Gr 4-6-- The lives of two women whose research efforts led to the receipt of three Nobel prizes between them. More in-depth and complete than Andrew Dunn's Marie Curie (Bookwright, 1991), which offers a brief overview of her accomplishments, this biography provides insight into the personality traits that made both women dedicated scientists and compassionate human beings despite adverse health and financial difficulties. Illustrated with fairly clear black-and-white photos, the book includes two experiments Marie Curie used to teach her students basic principles of science. The narrative style is clear, with appeal for this audience. A solid purchase. --Beth Irish, Orange Public Library, CA
Pflaum concentrates on the professional lives of Marie Curie and her daughter Irene Joliot-Curie, providing a fairly detailed account of the Nobel Prize-winning research that led to Marie's discovery of radium, polonium, and natural radiation, and Irene's discovery of artificial radiation. She includes many anecdotes about the women's personal lives that convey information about their personalities and characters. Pflaum's lively writing style, obvious admiration for the women, and thorough knowledge of their work combine to make a potentially difficult subject interesting and very readable. Black-and-white family pictures and photographs of the Curies at work illustrate the volume. Descriptions of two simple experiments that Marie taught her students, source notes, and a bibliography are also provided.