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The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families—How They Do It

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,512 ratings  ·  484 reviews
This practical, positive book reveals the many parenting strategies that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar use as they preside over America’s best-known mega-family.

Each time a new baby arrives, the press from around the world clamors for interviews and information. Visitors are amazed to find seventeen (baby number eighteen is due January 1, 2009) well-groomed, well-behaved, we
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Howard Books
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Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
5/22/15: Updating this in light of the fact the oldest son molested his sisters. Love all the people who offered to pray for me.

8/4/10 NOTE: Although I stand by my review of this book, I do want to point out that it was written long before Michelle Duggar gave birth to a preemie ... and long before *I* gave birth to a preemie. Her 25-weeker was born just two years or so after MY 25-weeker, and having such a public representation of what I went through admittedly made me feel a connection to the
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Was it the same phenomenon that causes people to flock to the scene of an accident, or was it a combination of curiosity and admiration of how this family is able to have that many kids and love and care for them all that led me to read this book? Probably a little of both!

I really enjoyed this book. The Duggar parents have written a great resource that simultaneously tells their family story and shares the parenting philosophies and practices that have worked for them in raising their many chil
Sarah Wade
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this family!! I watch the show all the time, so I was excited to read this book. They are a wonderful Christian family who stick by their values and make things work. They have 18 children, no debt (nope, not even a mortgage!) and loads of great advise- after all- with a crop like that, they are experts! This book offers a lot more details on their parenting techniques and also has lots of great sounding recipes. It was an easy read and definitely one that I will refer to a lot. I think w ...more
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Since I am not exposed to much television, I had no idea who the Duggars were when I picked up this book on a friend's coffee table two weeks ago. Since this loving couple is proliferating at an unrestricted rate, I figured they were studying the Duggars as a model for their own family expansion.

Intending to read just a page or two, I set the book down a couple of hours later, having read the whole text skipping recipes and omitting the last chapter. Not an English scholar myself, I'd characteri
I was really impressed by this book and how organized their family has learned to be. It was fun to see a family so large I could tell them there's only 13 in my family! Many of the family scenarios rang true from my own experience, and it was really fun to read. I liked the idea of blanket time for toddlers and will probably use it, and some of the other organization tips I think we'll be using soon. I've always admired large families, and this book was truly a pleasure and inspiration to read. ...more
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it
I am addicted to this odd family and their TV show on TLC.

******I don't understand my own fascination with this family. They are the type of Fundamentalist family who appear to be continuing to have children so that those of their ilk will take over civilization through sheer numbers. They go to the Creation museum. The girls must wear dresses and not cut their hair. And yet I keep watching. Maybe it's just a sociological fascination. I don't know. I feel shame.

And based on the recipes included.
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Yeah, I read it. You got something to say about that?

Let's clear something up right away. I have absolutely zero desire to have 75 kids, and after reading this book that desire has probably gone down. We don't have cable TV, so I've never seen one of their shows, but I heard a glowing review of this book, rolled my eyes, and thought I'd check it out. The up sides to this -- they are incredibly organized and unashamed of their faith. No one could deny that they love the Lord and aren't afraid to
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I can't understand why people get so upset about the Duggars.
I get the whole overpopulation thing, but really, the people are living in rural Arkansas.
AND people get upset about them living-debt free, like that's a problem.
AND their parenting techniques...what's wrong with gentle correction and training, and teaching kids to be polite? Their methods may not be mine, but I can't dispute their effectiveness.

As for the book, it gave some nice background on the family from the beginning and how th
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
It seems that a lot of people share my fascination with the Duggar family, and with good reason -- they've done some thing phenomenal: they've turned the seemingly daunting task of parenting so many children into the image of an idyllic family lifestyle. And they've entered the public sphere, and their own dose of celebrity, without any of the drama that accompanies Jon & Kate, among others. What's their secret? There may be no simple answer to that question, but in this book they lay out some o ...more
I guess you could say the Duggars are my guilty pleasure; I watch their show “18 Kids and Counting,” previously titled “17 Kids and Counting,” religiously and I’ve seen all the specials on their lives, starting with “14 Kids and Pregnant Again.” I can also recite the names of their children in order — all the way from Joshua to Jordyn-Grace. {Just reread that and just realized how creepy that sounds.)

