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Sweet Dreams, Sarah: From Slavery to Inventor

illus. by Chris Ewald. 32p. Creston. May 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781939547316.
COPY ISBN
Gr 1–4—Sarah E. Goode isn't a well-known name, but she is worthy of attention. Originally enslaved, Goode moved to Chicago after the abolition of slavery and started a furniture store. She considered how to meet the needs of her poorer customers who didn't have a lot of space for fancy furniture. Already a businesswoman, she was ready to add inventor to her list of accomplishments. Creating a desk that folded out into a bed didn't come easily, but Goode was determined to succeed. She knew she had a worthwhile product and was ready to make it her own. Unfortunately, her patent was rejected. Not one to relinquish her dreams, she kept working on her invention until she was finally awarded Patent #322,177, becoming one of the first African American women to be awarded a U.S. patent. Rich back matter provides the opportunity for further study and discussion. A time line of Goode's life shows that the book required tremendous research, with data gathered from various census records and even newspaper advertisements. A time line of other African American female patent holders includes women such as Mary Anderson (who received a patent for windshield wipers in 1903) and Madeline Turner (who received a patent for a fruit press in 1905).
VERDICT A great addition to biography and history collections, this title offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of a little-known trailblazer.

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