Cheaper by the Dozen

Last updated Friday, February 17, 2012

Author: Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Date of Publication: 1948
ISBN: 0060763132
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2012

Synopsis: 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.

Note to readers:
•  Read the forward, but go ahead and skip the preface.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  How many siblings do you have?
•  Can you imagine having eleven brothers and sisters? Do you think you would have liked it?
•  Have you ever used a trashcan with a lid that you opened with a peddle on the floor? Have you ever heard a doctor ask for a scalpel from a nurse in a TV show? Did you know both of those things were invented by Frank Gilbreth?

•  Regimentation-orderly
•  Ascertain-to figure out
•  Jowls- cheeks that hang down
•  Herbert Hoover Collar-curved collar
•  Unrequited-unreturned
•  slum-run-down area
•  quadruped- 4-legged animal
•  livid-very angry
•  duster- a piece of clothing used to protect a person from road dust
•  reprobates-trouble-makers
•  repentant- feeling remorse (guilt, sadness)
•  inaugurated- formally begun
•  Shanty- shack, run-down place
•  Solemnly- serious

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Has anyone every brought a gift back for you from a trip? What was it?
•  Have you ever played a joke on your parents? Did they think it was funny or did you get in trouble?

Craft ideas:
•  Design blueprints for a device that would help you save time in your daily life. What will it do? How will it do it? What materials will you use?

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!