Friday, June 10, 2011

Cheaper by the Dozen

No, not the Steve Martin/Hillary Duff movie. I'm talking about the book. (Which, incidentally, sounds nothing like the movie.)

I first read Cheaper by the Dozen in 6th grade. I reread it recently for our quarterly book challenge for the category of book you loved as a kid or teen. Cheaper by the Dozen is the story of a family in the 19teens and 1920s with 12 children. Two of the children wrote the book in the 1940s.

The family was lead by the father, Frank Gilbreth, an efficiency and motion study expert. Some parts of the story were funny because there were so many kids and some were funny because of the father's thoughts on efficiency. The one scene I remembered from all those years ago dealt with Frank showing the kids the fastest way to lather up in the tub. He had to demonstrate for the girls full clothed while sitting on the living room floor.

I think Cheaper By the Dozen has held up well over time, even though some things may need to be explained to modern kids. It also was still a good read for me as an adult.


  1. My mother read this book to me when I was a little kid (my mother was number 7 of 10 children and I think she could relate to some of this book quite well). I loved it back then and I still do. Have you read the sequel (Belles On Their Toes)? It's also very good.

  2. I think I read Belles on Their Toes right after I read Cheaper by the Dozen, but I don't remember liking it as well. Of course, that was 20ish years ago.

  3. Have you seen the original movie? It was a summer classic around my house growing up, and it sounds like it was a lot more like the book than the more recent movie.