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Marie Curie (Giants of Science


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About the Author

Kathleen Krull lives in San Diego, California. Boris Kulikov lives in New York City.


Gr 4-8-A refreshing look at the renowned scientist, warts and all. Curie was born in Poland in 1867 to a family that valued education. She worked as a governess and saved money until she could move to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. After receiving degrees in science and math, she pursued lab research with her husband, Pierre. She later discovered two new elements, polonium and radium, and won Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry. In World War I, she served her country by developing mobile X-ray machines for use in the field and, after the war, opened her Radium Institute to pursue research. This enlightening portrait of Curie goes beyond the basic facts of her life. It conveys her successes and remarkable achievements, but also the affair the widowed Curie had with a married man and her workaholic nature. The scattered drawings further humanize the subject but add little to the presentation. Nonetheless, this is a realistic portrait of a flesh-and-blood woman, not just a famous name.-Kristen Oravec, Stephen S. Wise Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Krull presents another top-notch scientific biography in the outstanding Giants of Science series. Readers have come to expect chatty, direct narratives that develop distinct characters and place those individuals squarely in the context of both their times and their disciplines, and this account of the noted physicist's life delivers the goods. From her childhood in an oppressed Poland, the daughter of two highly educated individuals, Curie emerges as a driven woman, determined to excel for both her parents' and her country's sake, this drive informing everything that followed. As in previous series entries, this offering manages to take a wildly complex subject--atomic physics--and render it comprehensible to the child reader, emphasizing the legacy Curie left behind. Curie's personal life--her unusual (for the times) partnership with her husband, her frustration with the limitations imposed on her because of her sex, her difficulty balancing work and family--receives admiring, but frank consideration. Readers will emerge from this account with a new appreciation for both the scientific and social advances made by Curie, whose towering achievements justly earn her a place among the "Giants."--Kirkus, starred review

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