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The Graves Family (The Graves Family)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
The Graves family has just moved to Union City, and they definitely don't fit in. With giant spiders in the living room, a voracious Venus flytrap named Phoebe in the kitchen, and a secret laboratory in the basement, the neighbors are afraid to visit! Except for Seth and Sara Miller, the kids next door, who decide to help them make friends. Maybe if Mr. Graves gives all th ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published 2003)
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Oct 17, 2009 Farrah rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
When I asked the librarian to help me find the perfect book to read to 4th graders, she could not have found a more perfect book in length, detail, and creativeness. Polacco created a hilariously imaginative story with great illustrations to go along with it. The Graves Family was just the right book for 8-10 year olds to either read or listen to. Last week I got the awesome opportunity to read this book as a Mystery Reader for my daughter's 4th grade class and the kids had a great time laughing ...more
Apr 29, 2016 Rainey rated it liked it
The Graves Family is a good idea, but it is poorly executed as a picture book. It would work better as an early reader book.
Dec 04, 2007 Carly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 3-5
Shelves: picture-books
This book is hysterical. I loved the pictures and crazy story. It is about a family that moves into town that is very different from the rest of the town and their house resembles a haunted house. I love how Polacco presents morals in her story so subtly without just flat out stating them. The theme of this story is to accept others regardless of whether or not they fit the social norm. Kids will love the funny story and crazy pictures. It would be a great story to read during a unit on acceptin ...more
Brittany Martin
Mar 30, 2016 Brittany Martin rated it really liked it
Doug and Shalleaux Graves are no ordinary parents. In fact, no one in the Graves' family is ordinary. When the Graves' family moves to town, they are very nervous about fitting in. However, when their neighbors children makes friends with the oldest child, Ronnie, the Graves' family begins to feel more optimistic. Mrs. Graves is then invited to a gardening club where she brings her Venus Flytrap for show and tell. However, her flytrap causes a catastrophe and it seems that no one likes her anymo ...more
Meghan Collins
Patricia Polacco is a great children's author who has unique, and original ways of teaching important values to children. In this book, she describes a family that is strange and different; they do not fit into the new neighborhood in which they just moved in. Brave enough, their neighbors Sara and Seth went over and asked the new neighbor's son to play, and on that day the town was introduced to the new Graves' family. The book is a creative tale about how the Graves' family changed the way the ...more
Olivia Lagore
Patricia Polacco writes this book as a way to provide a (fictional) background to the haunted house she created and stars in every year as her own character "Mrs. Graves".
When the graves family comes to Union City, none of the townspeople are willing to try to befriend them due to their strange ways until Seth and Sara visit Ronnie, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Graves. As they get to know him and his family, they realize that although the family is very odd and at times a bit spooky, all they really
Linda Lipko
What fun it was to read this creative and delightfully silly book. The Graves family pack the spiders, venus fly trap and friends and head for Lake Bleakmere. Having great fun collecting rare specimens, the Grave's family take a break to eat some of Mamma Grave's famous Jum Jills.
When a huge dragon approaches and eats all the treats, demanding more, fearful of their lives, the Graves family find that the dragon blocked all exits.

Finding a steam boat, they head down the river to home. Followed cl
Jan 06, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it

What happens when your house is colored blood red? Will you fit in with the others? Will you be ashamed? Do you think that your neighbors will be afraid of you? According to Patricia Polacco, the Graves family has to face all these things and much more.

The story begins when the Graves family moves into a creaky old blood red house on the hill at night. Everyone in Union City is afraid of them because they are different and weird. They keep endangered species in their house and they have a labora
We really enjoy Patricia Polacco's work, but did not love this one. Other reviewers have said that 4th graders enjoy this book and perhaps that had something to do with it. My first grader got somewhat bored with it and didn't' find it very funny. I felt it lacked the depth that Polacco's other works show. So take my rating with a grain of salt, it might be much better for a different audience.
Kallie Krammes
This book is funny and interesting and holds a lot of surprises that children would find funny. The book can be a bit lengthy but it is worth it. As a read aloud this would be a good book to inspire kids to write their own "creepy" story or tell about a time this made them think of. The illustrations bring the text to life. This is a very enjoyable book.
May 07, 2015 Naomi rated it really liked it
Let's just say that the Graves family is unusual! This book is funny and I could see kids eating it up. Given the text, it is definitely for an older group of kids. I see 8-10 year olds mentioned frequently. I like the hidden lesson about not judging people because they are "unique" as well.
Lisa Vegan
Dec 19, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 7-11 year olds; Halloween reading
I suppose this could be enjoyed for Halloween, even though it’s not really a Halloween book. There is a “haunted” house though.

