Cheaper by the Dozen Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Cheaper by the Dozen

The Gilbreth Family is mad up of Dad, a famous efficiency expert who thinks that a household can be run just like a factory. Then there's Mother, who works alongside of Dad and helps and supports him in everything except for punishing the children.   Then there are 12 children.   Dad loved kids and took them with him almost everywhere he went, even on business trips.   He also always stood up for his family. One time a neighbor said that a Gilbreth child cursed at there son, Dad basically said so what, but when he got home, the child was not dealt with with nearly as flippant of an attitude.
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With twelve kids, one would think that there was always chaos, but Dad was an efficiency expert and used all of his methods from work at home during family life.   One of the things he did was call family assemblies by blowing a whistle, everyone had to stop what they were doing and come immediately.   Sometimes these assemblies were for handing out gifts, and sometimes they were for handing out punishments, but everyone made sure to come as fast as possible just in case. This came in handy when the house caught fire, everyone evacuated in 14 seconds.   
Twelve kids could also turn out to be very useful.   When it came to driving, Dad was not very cautious and so all of the kids had to help. On every trip there was a look out in the front seat to tell Dad when it was safe to pass and to point out places where he should turn or slow down.   Then they had lookouts in the back and on the sides to tell him about cars coming from those directions.   The look out in the front was dads idea, but the rest came from a will to live that the children had.
To have twelve kids, Mom had to have babies very often, and after a while the first few kids started to wonder where babies came from.   They thought about it and they decided that a baby came when you were sick because every time Mom had a baby, she was sick in bed the day before. One day Mom went to bed early because of a cold and the next day, all of the children went into her room to look for the baby. When Dad asked what they were doing they told him and he said that babies don't come when people get sick.   So then of course, they asked, when do babies come, and Dad left in a hurry and told mom to explain.   Mom tried, but she really just ducked the question, when the discussion was over, Mom and Dad thought we understood but we still had no idea, so we went on wondering.
The Gilbreth's life was a very funny one and they had many things happen.   They had many problems like dating. They had many hardships, like having everyone's tonsils removed, but they all loved each other and made it though life together.
The review of this Book prepared by cloud city

Chapter Analysis of Cheaper by the Dozen

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Plot & Themes

Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   Fighting with Dad    -   general child raising Period of greatest activity?    -   1900+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   business executive Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes Century:    -   1900-1920's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   very happy    -   like laughing If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 14-16 Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   51%-75% of book

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Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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