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

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,194 Ratings  ·  48 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 frien
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 PaulsenPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale
Newbery Medal Honor Books
149th out of 317 books — 345 voters
Conductoid by M.B. LehaneThe Magic of Finkleton by K.C. HiltonCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteMatilda by Roald DahlHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Books for nine-year-olds
156th out of 504 books — 421 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 03, 2016 Karol rated it it was amazing
I really loved reading about the antics and adventures of the youngest Moffat. The perspective of a child this age seemed right on target to me. A truly fun classic for young readers.
Mar 06, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it
Dear sweet Rufus. He is a character. I love his determination (think library card adventures and practicing ventriloquism), his naïveté (think the invisible piano player), and his optimism. He has a series of gentle adventures and you can hardly help but love him.
Feb 20, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
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
Oct 17, 2012 Astrid Lim rated it liked it
Shelves: children, newbery, rent
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
Dec 30, 2009 Grace Lin rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 13, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
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
Apr 30, 2014 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, humor, series, school, family
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.
Sep 18, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it
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
Jul 23, 2016 Jan rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite childhood books. Loved reading about Rufus getting a library card. Purchased as an adult to read the wonderful stories again.
Yagmur Akyurek
Sep 11, 2014 Yagmur Akyurek rated it it was amazing
Aaahhh Rufus is THE CUTEST little boy ever!! This book was so funny and so whimsical and so heartwarming and just THE GREATEST
Oct 26, 2015 Daniel rated it it was ok
Cute, but kind of slow. Also, no real kid has an eight-hour attention span like Rufus supposedly does.
May 12, 2015 Logan rated it liked it
Shelves: old-school
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 really liked it
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.
Jun 23, 2013 Cathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
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.
Jan 26, 2014 MomRd2Me rated it it was amazing
Loved it !
Aug 19, 2008 nicole rated it it was amazing
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).
Jul 23, 2008 Kristin rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 30, 2013 Teri Zipf rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
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.
Jan 04, 2008 Mthunders rated it it was amazing
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.
May 07, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 09, 2010 Melody rated it liked it
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.
Apr 25, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 22, 2016 Annette rated it it was amazing
A very cute story about the littlest member of the family.
His insight from his point of view was darling.
I look forward to the next Moffat book in the series.
May 02, 2013 Jill rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-honor
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.
Jan 25, 2012 Kristen rated it liked it
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
Dec 26, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
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.
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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)

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