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Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor Hardcover – February 21, 2006
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Born into a poor family, Mattie was always curious as to how things worked. Sketching away in her notebook, she designed and built kites that flew higher and sleds that slid faster. She even made her mother a foot warmer. At the age of twelve, Mattie went to work in a mill. After a young girl was practically killed in front of her eyes, she realized how dangerous it was and invented a safety device that saved workers from injury and death.
Later, she went to work in a paper bag factory. She saw that the quality of the bags was poor (they didn't stand upright so the grocer had to use one hand to hold them open and they often split when filled with bulky items). So Mattie went to work on a design for a better bag. For two years she worked on her idea, sketching away and making paper bag cut-outs of her machine. She finally built a prototype out of wood. Just as she was getting ready to apply for a patent she heard that someone had stolen her idea. She went to court to prove it was her design, and she eventually won.
Marvelous Mattie is a good read aloud book for a first, second or third grader. The watercolor-and-ink drawings are a nice fit with the Industrial Age time period. Plus, an added bonus is that the book features some of her actual drawings from the paper bag patent.
A book like this will open up kids' eyes to all the inventions surrounding them on a day to day basis. Have them examine a paper bag closely so they can see everything that went into the design. Mattie's invention is still used today in making paper bags.
Mattie invented a machine to make paper bags that would stand up on their own.
What, you were hoping for something a little more exciting? More... worthwhile, perhaps? You want to know what the heck kinda invention is THAT? It's a USEFUL invention, is what it is, and it had the potential to make people rich... which is probably why a man tried to steal it from her before it could be patented, assuming everybody would believe him when he said a woman couldn't possibly understand the complexity of the machine.
She was, in fact, the first woman awarded a US patent, and she invented several other things that the book doesn't really touch on.
The book is well-enough written, and the story is a simple and fairly useful one. If nothing else, you can read it during Women's History Month and move off the treadmill of the same three or four tired old names.
Marvelous Mattie is the story of Margaret Knight, a clever girl who isn't afraid to show the world that she's smart. She creates wonderful toys for her older brothers and then goes on to create a useful safety device when she works in a textile mill. As a young woman she works hard and finally invents a machine to make flat bottomed paper bags. My description doesn't do the story justice. I encourage you to pick this up from your local library and read it to your children or students. It's a wonderful true-story of girl power.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very empowering story about a woman who accomplished something more than simply marrying a guy who because president. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Gave to my niece as her b-day gift and she loved it! Don't miss out! Completely recommend this book to all!!!Published on April 6, 2013 by Abby McCarthy
I picked up this book at the library when I went to check out some books about famous inventors. We came home with "Neo Leo," "Now & Ben," "Odd Boy Out," and this one, "Marvelous... Read morePublished on January 11, 2012 by Erica Smith
This is definitely geared toward the older picture book audience, though I'm sure visual and/or inventor oriented children will love pouring over the illustrations and diagrams of... Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by A. Williams
Middle elementary school kids will find this book a painless way to learn about someone of historical significance. Read morePublished on April 12, 2009 by Kathleen M