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The Moffats Chapter Books

Eleanor Estes once said that, as a writer, she hoped to reflect “the true image of childhood.” And she did just that in the nearly twenty books she authored over a period of forty-six years, including the much-loved series about the charming Moffat family.


Who Are the Moffats?

The Moffat family consists of four children (Sylvie, Joe, Jane, and Rufus), their widowed mother, and Catherine-the-Cat. They rent a little yellow house in the village of Cranbury, where Mama works from home as a dressmaker.

Although written in the 1940s, the series is set during Estes’s childhood (circa 1915) and is said to be semi-autobiographical. Old-fashioned details like horse-drawn carriages, kerosene oil lamps, and hitching posts give readers a peek into history.

The Moffats - the first book in The Moffats Chapter Book Series

The Moffats are a kind and loving family who work hard to make ends meet. The children have good intentions, but they usually end up in some kind of trouble along the way—and their shenanigans will make for lots of fun during your family read-aloud time!

Take our free Moffats Series Checklist to your local library!

About the Author

Eleanor Estes was born in 1906 and, like Jane Moffat, was the third of four children. Estes worked as a children’s librarian, and began writing children’s books in the 1930s while recovering from tuberculosis. Her first book, The Moffats, was published in 1941. During her career, Eleanor Estes wrote twenty books, including three more books about the indomitable Moffats.

In 1952, Eleanor Estes received the Newbery Medal for Ginger Pye. She also received Newbery Honor Book awards for The Middle Moffat, Rufus M., and The Hundred Dresses.

About the Books

In the first book in the series, The Moffats, we’re introduced to the Moffat children. Concerns arise when a man tacks a “For Sale” sign to the front of their beloved yellow house. Although the children attempt to intervene, the threat of the home’s possible sale continues throughout the book. The children’s other escapades include an impromptu freight train ride for Rufus, the creation of a “ghost” in the attic (to scare a troublesome neighbor), and the devastating loss of a $5 bill.

The Middle Moffat - Book 2 in The Moffats Chapter Book Series

Jane is the star of The Middle Moffat, a Newbery Honor book. As the title suggests, the story follows Jane’s adventures as she navigates life as “the Middle Moffat.” Despite the children’s best efforts, the yellow house has been sold. The entire Moffat family must adjust to life in a new house on a new street, where Jane makes a new best friend and takes it upon herself to be in the middle of everything.

Seven-year-old Rufus takes center stage in Rufus M. In this Newbery Honor Book, Rufus faces many personal challenges, such as learning to write his name so he can get a library card, impatiently trying to grow beans, and attempting to knit a washcloth to help the war effort.

The final book in the series is The Moffat Museum. The book opens with a new idea from Jane: “The Moffats should have a museum!” Jane envisions the museum as a place for the Moffats to house their favorite things and celebrate their memoriesan especially important project because the children are growing up and life is changing for the Moffat family. This heartwarming series finale was written in 1983, forty years after Estes wrote the first three books.

The Moffats Series at a Glance

Rufus M. - the third book in The Moffats Chapter Book Series

Author: Eleanor Estes
Genre: children’s fiction, humor
Interests: family life, friendship, childhood, growing up
Suggested age range: 7 to 12
Gender preference: boys and girls
In the series: 4 books, 210 to 256 pages each


The Moffats Series Library Checklist

Do your kids need extra encouragement to read?

Take The Moffats Series checklist to your local library and have your child check off books as he reads them.

Looking for more great chapter books? We’ve got you covered!

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E.

says:

I love these books, and hope more children will discover them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We agree!

Kelly Levesque

says:

This series looks so interesting! I believe the Moffats is on Mensa’s book list as well! Our goal is to read close to every book on each of the grade lists.

Beth C

says:

We loved the first, so excited to see its part of a series!

Crystal Hatlewick

says:

These look good! Will definitely have to get them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you enjoy them, Crystal!

S

says:

I had no idea there were so many books in the Moffats series. I must look out for them in the library.

Olivia

says:

My boys and I enjoyed another Eleanor Estes book Ginger Pye.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Olivia,
Ginger Pie is such a fun story! My kids still talk about “Uncle Bennie”, and they are 20 and 18.

Marifer

says:

I’ve been wanting to read this series with my girls!

Catrina Persinger

says:

Printed the list – now for a trip to the library.

Janet Williams

says:

I have always used this series and students really enjoy them.

I have never read these! Thank you for the recommendation. I am so excited!

