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Rufus M. (The Moffats, #3)
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Rufus M. (The Moffats #3)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  874 ratings  ·  44 reviews
You've never met anyone quite like Rufus Moffat. He gets things done, but he gets them done his way.
When he wants to check out library books, Rufus teaches himself to write...even though he doesn't yet know how to read. When food is scarce, he plants some special "Rufus beans" that actually grow...despite his digging them up every day to check on them. And Rufus has friend
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1943)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloHatchet by Gary PaulsenRamona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Newbery Medal Honor Books
120th out of 306 books — 264 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Best Kids Books Ever
289th out of 670 books — 409 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,354)
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Although in general I am a great fan of classic children's books, I found this one to be difficult to follow and impossible to engage a similarly aged child with. Too many years have passed and too much has changed for today's young child to enter into Rufus' world. And to our great good fortune, there are now so many excellent books for any age and taste, we have the luxury of moving on rather than focusing on past eras of children's literature. I would have loved to introduce my son to Rufus, ...more
Astrid Lim
Cute little story of Rufus M, the clever/naughty little boy who lived with his family in Connecticut during the war time. The stories are simple yet engaging, a kind of story I would be happy to read to my boy =)
Grace Lin
This book was another great classic which has held up well. Rufus is such a likeable character and the episodic adventures were extremely fun & charming!
1944 Newbery Honor Book

This is the third in the Moffat series and focuses on the youngest Moffat, Rufus. Rufus has adventures knitting a washcloth, finding money in the ice and trying to learn ventriloquism.

I think I enjoyed Janey's adventures better but it was still a good book. Like the other three books, each chapter is a seperate adventure so it would make a good read aloud. I think the Moffat books can also be understood independently of each other.
I like Eleanor Estes, but this was not my favorite of hers. The vignettes of the youngest Moffat take place during the end of WWI. I admit it was interesting for me to read how people lived in those times, and in many ways how children of today, are much like children a hundred years ago. But I kept thinking that a modern kid would have a hard time with this book. There was no central plot. There was no compelling central character. The book was wholesome, almost to yawndom. The only way I could ...more
The youngest Moffet catches up with and even surpasses his siblings. Including learning to write and read so he can borrow library books! He's a lefty which makes him clever.
What a cute little book! My boyfriend told me to read it since his mom read it to him as a child. He said that I might like it since I'm into the Little House on the Prairie series. I thought it was very lovely and I liked how Rufus is so determined to get things done like check out his own library book or give his knitted washcloth to a soldier. Some other parts were unbelievable like how he found fifty-five cents and managed to buy everything his family needed, all by himself. How old is this ...more
Yagmur Akyurek
Aaahhh Rufus is THE CUTEST little boy ever!! This book was so funny and so whimsical and so heartwarming and just THE GREATEST
We read the first book, The Moffats, and enjoyed it. I love how Estes portrays this small-town, turn-of-the-century poor family in such a loving way. The mother is a widow trying to make ends meet as a dressmaker and the kids are just regular kids; curious, funny, daring, loyal to one another. The stories are slow-moving, but we enjoyed the first one because it was funny. Logan did not find this one so funny. We did get almost half-way through it, but L lost interest. We'll probably try it again ...more
May 15, 2012 Sara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: juvie
A library school professor read a chapter of this book to our class to explain how NOT to be a children's librarian, and I remembered how much I had enjoyed Eleanor Estes' "Ginger Pye" as a child. Picking up this charming little book, I found a number of short chapters describing the everyday life of a young boy growing up in New England. Estes' books are wonderful for reading aloud, and I wish more libraries kept them around.
I don't know why I adore these Moffat books. Seeing things from a child's point of view maybe -it just makes me laugh. I love the old time feel of days long ago and their family closeness. They work and play together in hard times. But the children hardly care or seem to notice the hard times as long as they have each other. And they certainly find their own unique adventures. I liked the first two books better though.
Aug 19, 2008 nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nicholas fans (and Deb specifically)
Shelves: 7up, newbery
Painfully cute. Episodic and innocent in the same vain as the Nicholas books by Goscinny & Sempe, but without all the punching and crying. Plus these are distinctly American, and take place during WWII (Victory Gardens 'n all).

