School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-9 McGowen emphasizes the human side of scientific research in this chronicle of the early days of radiation physics. Unlike most other books on atomic physics and radioactivity, which take a long-range view and explain the scientific ideas and their applications from the ancient Greeks to nuclear power plants, McGowen's book concentrates on Marie Curie and those who came immediately before and after her. The story of how Curie suffered in her lab while discovering radium provides a compelling picture of the communication, cooperation and sheer hard work necessary for scientific discovery. Since the book is written in a clear, engaging style, sections of it would make good read-alouds to science classes. It is less comprehensive than any of the standard works (like Asimov's How Did We Find Out About Nuclear Power? Walker, 1976) but for its purpose a lot more effective. Jonathan R. Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library, Lynnwood, Wash.
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