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Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  532 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
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 i ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published March 11th 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published March 11th 2000)
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Women try the darnedest things, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes out of sheer determination to make something better.

What was even more interesting to me in this book which is illustrated to appeal to women and girls with headings and sidebars lettered in pink -was how various are the amounts and worth with which women's efforts are rewarded commercially!

Ever noticed that Toll-House chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag? Read this boo
Mary Lou Carolan
Jun 30, 2011 Mary Lou Carolan rated it it was amazing
Written and illustrated by two entreprenuerial women in their own right, Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet's book, Girls Think of Everything, Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women, is an inspiring look at women's little known or recognized role with inventions in medicine, science, household products and high-tech gadgets. A perfect book of trivia for older elementary students and up, readers will learn the innovative role women have played throughout history and how so many well known pro ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Stormy rated it it was amazing
Bought this book for my granddaughter. I enjoyed the dozen stories of women inventors and their everyday products: liquid paper, Tollhouse chocolate cookie recipe, kevlar, windshield wipers,Scotchgard, the Snugli, computer compiler, flat bottomed paper bag and more.
Find that I'm torn in who to give the book to and may order more copies for nieces and library. It is a paperback - but such great stories.
Would be good in pediatricians offices...
Was nice to find that I know one of the inventors - of
Mary Ann
With short entries, Thimmesh shares how women created ingenious inventions ranging from eminently helpful like Liquid Paper or the windshield wiper, to technically complex like the “space bumper” that protects NASA spacecraft and astronauts. The book ends with suggestions and resources to help young women start inventing on their own.
May 23, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
A fabulous book. It was well written in a fun manner telling of how women have been inventors forever. It tells when the first woman was allowed a patent. This is a good book for you women readers to read and know how inventive women are!
Sep 26, 2013 Lily rated it it was amazing
It's true! i love this book because it talks about all the ingenious women inventions, like the chocolate chip cookie, etc. i recommend this book to anyone, but especially girls, of course.
Olivia Pitchford
Nov 15, 2012 Olivia Pitchford rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book is written by Catherine Thimmesh, and beautifully illustrated by Melissa Sweet, two empowering women. This biographical book is an inspiring look at women's little known or recognized role with inventions in medicine, science, household products and high-tech gadgets. This books is perfect for learning small bits of information that isn't normally taught in the classroom. It is also very inspirational for young girls to read about empowering women and their impact on history. Readers w ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It is an inspiring collection of biographies on how multiple women came up with their ideas and how they made their dreams possible. Inventions ranging from everyday use to more complex ideas. Such as, the Apgar score, disposable diapers, Kevlar, Liquid Paper, Scotchguard, paper bags , Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, windshield wipers, the Snugli, computer compiler, flat bottomed paper bag, drugs for the treatment of leukemia and kidney transplant rejection and more.
Jan 28, 2015 Loraine rated it really liked it
I got this book through my local library because I was quite taken with Melissa' Sweet's illustrations in River of Words. Certainly her artwork is subsumed by Timmesh's text, which in and of itself is most interesting. Sweet's most vibrant piece is on the book cover itself, and it's a standout collage.

Did you know that it was a woman who invented windshield wipers? Young folks need to know that women are fabulous when it comes to invention, (I think Frank Zappa called his band the Mothers of Inv
Sep 25, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful collection of short stories about female inventors. The inventions range from simple, everyday items like chocolate chip cookies and windshield wipers to technologically complex items like space shields and illusion transmitters.

We took our time reading this book, reading only one or two stories each night and we often discussed how we used the items or how creative it was for the women to have thought of it in the first place.

The mixed media illustrations are an interestin
Apr 27, 2014 Candy rated it really liked it
The invention stories were interesting because they focus on women and young girls who have seen a need and invented something to fill the need. Girls will enjoy knowing that they can make a difference and will be encouraged to go ahead and try, not stop because they are "just a girl."
I especially liked reading about the Snugli's invention. I bought one in 1980 and still have it! I enjoyed carrying my first baby around in it. It felt like I was still pregnant, but I could peek inside and see my
Kathryn Zebrowski-Wray
Feb 28, 2015 Kathryn Zebrowski-Wray rated it it was amazing
We used this in combination with a story in our basal reader on Thomas Edison. My students loved learning about women inventors. Most had stated that they weren't aware of a single woman inventor, but could list at least 5 male inventors that had influenced their modern lives. This is a great book to use as a jump off point to guide students into research projects based on women in this book. I had borrowed this from our public library, but my students loved it so much that it ended being a purc ...more
Jan 15, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Fascinating! Excellent children's book
Kevin Hodgson
Mar 02, 2016 Kevin Hodgson rated it really liked it
A great introduction to inventions by women and how their vision often changed our everyday experiences. A nice balance to the male-dominated history book stories of inventors.
Ally Patch
Mar 19, 2017 Ally Patch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh. Copyright 2000. Genre: Nonfiction
Kit Lit: Nonfiction information book #1
Girls Think of Everything is a book about women that have made inventions over the time period that humans have been alive. In the beginning of the book, the author writes about how women were not allowed to invent things, so their husbands would come up with the “idea”, and then they would get credit for it. This book is a book that has short stories throughout the entire re
Feb 26, 2017 Amy rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2017 Cindy rated it really liked it
Fun book for girls! Loved seeing some of these that I didn't know about!
Mar 12, 2017 Kayla rated it really liked it
I liked the rich vocabulary and that they used direct quotes in every story.
Feb 24, 2017 Aolund rated it did not like it
I was turned off of this book within moments of opening its front cover and beginning to flip through the pages only to find white face after white face featured within. Though the book had ample opportunity to include women of color in the series of female-inventor biographies it presents--the book doesn't claim to focus on one country or one era--it fails to do so in a serious way. Madame C.J. Walker is mentioned in the introduction, and Valerie L. Thomas is chronicled; other than this there a ...more
Traci Barger
Apr 26, 2015 Traci Barger marked it as to-read
Thimmesh, C. (2000). Girls think of everything: Stories of ingenious inventions by women. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Citation by: Traci Barger

