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Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,049 ratings  ·  197 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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Cindy Not a story. A list of amazing inventions by women and girls. act entry is about 2-4 pages long.

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,049 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very short but with tons of information about some of the inventions of women and girls. There is also some excellent instructions on patenting inventions.
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
Amanda--A Scientist Reads
This book aimed seemingly at older children is a more text heavy version of the more recently published "Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World". Some of the trivia about each featured woman is nearly verbatim. There are enough differences to make it a unique and inspiring read, particularly the difference in reading level and depth of content. While Women in Science focuses on the lives and discoveries of females in scientific fields, Girls Think of Everything has a more g ...more
Mary Lou Carolan
Jun 30, 2011 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 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
Juli Anna
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
Cool idea, but not weighty enough to really make a difference. Some of these inventions seem so trivial (chocolate chip cookies? really?), and the overwhelming refrain of "she didn't receive any compensation for her invention, but... [she got a lifetime supply of chocolate,etc.]" got pretty depressing.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This was great but i wish it was a bit more complex and tackled more women from the lists on the first and last pages, as well as more than an honorable mention for enterprising women of color. But as an intro about kickass women it works nicely.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book offers brief overviews of 10 inventions by American women, and 2 modern day inventions by girls. The focus is on the inventions themselves rather than the women behind them and the adversities they had to overcome. Some of the inventions were really fun to read about, like windshield wipers and Liquid Paper. Other overviews were not interesting at all, like the computer compiler and Scotchgard. The main focus is inventions in science and engineering, which is so important for youth to ...more
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 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 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.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every student memorizes “Thomas Edison found the lightbulb and illuminated mankind” or “Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and let a new era begin in the communication”. But why don’t we memorize women inventors whose inventions made our lives much easier, and led many other inventions to be done? This is evidence that girls also think, girls also invent, girls can also be inventors. You will find out inspiring stories of women inventors and their interesting creations from delicious c ...more
Lauren Panella
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
"Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women" is a collection of truly inspirational short stories that recognize the inventions of ambitious women who overcame unfavorable odds to impact the world. From everyday inventions such as disposable diapers, to medical inventions such as a drug to treat Leukemia, women have influenced the world in more ways than society tends to recognize. One invention that I really enjoyed reading about is the woman who invented windshield wip ...more
Allison Volz
Jun 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
I read this book knowing it is a part of an upcoming curriculum adoption and was disappointed. In looking at the writing, without the other issues I have with the text, I did not find it to be very engaging. And then there is the title. Using the term "girls" when the book is about adults (other than the last 2 entries) - really? Perhaps the author and/or illustrator find the use of "girls" acceptable as a way to refer to adults, but as a woman in my 40's, I do not like to be called a girl any l ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
The first woman to be awarded a patent for her invention was Mary Dixon Kies, in 1809: a process of weaving straw with silk or thread. Women in the U.S. were inventing products, gadgets, etc. much earlier than that, but were not allowed patents in their own name. Now this book aims to introduce young readers to the innovative female minds that brought them such wonders as paper bags (Margaret E. Knight), windshield wipers (Mary Anderson), and chocolate chip cookies (Ruth Wakefield). And perhaps ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading this book, I purchased it for my granddaughter for her 9th birthday. Catherine provides a great overview of how each woman used her particular skills to create something useful. Each woman was focused on a problem she wanted to solve. The reader learns persistence and creative problem-solving can generate some useful, and often economically rewarding, innovations. The reader learns to value an "I can figure it out" attitude!
Amber Marshall
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a snack, or maybe an appetizer. The inside covers list a ton of other women inventors to research if this gets you interested. It's targeted to a younger audience and it's pretty accessible. A quick read.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was fun to read this book and learn about a few awesome inventions made by women. Definitely I would recommend it to middle grade kids.
Nadine Jones
this is how I learned that a woman invented windshield wipers. (tbh, I have no idea when I read this, I'm just making up a date. It feels like it was 2015. I should re-read this one.)
I enjoyed this book, but it would be even better if it had included more. The fly-leaf lists of women inventors were really nice.
We loved learning about inventions by women with brief sketches of why they invented what they did. Many of these inventions still profit and bless us today.
Perla Cristal
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pure inspiration for girls and not so girls, about how we, women have influenced all areas of life and human creation. ❤️

Lovely gift for a little girl.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book on how things came to be through inventions by women through curiosity and even mistakes! One example was the Chocolate chip cookie! Really enjoyed reading this!
Natasa Tzavara
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Very interesting, a gift from someone who believes in me. Totally recommended!
Olivia Pitchford
Nov 15, 2012 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 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 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 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 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 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
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