Marvelous Mattie by Emily Arnold McCully

Marvelous Mattie

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 ...

Details Marvelous Mattie

TitleMarvelous Mattie
Release DateFeb 21st, 2006
PublisherFarrar Straus Giroux
GenreBiography, Childrens, Picture Books, Nonfiction, History, Science

Reviews Marvelous Mattie

  • Kathryn
    I had never heard of Margaret Knight before, although I am very familiar with the results of her most famous invention as they are still used on a daily basis all over the country: flat bottomed paper bags. Yup, the kind used at grocery stores every day! In 1871, Knight was the first woman to be issued a U.S. patent for her invention of the flat-bottomed paper bag machine. Perhaps not the most exciting invention, but a very useful one (just think...
  • Lisa Vegan
    I absolutely adored the illustrations in this book. The pictures that accompanied the story proper I found aesthetically pleasing and they complemented the story so very well, and then many pages had sketches of Mattie’s inventions, which was a brilliant touch.This children’s picture book biography of Mattie Knight/Margaret E. Knight (1838-1914), a girl/woman I’d never heard of until I learned about this book, is interesting and inspiring. ...
  • Connie
    You've probably never heard of Margaret E. Knight before. And yet you are intimately familiar with something she invented, a device used every day.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 ...
  • Caroline
    Fabulous tale about a female inventor, the ingenious Margaret Knight. She was a woman in a STEM career long before the term was invented--and even longer before it was considered proper. This book could fit into a classroom to talk about women, strength, overcoming odds, and not giving up on ideas. Also a social studies unit on the Industrial Revolution. My favorite part of the book were the realistic invention sketches along the bottom of many p...
  • QNPoohBear
    Mattie Knight always had a quick mind. She was forever inventing new toys for her brothers at a time when girls were not educated in science, technology or mathematics. Her mother took in sewing to earn a living and Mattie earned money from neighborhood kids designing new kite shapes and other toys. As a teen she worked in the textile mills of Manchester, New Hampshire and figured out how to improve the safety of the looms. In her adult years she...
  • Melissa
    This story is about Margaret Knight. She was an inventor at a very young age. She would sketch her ideas out in a notebook. This story is an inspiration to the young inventor and the thought that the most simplest ideas can go a long way. At the age of 12 Mattie went to work in the weaver factory where she said she felt right at home. This is were she got her idea to make a cover for the machine in the loom.The pictures are very detailed and very...
  • David
    Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully follows the life and inventions of a prolific female inventor who became the first woman to be granted a U. S. patent. With her sketchbook labeled My Inventions and her father's toolbox, Mattie could make almost anything - toys, kites, sleds, and a foot warmer. When she was just twelve years old, Mattie designed a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting off ...
  • Robin Gaphni
    You probably haven't given much thought to brown paper bags, but I promise you'll never look at them the same way after reading Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully. Margaret Knight was the first woman to be issued a U.S. patent for her invention of the flat-bottomed paper bag machine. And it was issued in 1871, a period when women's roles were narrow and prescribed.Born into a poor family, Mattie wa...
  • Barbara
    Books on inventors, much less female inventors, are rare indeed, which makes this one rather special. But even if the topic weren't unusual, the way the story is told would keep readers engaged. Even as a young girl, Mattie Knight loved to invent things--for instance, a foot warmer for her mother and a kite for her brothers--that would make life easier for those around her. Her family struggled financially, and even Mattie had to work in a textil...
  • Ann
    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 Mattie's inventions.I didn't know anything about Marvelous Mattie prior to reading this book, and now feel I must thank her every time I use a paper bag! :) Yes, this story is about inventing, but it's also about perseverance, self-reliance, and there's a little women's...
  • Mary
    Mattie (1838-1914) inherited a tool box from her dad. Unusually for the time, her mother and two older brothers allowed her to dream and write ideas in a notebook titled, "My Inventions." Informative author's note on last page.A perfect STEM book and also encouragement to inventors and the idea that girls can do things, too. Several of Mattie's diagrams are included on the pages coordinating with the story.
  • Miko Lee
    Interesting story about the woman who first invented the paper bag folder in 1871. Pretty amazing. Watercolor illustrations don the pages and some pages have drawings of her inventions. I missed a timeline and additional historical facts in the backend. Story was also so basic and would have loved to know more about her. What inspired her. How did she live alone at that time. And so many other questions.
