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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Marvelous Mattie

Marvelous Mattie

How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor

Emily Arnold McCully

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


With her sketchbook labeled My Inventions and her father's toolbox, Mattie could make almost anything – toys, sleds, and a foot warmer. When she was just twelve years old, Mattie designed a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting off textile looms and injuring workers. As an adult, Mattie invented the machine that makes the square-bottom paper bags we still use today. However, in court, a man claimed the invention was his, stating that she "could not possibly understand the mechanical complexities." Marvelous Mattie proved him wrong, and over the course of her life earned the title of "the Lady Edison."

With charming pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, this introduction to one of the most prolific female inventors will leave readers inspired.

Marvelous Mattie is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, Natural History Magazine BBTY, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Master List, Booklinks Lasting Connection, North Carolina Children's Book Award Master List, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Natural History Magazine Best Books of the Year, Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award Master List, North Carolina Children's Book Award ML, Missouri KCS Book Award Master List, Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award ML, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the, Amelia Bloomer Project/Feminist Task Force, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice A. ML, Kansas City KC3 Reading Award Master List, NCSS-CBC NotableTrade-Soc.Stdy, Georgia Children's Book Award Master List (University of GA), GA Picture Storybook Award ML, Amelia Bloomer Project/Feminist Task For

Praise for Marvelous Mattie

“Engagingly presented.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Caldecott Medalist McCully's lucid narrative and crisp period illustrations illuminate the early life of an impressive visionary.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Told in a style that is not only easy to understand, but that is also a good read-aloud. . . .will inspire interest in women and children as inventors.” —School Library Journal

“Not only is Mattie Knight's life marvelously inventive, but her story is as well.” —Starred, The Horn Book

“It's a beautiful looking book.” —Kirkus Reviews

“McCully draws children into Knight's life by emphasizing. . . her resolute stance against the restrictive gender roles of her time. Watercolor scenes invoke the drama.” —Booklist

“Successfully conveys the drama of Knight's life and her focused intensity.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Invites kids to think about the history of women and scientific innovation.” —Washington Post Book World

“Girls are sure to love 'Marvelous Mattie' for its real-life spunky heroine . . . But boys and girls alike will love it for its celebration of curiosity and persistence--and the joy that comes from following your heart.” —The Christian Science Monitor


Reviews from Goodreads

Emily Arnold McCully

EMILY ARNOLD MCCULLY, a Caldecott Medalist, has written
and illustrated over fifty children's books, including Squirrel and
John Muir, which received the Giverny Award for best science
picture book. She divides her time between New York City and
upstate New York.

image of Emily Arnold McCullyo
Tom Bloom

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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