Type of Reference: Biographical Reference

Call Number: 609

ISBN: 9780618195633

Brief Description: This biographical reference tells the story of how women throughout the ages have responded to situations confronting them in daily life by inventing such items as space helmets and disposable diapers.

Content/Scope: The purpose of this book is to expose readers
Kelly Cundiff
Thimmesh, C. (2000). Girls think of everything: Stories of ingenious inventions by women. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin

Reviewed by: Kelly Cundiff

Reference Type: Biographical Reference

Call Number: 609.2/273

ISBN 13: 9780618195633

Content/Scope: This book introduces readers to biographies about women inventors throughout history. It covers many inventions that are still used today.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: This book does not appear to contain any bias, it simply exposes students to women inventors.

Ari Santillanes
Oct 02, 2016 Ari Santillanes rated it it was amazing
Technically a book for children, but very verbal children (word to picture ratio is pretty even). Love learning how things we take for granted now came to pass when a woman grew fed up with the excuse of "we've always done it that way" (Grace Hopper).

Great information for feminists of all ages in this book. Some teasers: the first American woman self-made millionaire was African-American; I can't wait to try out Ruth Wakefield's Toll House cookie recipe, incl. baking soda dissolved in hot water

Nov 14, 2012 Kelsey rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-books
I am not one to pick up a biography and read it on my own but I know I made the right choice with picking this book off of the shelf. From the colorful front cover to the interesting pages within, these women have extremely interesting stories and inventions that make this book an exciting read. A lot of the inventions were created by women I had never heard of before. I did not know that women were the brains behind their creation. For example, I had no idea that the invention of a space shield ...more
Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh So I may have mentioned before that I love a good anthology, particularly of the contributions of women in history. The point is not that men haven't done great things that we deserve learning about but that they aren't the only ones who have. Despite hardship and opposition, women have invented lots of things, some that we couldn't live without today and others that are so common, I didn't even realize that it used to be a problem. 
This book take
Dec 06, 2015 Steph rated it it was ok
WARNING: My review will probably annoy you. It's got kind of a Negative-Nancy vibe going on.

Why is there a book written pointing out that even girls can think of things? Um, DUH. Why can't it just be a book about inventors? This irritates me, as if it's so shocking and surprising that a WOMAN could invent something. What kind of message is this sending?

And unfortunately, I think that quite a few of these inventions aren't that "cool," or at least they wouldn't be to kids. Scotchguard? White Out?
Amanda Zell
Mar 24, 2010 Amanda Zell rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbgs-4
This book offers great insight into the influences that women have made in the world of inventions.

I could definitely see myself using this book as an introduction to a women’s rights unit or when discussing the influence of women and their changing roles in society. The pages are filled with pictures that are not describable. They almost seem textured using items such as buttons and tags to create images that coincide with the inventions that are being discussed on that page. Some of the pictur
Oct 22, 2009 Taya rated it it was ok
Shelves: pbgs-4
The text within this piece was very interesting. Most of the pages were filled with text and the book as a whole had few pictures, but I think this works well with the topic of the book in that it would be more interesting for girls of an upper elementary age group. I say girls particularly because of the title and content, but also because of the font choice of the author. The author uses plain black for most of the text, but different headings and titles are done in a blazing pink color done i ...more
Abby Johnson
Jan 06, 2008 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
**** What do chocolate chip cookies, windshield wipers, Liquid Paper, and flat-bottomed paper bags all have in common? They were all invented by women. This book gives a fascinating glimpse into some of the many products that were invented by women. Each entry is 2-4 pages long and accompanied by neat collage-ish illustrations. The brief entries keep things interesting and source notes and further reading suggestions are included at the end. The endpapers include lists of other inventions by wom ...more
Taliah Mustafaa
Oct 11, 2015 Taliah Mustafaa rated it really liked it
This book contains numerous stories of inventions by women. There is illustration on every other page so I wouldn’t suggest this book for a teacher to read out loud to a class. This book would be best for a parent and child to go over together. It would be great to read about one inventor at a time. This book provides a historical context of inventors who are women and also talks about young inventors. “Proof that success can come at any age with a good and a little imagination”. This book could ...more
Sep 09, 2014 Claudia rated it liked it
I bought a copy of this book for each of my children's families with the hope that it will encourage my grandchildren to think creatively and outside the box. I learned a lot, myself, from reading about inventions such as Kevlar. The only objection I have to this book is that, while the cartoon-ish illustrations are charming attention getters, this book really needs a few illustrations and photos. I found it had to visualize a space bumper, for example, from the description given.
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