I’m reading my way through batches of this Patricia Polacco’s books. There are a few I’ve adored. This is one I liked a lot. I enjoyed its quirkiness, its humor, and its appreciation for people’s differences. I loved how the Graves family is so exotic and comfortable with themselves, yet they long to fit in, an experience that’s unfamiliar to them. Ever since the movie L
Patricia Polacco does a nice job of showing how all families and homes can have something to offer-- even if those things are different from what others may expect or value. A funny picture book that would be especially appropriate around Halloween.
Dec 08, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun story that introduces us to the Graves Family - an odd bunch of characters reminiscent of Chas Addams (Charles Addams) and his famous odd family, The Addams Family. Although it is the same length as the sequel, The Graves Family Goes Camping, it seems longer, and I know we liked the sequel a bit more. Overall, though, it is an interesting and fun story with some very strange and creepy characters. Though not specifically about Halloween, it would be a great time to read this book.
Patricia Kaniasty
What a cute story. Really teaches kids about differences and that it is ok to be different. It's kooky and fun and a little chaotic. Has great pictures and the excitement never dies.
Sep 13, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it
This is a great read aloud for the reading comprehension skill of predicting. It would also be a great book to use for vocabulary in context clues.
Jul 14, 2014 Dotty rated it liked it
Very different family finds a place in the community -- ACCEPTANCE.
Mar 30, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it
funny! I'll be on the look out for the second one.
Apr 20, 2016 Teri rated it liked it
Shelves: halloween
eh--not the our favorite patricia polacco
Apr 21, 2012 Megan rated it liked it
This is a cute fiction picture book that shows that even the scariest or toughest people still want to fit in or have people to care about them. This family moved into town, and were very strange. Their house was filled with spiders, bats, and Venus fly-traps. The father was a scientist, and the mother made all plants die and wither, and cooked with extremely strange ingredients. However, in the end, they just wanted to have friends like everyone else.
Aug 01, 2012 Shelli rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The Graves Family have many traits in common with the Addam's Family, they're creep, kooky and all the rest. The only difference is the Graves family has yet again relocated to find a town they can fit into. This quirky story was to long in picture book format, small chapter book would have worked much better. Keep up the weird Graves family! People can love you are leave you but the message of staying true to who you are is forever.
Mary Anjali
Jun 04, 2012 Mary Anjali rated it really liked it

This is a really great book to launch a Science or Writing lesson, the story introduces many different types of plants, animals, insects and the process of experimentation. Also, for writing the students could try to make their own recipe and draw a picture of one of the mother's kooky dishes at dinner. This is a great story about acceptance and learning that everyone has a their own unique qualities.
Mar 07, 2011 Pam rated it liked it
I have read many of Patricia Polacco's books and have never been disappointed. In this book the Graves family moves to Union village. They are different t from the other people in the village and they are outcasts of a sort until the children from across the street come to play. Interesting story about appreciating the differences in people. Definitely for Halloween.
Dec 25, 2015 Sandie rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
We didn't really care for this was long and kind of boring. My daughter didn't even want to finish it. Maybe it would have been better as a read on your own book rather then a read out loud book.

There were good ideas in it....but it just didn't really interest me or my daughter.
This book was hilarious. A fun read for me and the children, with captivating pictures that fit the style of writing very nicely. I like it especially because the underlying theme is one of acceptance even if someone seems strange to begin with, and I can sympathize with that message all day long!
The Reading Countess
Is it okay that I rated a Polacco book "okay?" Somehow I feel that I am letting my old friend down. Then again, she let me down on this fluffy, too-juvenile-even-though-it's-a-picture-book book.
There, I said it. Let the rotten tomatoes fly.
Sep 18, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it
I just discovered this author. I checked out a bunch of her books from the library. They have great illustrations, and the words are not "dumbed down" for a picture book. A great way to expand vocab as you read to your kids.
Jun 28, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Cute story about the quirky family next door, who, it seems, cannot relate to anyone until someone with an eye for "unique" comes to town and they win the Fall Home Show award!
Erin Al-Mehairi
Sep 06, 2011 Erin Al-Mehairi rated it really liked it
The books was extremely funny and though Polacco's sentences are sometimes so long when reading out loud, it was so good. My 7 year old loved it. Good moral to it as well.
Apr 20, 2009 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: we-own
Patricia Polacco has wonderful books. What imagination of a small town eccentric family! I love it! A creative family that thinks outside of the norm - this is a cool book.
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Other Books in the Series

The Graves Family (2 books)
  • The Graves Family Goes Camping

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