Marie Curie (Snapshots Series): A Brilliant Life

Overview

As a poor student in Paris, Marie Curie piled clothes -- and furniture -- on top of herself to keep warm at night. But Marie went on to become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize -- and also the first person to win this award twice. Marie Curie's discoveries in radiation changed the world. She became one of the most important women in science and her research is still important to scientists and doctors today. Radiation is used as a treatment for cancer and to produce electricity, kill organisms that spoil food ...
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Overview

As a poor student in Paris, Marie Curie piled clothes -- and furniture -- on top of herself to keep warm at night. But Marie went on to become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize -- and also the first person to win this award twice. Marie Curie's discoveries in radiation changed the world. She became one of the most important women in science and her research is still important to scientists and doctors today. Radiation is used as a treatment for cancer and to produce electricity, kill organisms that spoil food and detect smoke in homes. This book in the Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History series introduces one of the most important women in science and her inspiring life.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Well researched, attractively presented and easily read would be how to describe this work on perhaps the most famous woman scientist of all time. Marie Curie is presented as a real, practical, normal woman in nineteenth-century Europe. Unfortunately, for many in that era, situations occur that disrupted home life and Curie was no exception. By the age of 8, she had lost her mother and oldest sister to illness, and her father had suffered financial losses. In spite of these setbacks, Curie excelled in her educational pursuits, even attending the prestigious Sorbonne and becoming the first woman to earn a degree in physics from that institution. Hers truly is a life that encourages women, or anyone else. She overcame financial hardships, personal tragedies and misunderstandings to succeed on an international level leaving a great legacy that impacted the future of science. Throughout her accomplishments and achievements the consistent message is one of patience, persistence, hope and never giving up. This work is creatively formatted with text on one page, photographs and illustrations on the facing page—providing visual as well as textual information. Following the text is a comprehensive timeline of Curie's life and information about visiting museums relevant to her work. This is an excellent example of a biography as well as a scientific text. 2004, Kids Can Press, and Ages 9 to 12.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This biography begins with Curie's childhood in Poland and follows her life and career through her death in 1934. Each chapter spread includes a page of text facing an arrangement of small photographs, commentary, and a cartoonlike depiction of Curie addressing readers via a dialogue balloon: "I was fascinated by radiation and couldn't wait to begin studying it." Unfortunately, the explanations of the basic science of radium and the discovery of the element are a bit unclear. Still, some of the individual pictures (Antoine-Henri Becquerel's actual photographic plate) and photos of Curie with other scientists (one with a young Albert Einstein) are interesting and enhance the text, and the book has browsing appeal. Steve Parker's Marie Curie and Radium (Chelsea, 1995) is better for reports and makes the discovery easier to understand.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fairly breathless biography delivers the facts in workmanlike style but without the spark of brilliance one might hope would be attached to the subject. Readers follow the pioneering physicist from her childhood and youth in Poland to her astonishing career in France with her husband, Pierre Curie. Much is told but little is shown as the narrative details Curie's struggles against ethnic and gender prejudice to get her education, her intense drive emphasized above all. Although occasional hints of the woman acknowledged to be one of the greatest minds in physics show through, Curie's later life is mostly presented as a bland catalogue of achievements. The design is pedestrian, each page of text faced with a page of illustrations and factoids; annoyingly, a little cartoon Curie walks the reader through these spreads, speech balloons offering such insights as, "I kept careful notes on everything, from making gooseberry jelly to experimenting in the lab." Although this offering may not inspire them, readers will discover plenty to appreciate in the subject. (chronology, list of museums, index) (Biography. 8-12)
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