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Marvelous Mattie : how Margaret E. Knight became an inventor

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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 “could not possiblyunderstand the mechanical complexities.” Marvelous Mattieproved him wrong, and over the course of her life earned thetitle of “the Lady Edison.” With charming pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, thisintroduction to one of the most prolific female inventors willleave readers inspired.

EMILY ARNOLD MCCULLY, a Caldecott Medalist, has writtenand illustrated over fifty children’s books, including Squirrel andJohn Muir, which received the Giverny Award for best sciencepicture book. She divides her time between New York City andupstate New York.

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