  • Mrs. Ruigrok
    I had never heard of Margaret Knight and this was the wonderful story of an inventive young girl, her struggles and challenges as a female who loved to create and invent things she invented something that we still use today. A great way to share about inventions, challenges and girl power!
  • Jaime
    Mattie Knight was an incredible woman. I only wish that she could have seen what women are doing now. She was a pioneer for women in her time. I am so thankful to her for her sacrifices and pain because she paved the way for women today.
  • Haley Hoenke
    Science, Inventors, Machines
  • Cheryl
    Fascinating for all ages, and informative enough for school reports. Includes author's note and bibliography.
  • Sandra
    It was fine, and her story needs to be told, but all the imaginary discussions and dramatization make it more historical fiction. We really need more biographies!
  • Misbah
    The story of how Margaret Knight invented and patented the standing paper bag.
  • Dolly
    This is a fascinating story about a young girl who had a flair and creative genius for inventing machines and other things like kites. It's a true story and shows her successes, but also her struggles, especially being dismissed as a woman inventor. The watercolor illustrations have an old-fashioned feel and complement the story nicely. I love that it shows how she created a paper bag-making machine that could cut and glue a square-bottomed bag; ...
  • Meltha
    I had never heard of Margaret Knight before, and she was indeed an interesting person to learn about. Apparently she's responsible for designing the machine that makes paper bags with flat bottoms, and she was very nearly cheated out of getting a patent for it because a man in her factory stole the plans and claimed that no one woman could possibly even understand them, letalone be responsible for creating them (she won that court case, thankfull...
  • Christina
    This book is a true story and a window on an enterprising woman during the Industrial Revolution. She goes against the odds of poverty, lack of adequate education, and the restrictions on women to become an inventor. It could easily be used in 5th grade social studies to open up a discussion, perhaps after they have some knowledge already about the industrial revolution, on the roles of women in early U.S. history. It would be a great way to enga...
  • Jenny
    I'd never heard of Mattie (Margaret Knight) but was very impressed with her story. She began sketching inventions at a young age. I am pleased that the struggles she went through were not glossed over in this book...her mother was a widow and they were poor, she had to stop school at age 12 and begin working 13 hour days, when she invented a paper bag making machine (after 2 years of work) someone else claimed to have invented her machine and she...
  • Blast
    This wonderful children's book tells the story of Margaret Knight, a 19th century inventor. As a young child she invented numerous toys and gadgets to help, protect and amuse people. It is a good introduction to child's life in the 1800's. The story follows her into adulthood when Ms. Knight fought back against sexism to defend her patent on a bag-making machine and then how she became a respected inventor. The illustrations of her inventions are...
  • Ruth Ann
    This would be a good book to read during women's history month or to explore in a unit on the Industrial Revolution. It could also be used to illustrate a theme of "Following Your Passion", "Young Citizens and Their Contributions to America" or GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science).Knight is the first woman to be issued a patent. She is credited with over 90 inventions, beginning at a young age by designing toys for her brothers and a saf...
  • Matthew
    The inventor of the flat bottomed paper bag sure went through a lot to get the recognition she deserved. Too bad they don't make a bigger deal about the person who invented things like that. I can't believe what jerks men were about mechanical ability! That guy who tried to steal her invention with a defense as weak as "she's a women, so she couldn't figure this out" has to have been one of the worst male chauvinistic pigs in history. The guy sho...
  • Traci
    First of all I did not know about inventor, Margaret E. Knight until I read this book. Second of all, this is a fabulous book especially for girls everywhere.It shows how smart women really were and still are and that great ideas did not always come from just the men of this country. I feel this is a #mustread book that belongs in the curriculum for science so girls know they have the ability to be mechanical as well and a can be great contributo...
  • Dorothy
    With her sketchbook labeled "My Inventions "and her father'stoolbox, Mattie could make almost anything - toys, sleds, anda foot warmer. When she was just twelve years old, Mattiedesigned a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting offtextile looms and injuring workers. As an adult, Mattieinvented the machine that makes the square-bottom paperbags we still use today. However, in court, a man claimed theinvention was his, stating that she "coul...