The Middle Moffat

by Eleanor Estes

Other authorsLouis Slobodkin (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1989



Local notes

PB Est




Yearling (1989)


Follows the adventures and misadventures of ten-year-old Jane Moffat living with her widowed mother and three siblings in their new home in Cranbury, Connecticut, in the early twentieth century.


Newbery Medal (Honor Book — 1943)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

7.4 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member sparklegirl
this is just a random story of a girl in the moffats family in the 20's.
LibraryThing member themiddlemoffat
This was an iconic book in my childhood. I believed the little girl in the story was me, despite the fact that she lived in 20's mid-West America and I lived in 60's London. Endearing tale of not quite fitting in, being surrounded by eccentricity - but it's all a safe home.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
This is the one I read about a dozen times, that encouraged me to read all by Estes and then everything else I could find in the library that was remotely like it. Even today I have that sunny perspective about life, that people are nice and families stick up for each other and girls can get into
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mischief... Like Cleary, Nesbit, and even Narnia (which btw I still don't see the religion in).

Read again for the GR Newbery club that I host, Jan 2016. Still loving it. Can't believe I never noticed how Mr. Buckle, the oldest inhabitant, blows cotton to the birds for their nests. That might be a good use for pill bottle cotton scraps this spring.... I also appreciate the relevance of the ladies' club, the Browning Society, being on the same decluttering kick that many ppl are on now. We're doing it the KonMari way, and they did it because they learned of the teachings of Thoreau, but it's the same idea.

It's just such a sweet story, with enough underlying poignancy to make it richer than a casual reader (which I've been, every other time I've read it) consciously grasps. For example, the fact that the Moffats aren't too proud to accept the hand-me-downs from the ladies is interesting. And when Janey expresses to Mr. Buckle that now that he's made it to 100, he should try for 200... he agrees, and she says, And they might celebrate that birthday in the Yale Bowl. Maybe then I could be a wave." Neither of the friends stop to think about the fact that Janey will be 110 in a hundred years, of course....

I do recommend reading the Moffat books in order if you can - there is some development, the family circumstances and home change as the children grow, etc. And two more books about the family and their kin were recognized by Newbery committees, so we in GR will be reading them later."
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
Not so much a novel as a short story collection, "The Middle Moffat" tells 11 tales focusing on Jane Moffat, who is neither the youngest nor the oldest in the family. These slightly old fashioned stories are light, sweet, and sometimes funny. Estes does a good job portraying the way a child thinks.


(73 ratings; 4.2)
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