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1. Marie Curie: A Life (Radcliffe
2. Obsessive Genius: The Inner World
3. Marie Curie and the Discovery
4. Madame Curie: A Biography
5. Who's Afraid of Marie Curie?:
6. Marie Curie (Kids Can Read)
7. Marie Curie (Giants of Science)
8. Marie Curie's Search for Radium
9. World History Biographies: Marie
10. Marie Curie (Rookie Biographies)
11. Giants of Science - Marie Curie
12. Marie Curie (DK Biography)
13. Radioactive: Marie & Pierre
14. Marie Curie: Scientist Who Made
15. Sterling Biographies: Marie Curie:
16. Something Out of Nothing: Marie
17. Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura
18. Marie Curie: A Biography
19. Before the Fallout: From Marie
20. Marie Curie (Giants of Science)

1. Marie Curie: A Life (Radcliffe Biography Series)
by Susan Quinn
Paperback: 528 Pages (1996-04-10)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$4.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201887940
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A brilliant, often surprising portrait--based on new information--that is sure to be the definitive work on one of history's greatest women. Quinn shows in this richly textured work, a well-rounded, in-depth view of Curie as a scientist, a woman, a wife and a lover. 16 pages of photos; notes; index. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enriched by material unavailable to earlier biographers
I've admired Marie Curie (born Maria Sklowdowska in Russian-occupied Poland) longer than I can remember, quite literally. I first read her biography in a "written for children" edition while I was in grade school - Grade 5, perhaps? When I sat in my first day of Laboratory Chemistry class, as a high school junior, I bit my tongue half off as the teacher included this gem of wisdom in his opening remarks: "I know you girls are only taking this class because you need it to get into college. I'll go easy on you. After all, there are very few Marie Curies in the world!" I still wish I'd had the guts to be sent to the office for saying the words that rose up without my bidding them: "And just as few Pierre Curies, Mr. ****."

Anyway, perhaps that anecdote offers a clue as to how much Madame Curie's biographies have meant to me as I've read them over the years. This most recently published one draws on materials not available to previous biographers, letters and journals that were sealed until 1990. While it's hard to beat Eve Curie's 1937 biography of her mother (after all, who knew the woman better?), Susan Quinn's scholarly work adds illumination in plenty because of those additional resources.

This biography tries to be all things to all readers, and that may be cited as a flaw although it's also clearly a virtue. Readers who are primarily or entirely interested in Marie Curie, the individual human being, are likely to slog through the lengthy and detailed descriptions of scientific work while yawning. Readers who want to know about Marie Curie, the scientist, are apt to be bored or even annoyed by the passages that concern her relationships with parents, siblings, husband, children, and (once, during her widowhood) lover. For me, though, it all fit together beautifully. Madame Curie was all of those things, after all. Scientist, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. I'm interested now, just as I was at age 10, in all those aspects of her life.

3-0 out of 5 stars no title
I had mixed emotions on this book and so did many of the numerous reviews I read.While trying to celebrate Marie Curie in light of our feminist times - a motivating factor in the book's writing, I'm sure - the author spends far too little time on the actual physics of Curie's accomplishments and instead dwells on her love affair with a married collegue, on household matters, trivial matters of her everyday life that may make her seem more approachable to the book's readers, but do nothing to clarify her position in historical physics or her winning, jointly, the Nobel Prize, admittedly then in its infancy.I felt Curie to be an extremely passionate woman, both in her work and in her bed.But I wanted much more detail of the physics than was given.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quinn: Marie Curie
This book has excellent historical information about Poland and Marie Curie's family before she was born and after.It gives a very good description of her life growing up and her family, as well as personal experiences gleaned from unpublished letters.It brings information hitherto unpublished about her personallife, and it presents her career in a fascinating way.I cannot rate the book highly enough.

