Book Review: The Radium Girls

Find this best-selling book, The Radium Girls by Kate Moore, at the library or in bookstores.

Avid reader and soon-to-be-middle-schooler, Averie, sat down with the Hub to review The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Besides being a big fan of Marie Curie, Averie enjoys swimming, being outside, and animals. She recommends this book for anyone who is a fan of science and social justice.

General Overview:
Q: What is the book about?
A: The Radium Girls is the story of early twentieth century girls that worked on painting luminous watch dials with radium paint. they got extremely sick and filed a lawsuit.

Before the world realized the radium was a dangerous element, it was used in small amounts to paint clocks and dials for instruments used during WWI. The Government prized it for its glow-in-the-dark quality. At the time, women didn’t have many job options, but with so many men in active duty, they were needed to help with the war effort. Young, single women could made a lot of money if they landed this position. Each day the women went to work, they were slowly ingesting small quantities of the highly toxic material, and all eventually grew very sick.

The clock is ticking: women paint luminous dials in 1932. Photo from https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/the-radium-girls-still-glowing-in-their-coffins/

In the end, even though the women could barely get out of bed or walk around, they sued their employer and justice and won!

Inspiring Read
Q: What makes this book so good?
A: It is an inspiring story about justice and the power of perseverance.

One unique element that fascinated Averie was the photo of the girls before they became sick.

Q: Who else might enjoy this book?
A: Anyone who has an interest in history and justice.

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