The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
Harcourt, 2001. 978-0152025410.
Synopsis: Meet the Moffats: Sylvie, Joey, Jane, and Rufus. They live with their widowed mother and Catherine-the-cat in a yellow house onNew Dollar Street in the small town ofCranbury. With the Moffats, one is guaranteed to have an adventure of all sorts. Whether it be hiding in a breadbox to avoid a policeman, ditching school to ride on a train, dancing with a dog, or riding a trolley to the beach, there is always fun to be had.
Why I picked it up: My mother had the book on her shelf when she taught fifth grade and the Moffats had been mentioned in passing in Ginger Pye.
Why I finished it: Each of the Moffat children have a unique personality and a way of looking at the world. Estes has managed to capture childhood events and tell them in the same child-like voice as her other works. It makes older readers remember what it felt like to be stuck in a classroom or sick in bed when they would rather be outside in the sunshine, or reflecting on dealing with friends and teachers. Jane features rather prominently in the majority of the stories, and I might have liked to see some of the stories focus a little more on her siblings. The stories are full of humor, love, joy, worry, and all those other emotions that go along with growing up in uncertain times.
Other related materials: The Middle Moffat by Eleanor Estes, Rufus M. by Eleanor Estes, The Moffat Museum by Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright, All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, Strawberry Girl by Lois Lensky