4-0 out of 5 stars For Mr. Howarth
Marie Curie A Life by Susan Quinn takes you on a journey as you discover the life of Marie Curie. From her difficult days under the Russian repression in Poland, to the sexism she faced in Paris, her two Nobel Peace Prizes, and the scandal that almost lost her everything. I especially liked this biography because it was to the point and it did not over glorify Marie's life. The fact of the matter is that Marie's life was full of hardships and this book depicts all of them. I think the author wanted to write this story because she wanted to depict the life of Marie Curie who was an inspiration to several women, and who contributed a great deal to the scientific community. I believe that the author however, wanted to portray her in a real light, so while other biographies might be a little bit more glamorous this one is more realistic. This is an extremely fascinating biography and you should read it because it shows how Marie's life was filled with obstacles, and how she overcame them all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful history of Poland as well as a biography
Susan Quinn does a wonderful job of describing the hurdles that Curie's family had to overcome during the occupation of Poland by Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The interesting fact is that all of her siblings were bright and well educated despite the denial of public education. Reading this book has been a delightful experience. ... Read more

2. Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries)
by Barbara Goldsmith
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-10-03)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.49
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Asin: 0393327485
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Through family interviews, diaries, letters, and workbooks that had been sealed for over sixty years, Barbara Goldsmith reveals the Marie Curie behind the myth—an all-too-human woman struggling to balance a spectacular scientific career, a demanding family, the prejudice of society, and her own passionate nature. Obsessive Genius is a dazzling portrait of Curie, her amazing scientific success, and the price she paid for fame.The best-selling, "excellent . . . poignant—and scientifically lucid— portrait" (New York Times Book Review) of the remarkable Marie Curie.... "Never a dull moment. . . . Goldsmith leads the reader through a wonderland of facts with just the right blend of science and story. In the end, the mystery of the great Madame [Curie] remains, but a deeper understanding of what she went through as a woman and a scientist shines as strong as her radium."—San Francisco Chronicle "Bestselling historian Goldsmith incisively chronicles [Curie's] intensely dramatic life. . . . Her powerful portrait reveals a woman of great passion, genius, and pain who changed the world."—Booklist, starred review 15 photographs ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

2-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre
I'm working on a project about Curie, so I've read several biographies about her thus far. This book isn't absolutely terrible, but I think it handles Curie poorly. It underexplains much about her life and motivations, gives little due to the science behind her work, and goes out of its way to make her "inner world" excessively dramatic. Curie's story is amazing and fascinating, but this book sacrifices explanatory detail and historical context in favor of an emotionally simplified (and thus more boring) version of the person. Even the title is misleading -- Curie was dedicated to her work and slightly reclusive, but she was hardly an obsessive personality.

I encourage you to please check out the longer but much more engrossing biography by Susan Quinn (titled Marie Curie: A Life (Radcliffe Biography Series)), which provides the historical and scientific context necesssary to make Curie's story really come alive.

4-0 out of 5 stars The life, mind, and science of Marie Curie
The title "Obsessive Genius" refers to many different sides of Marie Curie's life. Some may have considered her story to be somewhat of a feminist message but the title describes the "person", not just the woman behind the research and the life that went with it.

Marva Salomee Sklodowska, Marie Curie, was born in Poland. She went to Paris and got her degrees at the Sorbonne and then spent most of her life in France. Her singular passion was for her work but that changed when she met Pierre Curie. Her obsessive passion for work, studies, research, and her husband, were complex and present a very interesting woman. Their first Nobel Prize in 1903 was a mutual effort but her second came later in her life and was clearly something that she could not be denied.

Like the book Einstein, by Walter Isaacson, this book lets you see a life through the lens of a particular science. In both cases you learn about both the person and the science. This type of biography lets you see the historical events you thought you knew all about very differently through the lens of a particular person and the science that fills their life.

The book is well done and well worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Explosive and radioactive.
Brilliant scientist ostracized by the alleged, democratic French Republic solely because she was a female and also of Polish heritage. Marya Salomee Sklodowsak fought discrimination all her life, even though she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for science. She was born in Russian-occupied Poland and not allowed to attend Warsaw University because she was a female. Eventually, she was accepted at the Sorbonne in Paris and became one of two woman to obtain degrees in science. However, she was denied membership in the elite Academy of Sciences, solely because she was a female. When the vote was held regarding her membership, all females were prohibited from attending and she lost by a vote of 31 to 28.

Incredible story of a mysterious genius and brilliant discoverer of radium and radioactivity. Enthralling and excitingstory of scientific adventure, sacrifice and discrimination superbly told by Barbara Goldsmith, a member of Academy of Arts and Sciences and President's Commission on Women in American History. Staggering, because this happened less than 100 years ago. Forget the romantic myths perpetuated in France and history. This is the real story without the propaganda.

Inspiring story for all woman of all ages and especially for females contemplating a career in science. Give it to all the females you know that are about to graduate from secondary school.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book
Very good book for someone interested in Marie Curie's life. I recommend it for students and teachers of chemistry, physics, nuclear sciences and history of science.