This is the first Moffat book I've read. So fyi, I don't think it matters what order you read them in. Makes me want to go read the others now.
One of my happiest academic moments was when I persuaded a professor of economics to let me write a paper in which I combined economic theory (of which I knew nothing), several old books by Horatio Alger that must have belonged to my great-grandfather, and the first chapter of Rufus M where he gets his library card (it is the best chapter of the book).
Our new book on tape for the car. We're so into it we sit in the car on the driveway when we get home to listen longer. It's hard to turn off. This one turned out fabulous. Clean wholesome, suspenseful, funny, great for kids, and an overall very fun story. Highly recommend it to anyone with boys.
Teri Zipf
I last read this when I was in grade school and was happy to find it just as enjoyable the second time around. It's like opening a time capsule, with its descriptions of life during World War I. It fully deserved its Newbery Award. I would like to read the rest of the books again, as well.
If you're a kid growing up, there aren't enough books nowadays that enforce the principle that getting into hijinks is okay ("hijinks" differing slightly from "being an ass"); this is one of them. Also helped to instill an early love of ventriloquism within me.
I love the Moffats more with each book I read. Each chapter of this one is so full of Rufus's misadventures and you can't help but smile and love him. He is so endearing--plus he reminds me of my own dear son who listens while I read these books aloud.
Andrew Siegel
This book is really cool. It was interesting to look at life through a little kids eyes. Especially through Rufus M.'s eyes. He looks at everything a little differently, but it was most of all about the normal life of a kid a long time ago.
Warm and sweet. This book is, in addition to being a story about Rufus Moffat and his siblings, a snapshot of America at the end of WWII. I enjoyed it. I do loathe Louis Slobodkin's illustrations, though. I had to not look at them as I read.
I read this to the kids during the current battle with stomach flu. I really loved the Moffatt books and Eleanor Estes' kids books in general as a kid and they're still captivating today.
This would be good as a read-aloud book for a 6-8 year old. Each chapter stands alone. It's written by the author of Ginger Pye and is the same type of feel-good read.
Were kids ever really allowed to fun around all over town like this?

Sweet stories about funny kids in the 1940's.

Probably 3.5
I loved all these stories about all the cousins. I should re-read them. Is this the one where the uncle is the youngest tot?
I puzzled over Rufus's age in some of the episodes. I wish it had been specified. I can get hung up on nitpicky details.
Susan Phelan
Fun, most of the time. Tended to switch POV and was not as good, clear or fun of a voice when it wasn't his POV.
We have really liked all the Moffat books we've read. Very old-fashioned and slow-paced and charming.
I love Eleanor Estes and her stories that take place in my mother's childhood in Connecticut!
Michele Casper
This is the third Moffat book. See my review of The Moffats for why I gave it 5 stars!
a quick fun read. it would be a great book for kids old enough to read chapter books.
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Eleanor Ruth Rosenfeld (Estes)was an American children's author. She was born in West Haven, Connecticut as Eleanor Ruth Rosenfield. Originally a librarian, Estes' writing career began following a case of tuberculosis. Bedridden while recovering, Estes began writing down some of her childhood memories, which would later turn into full-length children's books.

Estes's book Ginger Pye (1951) won the
More about Eleanor Estes...

Other Books in the Series

The Moffats (4 books)
  • The Moffats (The Moffats, #1)
  • The Middle Moffat (The Moffats, #2)
  • The Moffat Museum (The Moffats, #4)
The Hundred Dresses Ginger Pye (The Pyes, #1) The Moffats (The Moffats, #1) The Witch Family The Middle Moffat (The Moffats, #2)

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