Although I fundamentally disagree with everything the stand for, I find their family utterly fas
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this and have to say that it is really good! I have always been pretty fascinated by the Duggars, a family with 18 going on 19 children, and have seen several of the TV shows about them. I really admire their thrift, family values, and faith in God. This book just increased my admiration for them. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are very frank and honest about answering questions and telling their story. Plus, they explain how they stay organized and run their household. We a ...more
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wow! I found this family so inspiring. I loved the parents' attitude on parenting and life in general. This book reinforced my belief that attitude determines our experiences much more than circumstances. Our lives are what we believe them to be, whether full of grace and beauty,or negativism and unhappiness. While many of the Duggars' specific tips about things like laundry, mealtime, etc. aren't necessary for my small family, their beliefs about giving our lives to God, avoiding debt, purposef ...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Sep 20, 2009 added it
Recommended to Books Ring Mah Bell by: SR< of course...
How they do it??? I have enough trouble with the frequency of them doing it! The LAST thing I need to know is HOW they do it!


Something tells me after 20 kids, it's like....

ACK! Nevermind!
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Ah, the Duggars. Although I don’t believe in their particular form of religion nor their feelings on procreation, there’s something about this family that fascinates me, that fascinates EVERYONE. Regardless of your personal feelings towards their fundamentalist beliefs, there lies the question: could I do this? Be pregnant every other year and raise a family of 18 kids and not be committed to an asylum? Nope. But Michelle Duggar (who is a whole heck of a lot more likable than Kate Gosselin) tell ...more
Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it
As a work of literature, this isn't exactly a masterpiece. A good editor could have found a much better way to differentiate between the two first-person voices behind the story. As it was, every few paragraphs the voice would switch between Michelle and Jim-Bob, with an "I (Jim Bob)" or an "I (Michelle)." I found it really distracting and somewhat annoying by the end. Couldn't they have used different shading or put in some headings to transition between them?

However, as a book that shares how
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
When I first heard of the Duggar family, my initial reaction was 'How the heck can someone have so many kids???' I watched them on some of their Discovery Channel episodes. When I heard the book had come out, I was curious as to see what they had to say about themselves.

Yes, there are some things I disagree with them on. There's nothing wrong with birth control, I hope that their daughters at least make that decision for themselves, that they realize that they don't have to have so many children
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. I saw one of their episodes on my mom's TV (the one about their house being built) and it was the first time I'd ever heard of them. I didn't hear much more about them til their latest baby ended up in the hospital.
I dont' really see why people get so upset about other people living their own lives to the best of their conscience. The whole 'overpopulation' myth has been debunked for ages. Everyone is going to do something you don't like or agree with. Someone made
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
What an interesting read! The biggest thing that stood out to me to admire is how committed they are to living by their principles. They believe in staying out of debt, and so they do- completely and always! They believe in allowing God to determine the number of children they will have, and you can see that they have stuck to that. I really admire people who stick to their convictions no matter what.

I also enjoyed reading about how they manage things, and got some good ideas that I might use.
Catherine J.
May 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I mostly read this book out of sheer fascination about large fundie families. I share approximately no views with the Duggars and mainly watch them because they are quite the trainwreck.

I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Michelle. She has the most insipid, meek baby voice, that makes me want to shoot something. And there's just something extra annoying about someone preaching intolerance and anti-feminism in that kind of voice.