4-0 out of 5 stars Genius Curie
The life of the Curie was incredible. Her deep passion to her work and alinating herself from life and pain was breathtaking. ... Read more

3. Marie Curie and the Discovery of Radium (Barrons Solution Series)
by Ann Steinke
Paperback: 128 Pages (1987-10-26)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$2.95
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Asin: 0812039246
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Marie Curie was a brilliant woman of science who unveiled the mysteries of the element radium. Her discovery pioneered exciting research in the field of radioactivity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Marie Curie" -- A Good Start
This book is well-written for the age-group for which it is geared -- maybe 4th-6th grade.It's an excellent introduction to physics and the life of Marie Curie, along with some world history to boot.I highly recommend it. ... Read more

4. Madame Curie: A Biography
by Eve Curie
Paperback: 448 Pages (2001-03-06)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$8.05
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Asin: 0306810387
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The professional triumphs and personal struggles of a pioneering woman scientist.

This account of the remarkable life and astonishing mind of one of the greatest scientists of the century, written by her daughter, it remains a landmark and an inspiration for students, scientists, and young women everywhere. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars truly beautiful
Marie Curie's youngest daughter Eve has given us a gift by writing this biography of her mother.Eve manages to let us into her mother's private world while inspiring our full respect of her privacy.Madame Curie and her husband Pierre exemplify the meaning of the word integrity - a rarity, especially in our culture of constantly searching for fame and wealth at all cost. I will read this book multiple times like visiting a friend and learning a bit more about this remarkable person each time.

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent biography of an amazing woman
This biography of Madame Curie, written by her daughter, Eve, is beautifully written, with many personal touches.
When I finished reading this remarkable account, written like a novel, I stood in awe of a very gifted, remarkable figure from history.
Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still the most readable and the most moving biography of Marie Curie
This re-reading of Eve Curie's biography of her mother was, for me, a visit with a dear old friend. Some books embed themselves in my mind, and this is one of those books.Decades after my last reading of it, I discovered that I still knew some of its sentences by heart.

Who was Marya Sklowdowska? The baby of a Polish intellectual couple's family, born into a nation occupied and oppressed, who was taught to love freedom. A devoted sibling who worked as a governess to help support her older sister, Bronya, so the latter could study medicine in faraway Paris, even though it meant putting off her own journey there to study physics - the subject that fascinated her. A dedicated student who became an equally dedicated scientist, and then the wife and working partner of another scientist: Pierre Curie.

The co-discoverers of both polonium (named for Marie Curie's always fiercely loved native land) and radium worked as a team, and became Nobel laureates as a team. Early widowhood devastated Marie, but it did not stop her from carrying on that work. She accomplished incredible things during a lifetime shortened by her discovery's then largely unknown dangers, and she spent that lifetime holding true to the ideals she had shared with Pierre.

I have read other biographies of Madame Curie, including a recent one that drew on materials even her daughter could not use. This remains the most readable and the most moving. First published in 1937, it remains in print well into the 21st Century for good reason.

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of "Love, Jimmy: A Maine Veteran's Longest Battle"

5-0 out of 5 stars Bio written by daughter
I loved this book.Written by one of the daughters of Marie Curie, it is as close to the woman-genius as we'll ever get.Even if you aren't interested in science or chemistry (as I am not!), this is a wonderful book, written in a way that lets you get to know Madame Curie without the interference of personal trivia or "Mommie Dearest"-isms on the part of the daughter.It made me fall in love with Madame Curie.

4-0 out of 5 stars Review
In this Biography I was very pleased and liked the way the author expressed how Madame Curie was going through difficult times and overcame them. It was inspirational and gave me the yearning to do something magnificent. While reading this book I thought it was somewhat dull at first, but then became very interested and wanted to read more. This book is one that will make you want to be the best you can be. It opened my eyes and made me realize that anything is possible. It gave me a new understanding and taught me a lot pertaining to the subject of science. I never really was a fan of reading science books but when I started to read this book, I became surprised as to how much I really enjoyed it. The author did a great job with the journal entries and I believe that added a special touch to the biography. The accuracy and the fact that you know Madame Curies point of view was amazing and really added a great touch. This is a book for all ages and should be read by everyone. ... Read more

5. Who's Afraid of Marie Curie?: The Challenges Facing Women in Science and Technology
by Linley Erin Hall
Paperback: 300 Pages (2007-11-30)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$2.98
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Asin: 1580052118
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In 2005, Larry Summers, former president of Harvard, sparked an outcry when he suggested that women might not be as innately gifted in scientific and mathematical ability as men. Since then, issues related to the lack of women in science and engineering have appeared in the news, but these sound bites tell only part of the story.

