Biography of Eleanor Estes

Born in West Haven in 1906, Eleanor Estes was a career librarian and author who wrote twenty classic children's books in her lifetime, most of which based on her childhood in small-town Connecticut.

Estes is best known for her Moffats book series, whose characters she based on members of her own family. She also modeled the character Maddie from The Hundred Dresses on her experience as the recipient of hand-me-down dresses who stood by while her friend bullied another girl for her poverty.

Among other awards and honors, Estes's book Ginger Pye won the Newbery Medal for children's literature, and The Middle Moffat, Rufus M., and The Hundred Dresses received the Newbery Honor. Estes died in 1988.

Study Guides on Works by Eleanor Estes

First published in 1944, Eleanor Estes's classic children's book The Hundred Dresses is about the remorse a young girl experiences after she stands by while her best friend teases an impoverished classmate who claims to own one hundred dresses.