Sunday, April 14, 2019

Book Review: 'Cheaper by the Dozen' by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

✰✰✰✰✰ What do twelve kids, a dog, and two motion study experts for parents add up to? Total chaos and pure fun. With a family that is run like clockwork, there’s never a dull moment in the Gilbreth household. Their lives were regimented, but fun. Efficiency is the key here, and every moment is a teaching moment. Whether this is your first time reading this classic or your twelfth, you’re sure to get a laugh as the children endure the assembly call, family council meetings, rides in Foolish Carriage, and chaperoned dances.

The Bottom Line: This classic book has delighted generations of readers and is still relevant today. Filled with lots of humorous anecdotes, this is a very quick read. Highly recommended reading for everyone! This is sure to bring a smile to your face and brighten your day.

Book Club Notes: Our little group loved this book! On a scale from 1 – 5, with 5 being the highest, we gave this one an average of 5.0! Ratings ranged from 4.9 - 5+++. Additionally, most of us watched the original movie, which we greatly enjoyed. We agreed that the original movie closely follows the book with just a few minor changes. Book club members commented that reading the book made the film richer. The book was well-written and funny. We learned a lot and the film especially portrayed a bygone era very well. There were lots of wonderful lessons contained within the pages of the book. This was one of our best discussions to date, and the original film brought back found memories for many. On a less positive note, the 2003 film of the same name was a disappointment, and members gave it a 0.

This book club was supplemented by watching this short film, Gilbreth Time and Motion Study in bricklaying and a few films on Trade PracticesIf you have the time, here are a few more short films.  

Most of us didn’t realize that one of the children had died very young. This article, Cheaper by Eleven?, helped explain what happened to Mary. We discussed how this was handled (or not handled) in both the book and the original movie. 

Finally, discussion questions for book clubs are abundant online, but the CLC Charter School has a great chapter by chapter discussion guide here.   

Details: Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. & Ernestine Gilbreth CareyPaperback published by Perennial Classics in 2006, original published in 1948 by T.Y. Crowell Co224 p. ISBN: 978-0-06-008460-8  

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