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Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships Reviewed By Carolyn Warren of Bookpleasures.com
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Carolyn Warren
Reviewer Carolyn Warren: Carolyn is the author of Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers, an Amazon bestseller and Book of the Month pick for The Washington Post (8/08). She also writes for the Christian market. Praying Through Your Pregnancy was a finalist in the 2010 ECOA Book Awards. She enjoys reading nonfiction, literary fiction, and women's mainstream novels. Follow Here To Find Out More About Carolyn and Here.


 
By Carolyn Warren
Published on March 2, 2014
 

Authors: Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar

ISBN: 9781451679168

 



Authors: Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar

ISBN: 9781451679168

 

I’ve never seen a Duggar TV show, read another Duggar book, nor anything else by the Duggars. So when I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I dived into reading with no previous opinions of the family.

The first thing I noticed was that even though the book is supposedly by four girls, it reads as if it was written by a single person. There is no difference in voice, expression, personality, or opinion. They even use the same odd clichés, such as “share our heart” (meaning to speak candidly). When I flipped to the Acknowledgments page, I discovered why. A writer named Charlie Richards is the actual author who penned the book after interviewing the young women. 

This is not an insider’s look at a family of 19 and counting. Rather, it is a collection of events that happened while growing up, peppered with a whole lot of advice on how to be a good child and how to be a good parent. (Another indication that the book actually written by an older adult.)

The best audience for this book is teenage girls. They can glean wisdom from the Duggars, such as how to handle an annoying sibling, how to respectfully disagree with your parents, dealing with anger, managing peer pressure, forming opinions on opposite sex relationships, dressing modestly, and more. 

A secondary audience is parents who can also pick up some good ideas. For example, on page 36-37 is a list of questions to ask your children in order to get them to open up and discuss life’s important issues. That alone could be worth the price of the book. Additionally, it might be helpful to read excerpts aloud to the family and then discuss your own responses to these situations. There are plenty of stories with which to agree and disagree in order to get the conversation rolling and then segue into forming your own family’s guidelines and policies.

My favorite element of this book is that all the girls participate in ministry and/or charity work. In so doing, they provide an example and inspiration for other young people. I cannot help but believe if we had more teens and 20-year-old like these girls, our world would be a better place. 

God bless you, Duggar girls. And next time, I’d like to read a book that was actually written by one of you—preferably after the age of 35 when you’ve had time to acquire an independent perspective.

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