Book Report: Smarter by the Dozen by Jane & Bill Dahlin/Doloris & Ted Pepple (1989)

When I bought this book, I expected a book in the line of Tom Braden’s Eight is Enough: a collection of anecdotes and incidents about raising a large family, set in a familiar location and with a historical relevance.

Instead, this book is really just a brain dump of parental advice on topics from buying insurance to handling kids’ drug problems. Not what I was looking for at all, really, but it made the book–dare I say it?–very skimmable.

One bit of historical trivia: The book has a whole chapter on 16 in Webster Groves, a documentary about growing up in suburban America that CBS shot in Webster Groves. In true reality television style, the network apparently cut the film to portray its story that suburban American children were being brainwashed into the bourgeoisie. Webster residents at the time were upset with it. So much so that the authors include it and spend a chapter railing against it 23 years later.

I’d tell you where the book is for sale, but you don’t find it anywhere on the Internet. Its existence is proven electronically only that it appears in a photo in this Flickrstream. Given that this book was printed as a limited edition, the photographer is either a Dahlin, a Pepple, or a nearby resident of Webster Groves.

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