Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

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by Melissa Sweet, Catherine Thimmesh

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In kitchens and living rooms, in garages and labs and basements, even in converted chicken coops, women and girls have invented ingenious innovations that have made our lives simpler and better. Their creations are some of the most enduring (the windshield wiper) and best loved (the chocolate chip cookie). What inspired these women, and just how did they turn their


In kitchens and living rooms, in garages and labs and basements, even in converted chicken coops, women and girls have invented ingenious innovations that have made our lives simpler and better. Their creations are some of the most enduring (the windshield wiper) and best loved (the chocolate chip cookie). What inspired these women, and just how did they turn their ideas into realities?

Features women inventors Ruth Wakefield, Mary Anderson, Stephanie Kwolek, Bette Nesmith Graham, Patsy O. Sherman, Ann Moore, Grace Murray Hopper, Margaret E. Knight, Jeanne Lee Crews, and Valerie L. Thomas, as well as young inventors ten-year-old Becky Schroeder and eleven-year-old Alexia Abernathy. Illustrated in vibrant collage by Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"GIRLS THINK OF EVERYTHING is a wonderful book, as surprising as it is inspiring .... Buy this book for the girl you love today, and she may well become a mother of invention tomorrow."—Pulitzer Prize winner Natalie Angier, author of WOMAN: AN INTIMATE GEOGRAPHY, 1999 National Book Award finalist

BOX "This very attractive, informative book will find an audience among browsers and report writers alike." —Booklist, boxed review (3/15/00) Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"An outstanding collective biography of women and girls who changed the world with their inventions." —School Library Journal (4/00) School Library Journal

"This book is an inspired ode to women inventors." —Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

Booklist ALA
Robert's constant anxiety about the new baby is authentic and compelling, and the historical details add appeal. —Gillian Engberg
Publishers Weekly
PW called this compilation of personal profiles "an inspired ode to women inventors." Ages 8-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Since the dawn of time, women and girls have perceived a need to make everyday life easier and more efficient. Inquisitive thoughts gave way to innovative inventions. Unfortunately, women's inventions have been downplayed or ignored. This book tells some of their stories. In the year 3000 B.C., the 14-year-old Chinese empress His-ling-shi discovered silk. Thanks to her ingenuity, we have a beautiful and useful cloth. One of our best-loved foods--chocolate chip cookies--were invented when innkeeper Ruth Wakefield sought to save time by tossing chunks of chocolate into cookie batter, hoping they would melt. Southerner Mary Anderson invented a more utilitarian invention--windshield wipers--after riding a streetcar whose windshield was rendered useless on a snowy day. Sadly, Anderson never garnered commercial recognition for her brilliance. Pediatric nurse Ann Moore invented the Snugli baby carrier after spending time in Africa and seeing babies cradled on their mothers' backs. Her creation sparked a multi-million dollar business. The book also credits Becky Shroeder, who at 12, became the youngest girl to receive a patent--for a board that glows, enabling people to write in the dark. This book is sure to be a winner among boys and girls, inventors and non-inventors alike. 2000, Houghton Mifflin Co., Ages 9 to 12, $16.00. Reviewer: Julie Steinberg
VOYA - Voya Reviews
Did you know that Beulah Henry, who received her first United States patent for an ice cream freezer, was dubbed "Lady Edison" for her numerous inventions in the early twentieth century? Have your teen patrons ever wondered what people did in the age of typewriters to correct mistakes? Bette Nesmith Graham was tired of messily erasing typing errors. Drawing on her artistic experience, she invented a paint that could cover them. Soon everyone at her office was asking for some of this "miracle masking mixture" and in 1957, Liquid Paper was born. Did you ever try to write in the dark? Ten-year-old Becky Schroeder observed things that glowed in the dark and eventually came up with the Glo-Sheet in 1974, making it possible to write in the dark. Becky became the youngest female to receive a U. S. patent. Women largely have been ignored or passed over in conversations about inventors. With this title, the author attempts to fill in the gaps. Whenever possible, author interviews with the inventors provide material for personal histories. Although more than one hundred women inventors are listed in chronological order from 3000 B.C. to 1995 in the front and back covers of the book, few are from outside the United States. In fact, all twelve in-depth stories highlight European Americans. Nevertheless the stories are interesting and inspiring. These women and girls were observant and dared to accomplish what others often thought impossible. As with any inventor, a new point of view or a new idea, coupled with hard work and dedication, helped these women succeed. The book tries to provide resources and inspiration for future young inventors. Index. Illus. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading.Chronology. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 12 to 14, 64p, $16. Reviewer: Joyce W. Yen
Esmé Raji Codell
The extremely readable and well-researched text is brimming with direct quotes from the inventors, and is illustrated with plenty of powerful pink and mixed media punch.
Bookbag Magazine

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.17(d)
960L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Melissa Sweet is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of many fine children’s books including Balloons Over Broadway, a Sibert winner, and The Right Word and A River of Words, both Caldecott Honors. Reviewers have described her unique mixed-media illustrations as “exuberant,” “outstanding,” and “a creative delight.” Melissa lives on the beautiful coast of Maine, not far from E.B. White's famous barn and farm. In addition to writing and painting, she enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. For more information about the author and her work, visit

Catherine Thimmesh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including Team Moon, winner of the Sibert Medal. Her books have received numerous starred reviews, appeared on best books lists, and won many awards, including the IRA Children's Book Award and Minnesota Book Award. She lives in Minnesota with her family. Visit her website at .

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Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The inspiring nuggets of information in Catherine Thimmesh's book have my mind racing--do I have an invention lurking somewhere inside of me? The author's concise, information-packed, yet fun narrative will intrigue children and adults alike, many of whom will turn page after page saying, "I never knew that!" Judging from the chronology of inventions on the endpapers, Ms. Thimmesh has many more stories to tell, and I can't wait to read them. Melissa Sweet's collage illustrations are the perfect complement, fascinating in their detail and ingenious in the textures and materials she chooses. I've already bought several copies of this book; one to keep and others to give as gifts. I can think of many children who will pore over this book with great interest.
Kobe_Girl More than 1 year ago
This book teaches people that girls can be great inventors too. Girls have invented things that people could not live without today. I think that Catherine Themmish wrote this book to tell how smart women are. I read this book to do a project on it and I really enjoyed this book! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the history of women inventors. This book tells about famous women inventors and what they have invented throughout the years. The author of this book loves unordinary things. She does not like anything that is normal. This book has some of the best inventions that have ever been invented! A couple of these inventions are the Apgar Score, Windshield wipers, and Kevlar. These inventions have helped so many people through the years. I think that people need to give women more credit for what they do. Everybody loves chocolate chip cookies, right? Well, without Ruth Wakefield, we would not have a delicious treat that goes great with a tall glass of milk! Men would not have even been able to come up with these inventions that women have made. Girls are very creative and intelligent, so give them more credit!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. The story tells of all things women invented. I loved to read the story of these great, powerful women who invited a lot of important things that we use today.