Dawn

says:

Can’t wait to go to the library and look for this series! Thank you for all the helpful hints!

Donald Knight

says:

Thanks for the suggestions you make.

Joy Lockwood

says:

Looking forward to trying these! Thanks!

Diane Behm

says:

YOur program looks very interesting and kid friendly. I am using the Susan Barton program and like it very much. I teach 3rd grade, however, and would like something that teaches the same concepts to a group of kids, rather than one-on-one.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Diane,
We have more information about using All About Reading and All About Spelling in a classroom in this blog post.

Ellen

says:

These books look great. We have never heard of them before and now can’t wait to read them!

Tara

says:

Sounds fun- we finished the Gooney Birdie series- so we will try this next :)

Abbey F

says:

Thank you for this post. We love the All-of-a-Kind Family books and the Noisy Village books, and are always looking for other high-quality, family-oriented series.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Abbey,
I haven’t heard of the Noisy Village books, but I’ll have to go check them out! We have loved the All-of-a-Kind Family books.

I’ve never seen these! Sounds like fun Summer Reading!

Jessica H

says:

These books look so good even I can’t wait to see what they are all about myself!! I think they would be perfect for my 7 yr old son and I to read together❤️ I love that even have so much history in them as well!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
Your son is going to benefit from your enthusiasm about these books!

Melissa

says:

My daughter is enjoying all about reading.

Amy

says:

I am excited to read this series with my boys! Thanks for the info!

Amy Bryant

says:

Sounds like a delightful book set that would be an enjoyable read! I will have to check into these for my daughters!

Amanda

says:

I haven’t heard of these, they sound great!

Vanessa

says:

I have heard wonderful things about this program and am excited to learn more!

Lindsay

says:

Never heard of these books! Excited to try them out for our kids!

Julie

says:

I’ll have to check these out for summer reading

Emily Gibson

says:

I love the book recommendations!! Keep them coming!! :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We will, Emily!

Tonya Williams

says:

The Moffats are a fun group that my kids always enjoy! Will be using these books for years to come!

Margarita

says:

Hm these look pretty cool. I’ll definitely try reading one of these to my son.

Brittany Allen

says:

I would love to try your program with my children.

Lindsey Hines

says:

These look lovely!

I definitely want to check these out. They look so cute!

Ashley

says:

I’ve never heard of these chapter books before but we will definitely be checking them out!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you enjoy them, Ashley!

Judith Martinez

says:

These sound lovely! I’m adding them to my list!

Can’t wait to read these to my girls.

Jacque

says:

I think I’ll check these out. My son likes stories like this that we can move from one adventure to another.

Anna

says:

Love this, adding it to our library list!

Rhonda S

says:

I love adding new books to our reading list! Thanks for highlighting these!

Betg

says:

This series is on my list for the kids this year! Glad to see further recommendations and the full list of books :)

Felicia

says:

Thanks for the great suggestions!

Michael B.

says:

Great post!

Sherna

says:

That looks like a great series something my kids would read. Great work! Thank You!

Amanda burt

says:

Great post! Thank you!

Julie

says:

My daughter loved The Moffats.

Rosanna Root

says:

I appreciate the library checklist! Thanks!

Nicole

says:

Can’t wait to start using AAR with my soon to be 1st grader!

Elisa

says:

Thank you

Becka Adams

says:

Looking forward to reading these with my kids! Thanks!

Courtney

says:

The Hundred Dresses has been one of my favorite books since elementary. I shared it with my daughter this past fall and she loved it. Can’t wait to dive into some of her series books soon!

Tami bellow

says:

We have this on our reading list for next year!

Cindy Christopher

says:

Awesome!

Katrena Smith

says:

We have read the hundred dresses, was a very nice story.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katrena,
I agree! The Hundred Dresses is a lovely book.

Lisa

says:

We always love a new series!

Amanda

says:

Will add to my kids summer reading list!

Jessica

says:

Never knew about these. Thanks for sharing!

Katie O

says:

These sound so neat! I can’t wait to get our hands on them!

Kim Weese

says:

These would be fun read alouds! Thanks for sharing.

amanda whitley

says:

these look awesome, something i’m sure my daughter would be into

Rebeca ruiz

says:

Nice story..

Judy

says:

Looks like great plan.

Wendy Clark

says:

I have always wanted to read these books. We love to do read-alouds around here.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wendy,
We love read alouds too! We always have at least one, often 2 or 3, books going.

