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The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It Paperback – December 2, 2008

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The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It + A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make It Work + Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141658563X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416585633
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Listening to Michelle Duggar read the Duggar family biography is like sitting in a living room and having a conversation with a gentle and soft-spoken woman who is in awe of what the Lord has done in her family’s life. You can imagine the twinkle in her eye as she fondly recounts stories about the early years of her marriage to Jim Bob. Likewise, you can hear the joy in her voice as she discusses each of their children. Far from being a perfect family, the Duggars deal with many of the same challenges as the rest of us. After your “chat” with Michelle, you will certainly have gleaned greater insights into parenting."
T.D. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar married in 1984. Some time after the birth of their first child, they prayed that God would give them a love for children like his love for children and that he would bless them with as many children as he saw fit in his timing. Soon after, Michelle became pregnant with twins! The Duggars currently have ten boys and nine girls, and all their names begin with “J”—Joshua, Jana and John-David (twins), Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah and Jeremiah (twins), Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie.

The Duggars are the #1 program on TLC/ Discovery Health / TLC documentaries and have appeared multiple times on national TV shows, such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Inside Edition, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fox News Network, CNN, MSNBC, and others. Foreign television appearances include Italian Public Television, KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), and Discovery Home & Health (UK & Australia). They have been featured in magazine and newspaper articles in China, India, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Germany. As a family project, the Duggars built a seven-thousand-square-foot home. Both Jim Bob and Michelle are licensed real estate agents and conduct the Jim Sammon’s Financial Freedom Seminar in their community. They purpose to live completely debt-free—postponing  purchases until they have the cash. Jim Bob served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Customer Reviews

Thank you for sharing your faith and family with us.
Heather M Vennekotter
Jim Bob and Michelle seem like nice people with a happy family--good for them.
For those who enjoy the Duggar t.v. shows, I think you'd love this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 194 people found the following review helpful By F. Tregay on November 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had my library order this book for me for their collection, and it arrived early (hence the review before publication date). I read the book in a few hours today. It is quite an interesting read with lots of information that has never been included in their television specials. The Duggars write about their political run, child rearing philosphies, daily schedule, organizing and chore methods, their businesses (past and present), and many more topics.

There are many recipes and pictures with captions (some from before they had any kids) scattered throughout the book. Most of the recipes are available on their family website, though. The Duggars even included a floor plan of their home which cleared up some confusion for me as to where things were located after watching their tv shows.

I was surprised to read that even though their home was professionally decorated by Discovery Health/TLC, there were a couple of things not included/completed in their home their first year that many of us would not want to live without in our own homes. They had to save up to afford them. I think some of us probably get the wrong impression from their shows that they have a lot of money in the bank. After reading the book I believe that they really are frugal and need to be to provide for their family.

I wish the book had included more information on how they really live frugally today. Possibly some information on the menus they follow to budget food expenses or more overall budget/expense information on how they truly afford 17+ kids, would have made an interesting addition. Also, there is only a little tidbit about the girls' "dress code". I wish they had included more information about how they came to decide on it and when they started the modest dress code.

It was overall an interesting read and gave me a more complete understanding of this large God fearing family.
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105 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Airheart on August 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't check reviews before I bought this book because a friend read it and had nothing but praise for it. I must admit that I am humbled by the system the Duggar parents have in place for their family, and realize that the Duggars are some of the most loved kids in print, if not the country.

What bothers me, only came about after I read the book and skimmed through some of the reviews here. Some are ugly, while the rest are downright untrue (which a person would know if they actually read/or paid attention to the book).

First, the Duggars are not fanatics. There is obviously a regular mention of the faith that guides their lives and their children's lives in the book, but if you want a Bible study, you'll need to buy another book too. The kids are reared with a ton of attention, love, and time with their parents and their siblings. In a country where teen pregnancy, drug use, and Brittney Spears wanna-be's run rampant, then this family may seem bizarre to some; but to those of us who look for an alternative to the current state of affairs for children in this country, then the Duggars are a fresh breath of air.

Two, there is absolutely no mention of "corporal punishment" in this book, as one review mentions. Whether or not you feel spankings are appropriate for your children, this book is neutral on the subject. It is not even mentioned. As for the "blanket time" escape consequences, as one reviewer assumes includes spanking, there's a step-by-step process which Michelle clearly outlines which NEVER calls for spankings! It was a reward system, mostly with lots of praise and excitement, and perhaps an edible treat. I'm still shaking my head wondering how someone else missed this...
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125 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Laura on December 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm only half way through and I do love the Duggar's - but I have to say I cannot believe how frank and honest they are in this book - all the critiscims people have made of their family like "why doesn't Michelle breastfeed for birthcontrol?" - these are all addressed in the book. Also I'm ashamed to admit I assumed they had inherited money and that they got health insurance from Jim Bob's brief stint in the house of Reps - wrong wrong wrong - they are incredibly frugal and always have been - they started out with nothing married as teenagers and have saved and scrimped until they came to the relative financial security they have today (not wealth, security) - also they have a health insurance plan with high deductibles to make it more affordable - once again - I'm astounded they shared all these very personal details. I am absolutely loving this book and can't wait to finish.
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80 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Leocea M. Mclanahan on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book recently, and it is just wonderful.
Anyone who thought that they are weird, closeted religious fanatics will change their minds if they read this. Michelle and JimBob *are* strong Christians, with a conviction to allow God to control their family size. This does not mean that they breed like animals or take fertility drugs to have as many children as they can. Instead, they enjoy each other, and enjoy their life together. What this means is that if God has chosen for this one to be the last, they will accept it, and not go to extraordinary lengths to achieve a pregnancy. They will also welcome with open arms any children God blesses them with. This is really not an unusual viewpoint to have today, believe it or not. It IS hard to do. I know, because I and many of my friends follow a life that does not include artificial birth control. Michelle is one of the lucky ones. Out of 19 pregnancies, she has 18 children. Most of us have much smaller families. I have four, and I know several with less than five. The average seems to be 6 or 7. Please don't assume that those of us with many less children don't believe in the same thing! We just weren't blessed with that number of full-term births.
Reading this book, I am struck by the real-life education that these children are receiving. The children have been involved in their family businesses since birth! They have real skills, including building a house (!), that most video-playing, couch potato children of today are lacking. They will be ready for their adult lives when the time comes. I am sure that employers will line up to hire these honest, hard-working young men and women. They can only be a benefit to society.
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