Sunday, September 16, 2007

Belles on Their Toes

Authors: Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

First line: Mother was going to Europe and leave up by ourselves.

Why you should read this book: Before it was a slapstick comedy, Cheaper by the Dozen was an intelligent children's book about the real-life efficiency expert, Frank Gilbreth, and how he raised his brood of twelve children according to the laws of motion study; this book is the sequel to the first, picking up several days after the clan's patriarch dies of a heart attack. Lillian Gilbreth, a single mother with eleven mouths to feed, determines to continue her husband's business so as to keep her family together, and must struggle in a world where women are not accepted as competent engineers. Meanwhile, her children practice their own version of efficiency, determined to help their mother, honor their father's memory, and enjoy their lives to the fullest, all on a shoestring budget and with no privacy.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't think women should work outside the home, you believe children should be seen and not heard, and you insist that bare ankles and wrists on a girl are immodest.

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