Laura Williams

says:

These look so cute

Angela Beltran

says:

This book looks so cute!

Jess

says:

This in on our audiobook list!

Hala A

says:

Thanks for sharing
Would love to add it to our reading list

Molly

says:

We love the Moffats!

I’ll have to check these out! Thanks for the recommendation. We love AAR!

Tami Durfey

says:

I would love to try these with our younger boys who are learning to read.

Brittney Galloway

says:

I’m looking forward to reading these in our read aloud time now.

Barbie Whitefield

says:

Love all about reading materials because my son loves them!

Rachel

says:

What a great series!

Bernadette

says:

Looking forward to reading a new series with my kids.

Victoria

says:

We adore the Moffats!! Would highly recommend…I’m going to have to find our copies!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Victoria,
Thank you for letting us know how much you have enjoyed these book.

Zoe

says:

Looks like great series! I’m always looking for new books for family reading time!

Stefanie M

says:

My daughter would love these!

Tiffany

says:

These look perfect for our family!

Natasha

says:

I love all about reading. Would love to add another level to my homeschool.

Christi

says:

I need to check these out!

Kelly

says:

We have not read this series yet, but they are going on my list for the summer!

Erica k

says:

This looks like a series I may be able to get my 9 year old hooked on 😊

Ambur

says:

I had completely forgotten about the Moffats! I used to love them as a kid!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ambur,
I’m happy we were able to remind you about the Moffats. Sharing books I enjoyed as a child with my children is a special joy.

Jennifer

says:

We love All About Reading and All About Spelling! Will look for these at our library for sure.

Nichole Burke

says:

This looks awesome a

Kayci

says:

I would love these for my 5 & 7 year old!

Chris

says:

I think my kids will love these!

Leela R

says:

I love when my kids learn about things they wouldn’t normally experience through storytelling!

Deb

says:

We love AAR &AAS!!

Shannon

says:

This was my daughters favorite book last year!

Erica Carlin

says:

We will definitely read these during the summer!

Courtney

says:

Wow, I would love to get this book!

Crystal

says:

These look interesting. I’ll have to check them out!

Ashley

says:

This series sounds like a fun summer read for my boys!

Amber

says:

This looks like a great series to read through this summer!

Amy Mac

says:

I love older literature for kids. This is not one in our repertoire. Thank you for sharing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Amy. My family loves older books as well, and while we haven’t read this exact series, we have enjoyed a couple other books from this author.

Christine Robertson

says:

These sound great!

Lynda

says:

These looks awesome!!

Mary

says:

These books look interesting for my 9 yrs old

Wendy Thelen

says:

Will have to check this series out. I’m always looking for new books to introduce my kids to.

Amanda Rodgers

says:

I need to look into getting these, love anything with some real biography in it!

Amy larkin

says:

These look super cute!!

Gloryanne

says:

I’m gonna have to give these a try!

Erin

says:

The readers look great!

Michelle Warren

says:

Love this!

Danielle M

says:

The first is a great book on tape!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Danielle,
Thank you for letting us know that the audiobook is good! Many of us are frequently looking for our next good audiobook.

Nina

says:

What a cute series, I think my big kids would like them as well.

kimberly adler

says:

These all sound good.

Katie Tate

says:

This looks like a cute series!

Jenn

says:

I bet my children would love these

Maria

says:

I’m adding these to our reading list! Thank You!

Kristin

says:

Looks very interesting!

laura cripe

says:

The Moffats is one of my family’s favorite series of books.

Tiffany M

says:

This sounds like a cute series…I need to see where we can get them. We are trying to include new books in our summer reading.

Theresa

says:

Thanks, looks like something my grandson would enjoy.

Sheila

says:

I’m adding these to our summer reading! Thank you!

Laura

says:

Can’t wait to try these!

Amy W

says:

This series looks really fun!

Kristina N.

says:

We look forward to reading these books

Amber Strickland

says:

I’d love the chance to read these books with my children. They are just on the cusp of learning to read, so it’s a very exciting time.

Agatha Berg

says:

Great series! Thanks for sharing

Elizabeth Alamilla

says:

What a fun book!

Danielle Hull

says:

Oh, we need to read these! Thank you for sharing about them!

Stephanie Lewis

says:

These books look interesting!

Beth

says:

I had forgotten about these! Nice, warm stories about children and families! Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We’re happy to remind you about these, Beth. Thank you for the added review.

Shelley

says:

Sounds like a fun series for our youngest kiddos. Thanks.

