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Cheaper by the Dozen Mass Market Paperback – November 25, 2003

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Cheaper by the Dozen + Heart of Darkness (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (November 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060594330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060594336
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Gay and lighthearted...One of the most amusing books.” (The Chicago Sun-Times)

“Always entertaining, occasionally hilarious, occasionally touching....Sound Americana.” (Saturday Review of Literature)

"Instructive, funny, and very readable." (School Library Journal)

From the Publisher

No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. And there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank, Jr., in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches. You can be sure they're not only cheaper, they're funnier by the dozen. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

If you're down, read this book.
The book Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey shows how hard it is to live and raise 12 children.
Jennifer Maizlish
Sweet, gentle story told with humor.
Cathy L. Craigo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I used to giggle over this book as a kid. It was a huge hit amongst my classmates, and we wore through several copies of Cheaper By the Dozen.
The Gilbreth family of 12 kids, parented by efficiency experts Lillian and Frank, were a bit eccentric and very funny. I still can remember the line one of the kids rapped out to a guest at dinner "Please, we are NOT in the mood for an organ recital." This was the standard reprimand for belching in the family and never intended for public airing.
The Gilbreths were actually serious innovators of efficiency for the new factory assembly lines, figuring out the number of movements needed to complete a task and establishing a unit of work movement called the Therblig. They were also warm, funny, loving parents and their story is a good one to read out loud to kids, who invariably love this book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Has a story been so good that it made you laugh out loud? Well Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carry wrote an excellent biography of their childhood titled, "Cheaper by the Dozen." It is a very funny book. It is full of all the adventures the Gilbreth family went throgh in the first two decades of the 20th century.
Can you imagine having to take care of 12 kids and a dog? That would be a pretty hard job. I love reading this book especially when their father (Mr. Gilbreth) was teaching the kids Morse code. All over the house on every wall was Morse code. The kids had to find out what they said. Some would say, "Go to my room and under my bed is a deck of cards."
I encourage any one who loves non-fiction biography to read this book. I am sure you will like it too. If you don't like it in the beginning you should stick with it because it gets extremely good at the end.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on December 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
The first thing I have to say about this book is that it's funny and will make the reader understand how a super large family really can make it financially.
I read this book the first time because it was required in junior high (now known as middle school). I just read it again with my teenage daughters to maybe bring some understanding to them about saving time and money and that time is money. This father is the king of creative spending and overlapping chores to save time.
A very enjoyable book to read. This is an excellent book to co-read with your children of any age and might help you get a few frugal points accross to them.
It's a comical read laced with some very neccesary ideas of financial knowledge.
This is a quick book to read, and in my case a shared time of family financial understanding. Don't pass up reading this fun book. It'll make you laugh and think..."That's a good idea." reading about dad's fanatical penny pinching ways.
A great story that everyone should read.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on December 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
My mother used to read me this book when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's - but when we lost our copy we could never find another one - they were as rare as Hen's teeth - and we definitely wanted another copy. What a relief to see it is reprinted, and to find that the stories are just as funny and wonderful as they ever were.
This is a book about the Gilbreth family; Father, mother and twelve (yes 12!) children. Most especially this is the story of the Father, and his time-motion studies which he applied in work and in life. He was a time and motion expert in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century - travelling internationally and showing the new factories how to improve their production by increasing their efficiency.
This book has been written, with great affection and humour, by two of his children - Frank and Ernestine. I find it truly amazing that not only did the family boast twelve children but they all learned to speak foreign languages, touch typing, mental maths and even morse code - all because their father worked out dozens of ingenious ways to motivate them - although often it was quite reluctantly on their part. Their father was a truly larger than life character who dominates the book with his booming pronouncements and occassionally humbling mistakes - but you can almost see his eyes twinkling with a ready laugh.
This isn't just a book for adults, kids love having the stories read to them. If nothing else there are wonderful tips about how to get your children to want to learn!
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is the story of an unusual family at the turn of the century, with twelve children. The father is an efficiency expert who runs the family like it is a factory assembly line, with everything timed down to the minute. Even the times for bathing are scheduled, so that the household runs smoothly. Mr. Gilbreth practices all of his ideas on how to run an efficient business on his family; they are the guinea pigs for new ideas.
He is the parent who disciplines all the kids, and the mom is really understanding of how hard it is to live in such an unusual family. Both of the parents were professionals, as the mom was also a psychologist and industrial engineer. They applied their professional ideas on raising the 12 kids. The children learn foreign languages, long division and about the solar system, using methods from Mr. Gilbreth's professional life. They were also taught touch typing and morse code by efficient methods. It is a very humorous look at the life of a large and unusual family. The ending of the book is sad, as Mr. Gilbreth dies, leaving Mrs. Gilbreth to raise the children alone.
The tone of the book is humor, as many of the situations are really funny, and the parents approach life with a sense of humor. The father is often very sarcastic, but not in a mean way. He liked to parade the family around and even though he was proud of them, he found the reactions of other people very funny. The parent's sense of humor made dealing with the problems of a large family easier, and made for a more loving lifestyle. Even though raising a family that large was serious business, they never took life too seriously. I think that is an important way to raise a family, by keeping a sense of humor. The father is a smart man, and he is never characterized as an idiot, even though he does some crazy things to help his family. The main theme throughout the book is the importance of humor in their lives.
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