Shaking the Nickel Bush


Shaking the Nickel Bush

Ralph Moody
Illustrated by Tran Mawicke

236 pages

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August 1994


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eBook (EPUB)

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December 2013


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About the Book

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 getting fresh milk and leafy green vegetables. He scrapes around to survive, risking his neck as a stunt rider for a movie company. With an improvident buddy named Lonnie, he camps out in an Arizona canyon and "shakes the nickel bush" by sculpting plaster of paris busts of lawyers and bankers. This is 1918, and the young men travel through the Southwest not on horses but in a Ford aptly named Shiftless. New readers and old will enjoy this entry in the continuing saga of Ralph Moody.

Author Bio

Ralph Moody (1898–1982) is the author of Come on Seabicuit! as well as the Little Britches series about a boy's life on a Colorado ranch, all available in Bison Books editions.


"Social historians of the future, seeking material on the life of American boys during the first few decades of the [twentieth] century will ignore the books of Ralph Moody at their peril. . . . [Moody] has a splendid talent for bringing the ashes of the past into life."—Chicago Sunday Tribune

"A sentimental reminiscence rich in good humor and courage, and in Americana. It is a story simply told of a young man's unself-pitying and successful struggle against what seem the unsurmountable odds of dire poverty and desperate illness."—New York Herald Tribune Books

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