Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

“Here’s the story…” Imagine the Bradys-only funnier, smarter, riding around in an old jalopy instead of the trusty station wagon, living in the early 1900’s, and twelve of them instead of six–and you’ve got the Gilbreth family! Dad Gilbreth is a motion study engineer, (the study of how to do things more efficiently) and the easiest way to test out his theories is to practice them on his kids. Now, that may not sound too bad, except sometimes Dad is a little too efficient…like the time when one kid gets tonsillitis and he decides that it’s more cost-effective to set up an operating table in the living room and take out EVERYONE’S tonsils. But Dad also makes learning stuff a whole lotta fun-like when he paints messages in Morse code all over the walls of the summer house that lead to treats for the first person to decipher the code. Things are always hoppin’ at the Gilbreth place, and its’ more entertaining than “Malcolm in the Middle” and “The Simpsons” combined! And did I mention this is all a TRUE story?? A nice old lady sold me a battered paperback of this book at a garage sale (the best way to discover classics) and it’s been one of my favorites ever since.

4 thoughts on “Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

  1. This is one of my all-time favorite books – and its sequel too (can’t remember the name…) – my 9th grade English teacher read this aloud to us and it’s one of the reasons I majored in English in college. It is a bittersweet story when you come to the end – but ultimately a story of a family and parents with courage, brains and resourcefulness that you rarely see anymore. I love that it’s a true story and wish I could have known the Gilbreths.

  2. This book is amazing…and one thing I like is that it is an autobiography. Some parts are quite humorous.

  3. Brandi, this is one of my favorites because I discovered it at a garage sale and it felt like a hidden treasure. I love it, such an old fashioned and comforting read, with lots of humor!

  4. This is one of my absolute favorite books!!! I found it in a book of old books at my Grandparents and hate letting my sister read it because of the poor condition it is in. 😀 If I ever see another copy I am buying it right away!!!! I found the version of the movie that is based off the book, I thought they did a good job with sticking to the story-line but found it a bit boring. I like the movie sequel (Belles on Their Toes) a bit better because I hadn’t read the book. Although I am dying too!!!! 😀

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