Also, Duggars, don't act like you aren't the most ju
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book in a lot of ways. I got a few great parenting tips including some really fabulous ideas for teaching Christlike attributes to children (things like obedience and love). I also got a great reminder of how important it is to live debt free, and I loved the examples of how the Lord continually opens doors for us even when things seem hopeless. However...I thought that a lot of the things in the book were just over the top. I honestly ended up feeling like a huge failure ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I ordered this for myself because this family fascinates me. They manage to raise all these children without outside negative influence from marketing and television. They are well behaved, not overly sugar-sweet, well-adjusted kids with parents who truly know they are blessed by their many kids. They are not people who sit back and expect life to bless them, they actively seek to live a wonderful life infused with their faith and with zero debt. The book explains how they built this family, how ...more
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love the Duggars. I was hoping to get a little more of their parenting style from this book, and that's the only reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars. I told my husband that we should ship our kids out to live with them so that way I could feel confident that they would grow up to be kind, humble, loving, with strong testimonies of Jesus. He just rolled his eyes but seriously, the Duggars are amazing.
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chelsys-readings
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have a hard time deciding how to categorize this book. My local library has it filed under "religion", but it's not really a book about religion, just a family that practices it. The majority of the book reads like a biography, from a bit of info about how the Duggar parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, met, to their courtship and marriage, to their business struggles and the births of their children (in fact, Jim Bob's narratives about the business can be a bit long, and they make up a sizable port ...more
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm fascinated by this family. I think, because they are the absolute opposite of me. Eighteen kids and I have one. Extremely conservative and I'm liberal. She's a subservient wife and I'm a full partner in my marriage.

I think the title would best be changed to Blind Faith. For that's what the Duggars live on . I admire that wholeheartedly, for I'm often the Doubting Thomas. No, not doubting in the sense that Thomas was, but I'm much more likely to use the free will and thought that God gifted
Veronica Noechel
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
"Why in the heck did you read this book?" is a valid question from those who know me, but then, if you *do* know me, you know I like to read about individuals and groups I don' So I couldn't resist picking up this book, which offers a little (and I mean a *little*) more detail into the lives of the Dugger family than can be gleaned from their tv show--X Kids and Counting (I omitted the exact number since it may vary depending upon when you read this review.)

Reasons to read this boo
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didn't know much about the Duggar family other than that they have a lot of children and a TV show that I've never seen. If I had cable TV I can bet I would watch their show. The Duggars are good people. I was inspired by their book. While I don't have any interest in having 20 children, I learned a lot from them like their family rules, living debt-free, enjoying today, praising your children, anger, (they suggest whispering when you are angry, which I've done recently and noticed it really h ...more
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the Duggars TV series
Shelves: nonfiction
The Duggars: 20 and Counting! was actually an interesting book. I used to watch their show, but haven't in a while. I read this book a few years ago. It basically explains their story of how they met, were married, and decided to have a large family. They have always worked hard and encouraged the same out of their children. They even bought a steel kit and built that monstrous house mostly by themselves. The only thing that really bothers me about their child-raising techniques is that they sti ...more
Carmen Liffengren
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
A while back I caught the show on TLC about the Duggar family building their new home. I was intrigued by the Duggars and judging by the response to their reality series, I'm not the only one. So, I picked up their book which is really a companion to their TLC/Discovery Channel shows. It's a quick read sprinkled with info on how Jim Bob and Michelle live their faith, raise their large family, stay organized, live debt-free and discipline etc. They get so many questions that they wrote this book ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I know this family is pretty debatable and I don't agree with every part of their lifestyle but I do believe God has blessed this family. I think it's amazing that they can flourish without having debt and wonderful that they can do so. It seems this is something God laid on Jim Bob and Michelle. They just seem like a couple that honestly want to raise their children with a Christ-like countenance.
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Best known for her television show "19 Kids and Counting," which documents the lives of the Duggar family, Michelle Duggar is a mother of nearly 20 children. She is a very spiritual person and often credits her successes to God. She is married to Jim Bob Duggar.

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