gave the early books distinction.