Patsy Foy

says:

Thank you so much! This is perfect.

Talia Dupree

says:

I have never heard of these books. Thanks for sharing!

Leila

says:

Interesting series. I will take it into account when I’ll buy books for my little boy!!! Love it!!!

Yuna Park

says:

Definitely looking for these at our next library visit! Thanks for sharing this

Nissel R Baker

says:

I can’t wait to introduce my small female human to these guys! She’s going to flip!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nissel,
I hope your small female human enjoys these books!

Stephanie Whitson

says:

Thank you for sharing this! Definitely sounds like a series my girl would enjoy.

Mandy

says:

This looks like an interesting series! My oldest will love it! Thanks for sharing.

Jenny Lamb

says:

This looks like a great, wholesome series for our morning time read alouds!

Brittany S.

says:

We will have to look for these at our next library visit. They look like something my little ones will enjoy! Thanks for sharing these books with us!!

rp

says:

Hi I have heard so many raves on this product….. looking forward to giving it a try.

Maggie Pedersen

says:

These books look great! I think my daughter would really enjoy them. Thanks for suggesting them.

Sarah Barrett

says:

These sound like books my little ones would love! Thanks for sharing about them.

Lindsay

says:

We are always looking for good books with family focused values. And your recommended books are always great. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lindsay,
I’m happy to hear that our recommendations have been good fits for your family!

Jen J

says:

These look good! I had never heard of the Moffats!

Kelly

says:

I had forgotten about this series! Thanks for the reminder

Melinda Roberts

says:

These look amazing

Katrina

says:

I will have to look these up the next time we are at the library!

Cj morabito

says:

Will be on the hunt for these!

Cimarron

says:

I loved The Moffats and had forgotten all about them! Thanks!!

Jamie Lewis

says:

Great books!

Deb Freymond

says:

How in the world did I never read these? I’m definitely going to be looking into them! Thank you for sharing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Deb,
Don’t feel too bad about missing these books before. I have read other Eleanor Estes books, but had never heard of these ones either.

I hope you enjoy The Moffats!

Albatina

says:

these look like a fun read

Shelby Duda

says:

I can’t wait to read these with my 3 boys!!!

Can’t wait to check these out for my daughter!

Juanita

says:

I haven’t read these before but they look really good!

Raelynn Earnheart

says:

I’m looking forward to reading these with my 2 younger kiddos!

Katie

says:

I remember reading these years ago… will have to visit them again.

Jodi

says:

I am always looking for books for my daughter. We will look ok for these on our next library trip

Nikki M

says:

I keep meaning to read this series to my kids! It looks so fun. The checklist is a great resource! Thanks!

Shelley

says:

I read these books years ago and loved them! Thanks for reminding me about them so my kids can read them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shelley,
One of the joys of parenting is sharing books you loved as a child with your children!

Brittany Sanchez

says:

Always looking for book suggestions!

Aimee

says:

These are great learning tools!

Hailey

says:

Sounds perfect for my six yo!

Chassidy

says:

Thank you! I am always looking for book suggestions for my daughter!

Donna

says:

We started The Moffats as a read aloud, but never got to finish. I might give it a second try.

Keisha

says:

Love it!

Wendy

says:

Cute story!

Erin Kell

says:

These look great!

Donald Knight

says:

Her Hundred Dresses is superb.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Donald!

Kathy

says:

Our family LOVES The Moffats! I read all of them to my 9-year-old daughter this year during her daily 20 minutes of reading, and the 12-year old and 14-year old in the house read them over and over. After reading the Moffats, I highly recommend continuing with Estes’ books Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye. They are also set in the town of Cranbury, and involve characters that have slight mentions in the Moffat stories: Jeremy and Rachel Pye and their toddler uncle Benny Pye. Ginger Pye does deal with the theft of a dog, so it has a “heavier” feel at times than the Moffat series, but there is a satisfying, happy ending. They are all fantastic read-aloud books.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kathy,
It’s great to hear that The Moffats have been such a hit for your family! In addition to Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye, I also recommend Estes’ book The Hundred Dresses. It is a heavier topic, as it deals with poverty and teasing (what we’d call verbal bullying today), but like her other books, it has a happy resolution that feels real, possible, and hopeful.

Mindy Bush

says:

These look great!

Brittney

says:

I have never read this series, but the books look so cute. My daughter is excited to dive into the Moffat series.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Brittney,
I hope your daughter enjoys these!

Amber

says:

Awesome books!

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