This informative overview of the life and work of Marie Curie, one of the world’s most famous scientists, recounts her remarkable life, from growing up in her native Poland under repressive Russian rule to her several decades of groundbreaking research in radioactivity.
O’Quinn’s portrait of Curie is that of an insatiably curious, intensely driven scientist with a tireless work ethic who defied societal norms by working in full partnership with her husband, Pierre, while also teaching and raising her two daughters. She was not only the first woman to chair a position at the Sorbonne and win a Nobel Prize, but the first person to win the Nobel in two fields—chemistry and physics. O’Quinn is honest about the unpleasant aspects of Curie’s life, such as her frequent bouts of depression and her prejudices. The 21 activities are intended to offer readers additional insight into Curie’s life and work. A pierogi recipe and instructions for Polish paper cutting seem superfluous compared to experiments exploring concepts like the Kelvin scale and temperature conversion. All of the activities and experiments are clearly explained, and a few of the more challenging ones recommend adult supervision.
An accessibly written, engaging introduction to a remarkable giant of science. (photos, further research, glossary, bibliography) (Biography. 9-12)