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Radioactive: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World

Review

Radioactive: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World

RADIOACTIVE! How Irène Curie And Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science And Changed The World by Winifred Conkling tells of two little known scientists and their journey to success through the experimentation of radium and other various substances. 

While I usually find nonfiction books bland and have trouble concentrating, I did not experience that with RADIOACTIVE! at all --- it was dynamic and a pleasure to read. RADIOACTIVE! Will keep readers gripped by not only informing them about the scientific aspects of Irène Curie and Lise Meitner's life, but also the personal side. While reading, I learned so many new things about these two female scientists that I didn't know before, such as Meitner’s discovery of the nuclear fission. I found that the book almost read like a fiction novel, which was perfect for keeping me gripped on to the story.

While I usually find nonfiction books bland and have trouble concentrating, I did not experience that with RADIOACTIVE! at all --- it was dynamic and a pleasure to read.

I think it’s important that that the subject material in YA nonfiction books can be understood by readers aged 12 and above, and RADIOACTIVE! achieves that. As you would expect from a novel about two scientists that worked on radioactivity, there are some pretty hefty science facts that might not be easily understood at first glance. Conkling really makes sure you understand the subject matter, though, by including illustrations to ease you in. I found these extremely useful during my reading and appreciated the helping hand.

I did notice, however, that Conkling talked about the two physicists separately rather than intertwining their stories. It didn't throw off the groove of the book, by any means, but I think their stories would have been improved if they were woven together.  

There's no doubt that RADIOACTIVE! isn't for everyone, but if you like empowering reads about women or enjoy learning about science and the politics of it, pick up this book and give it a whirl. Chances are, you'll like it. 

Reviewed by Linnea P., Teen Board member on January 6, 2016

Radioactive: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World
by Winifred Conkling