Who’s Afraid of Marie Curie? weaves together research and women’s personal stories, presenting both the challenges and triumphs women experience in the sciences. Author Linley Erin Hall has interviewed more than one hundred women, including students of all ages, to uncover what sparked their interest in science, what they’ve experienced in their careers, and, in some cases, why they decided to leave their field. Her findings are that change is happening, but some women are being left behind while others shoot ahead. Written in accessible language rather than scholarly jargon, Who’s Afraid of Marie Curie? explores the complexity behind the sound bites to present a real picture of women in science and technology.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Evidence Examined on Women's Scarcity in Science
Linley Erin Hall has a scientist's approach to the issues involved in the scarcity of women in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields.She should, having been a chemistry major at Harvey Mudd College before she became a writer.Hall interviewed many women, those who stayed in the field and those who left, and their experiences and hers enliven her presentation of evidence from data collections on what women experience at every level once they express interest in science.She deals with events from elementary education on, and does not hesitate to ask the "Summers question" about whether mathematical ability of men really exceeds that of women.Her evidence is extensive, but she never browbeats the reader with it or launches into polemic, instead she explains the data clearly, illustrates it with cogent examples written engagingly, and provides the reader with her current conclusions.It's a thorough and refreshingly readable review of the situation facing those who want to make the situation for women in science better in the future.You'll finish the book with a clear understanding of the evidence, with some memorable things in mind that happened to real women, and with Hall's vision of the better possible future.

5-0 out of 5 stars A motivator for women who are contemplating science as a career.
Larry Summers' outrageous comments in 2005 about the low representation of women in Science being innate led to a controversy, but the comment still stands - does it have any basis in fact? "Who's Afraid of Marie Curie? The Challenges Facing Women in Science and Technology" is a through examination of women in all fields of science at all levels. Doubling as both as a discussion and an encouragement to young women with an interest in the fields, "Who's Afraid of Marie Curie?: The Challenges Facing Women in Science and Technology" is deftly written all around and deserves places on both science and women's studies shelves, and should be picked up as a motivator for women who are contemplating science as a career. ... Read more

6. Marie Curie (Kids Can Read)
by Elizabeth MacLeod
Paperback: 32 Pages (2009-02-01)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$3.95
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Asin: 1554532973
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Meet Marie Curie -- Nobel laureate and world famous scientist. Marie was the first woman to win the world's top science prize -- and the first person to win it twice. The story of her discoveries, including the metals polonium and radium, and her contribution to the study of radiation is told in level-appropriate language and detailed illustrations. This Level 3 reader contains longer, more complex stories and sentences, more challenging vocabulary, language play and minimal repetition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Not only encourages reading, but also an interest in history and science. I like to have my kids read the Kids Can Press biographies because it gets them thinking about what they can do when they grow up. ... Read more

7. Marie Curie (Giants of Science)
by Kathleen Krull
Paperback: 144 Pages (2009-03-19)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.47
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Asin: 0142412651
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Marie Curie, the woman who coined the term radioactivity, won not just one Nobel Prize but two—in physics and chemistry, both supposedly girl-phobic sciences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice book!
I bought this for DD's reading project this summer, and we've found it to be very well written.I'm pleased that I bought the other three books in this little series as well. ... Read more

8. Marie Curie's Search for Radium (Science Stories Series)
by Beverly Birch, Christian Birmingham
Paperback: 48 Pages (1996-08-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.27
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Asin: 0812097912
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The story of how one woman's persistence and determination proved the existence of radium. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for young readers
This is an interesting book and I liked it a lot. I think that this book is one of the best for beginning readers because it is not only easy to read, it is informative and interesting. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

9. World History Biographies: Marie Curie: The Woman Who Changed the Course of Science (National Geographic World History Biographies)
by Philip Steele
Paperback: 64 Pages (2008-05-13)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$2.25
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Asin: 1426302495
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"This short book is written in a clear, readable style, detailing the events of Marie’s life that will be of interest to teen readers... It will be an excellent and accessible resource for libraries. Readers will find the prose engaging and Marie’s story interesting and inspiring." —VOYA ... Read more

10. Marie Curie (Rookie Biographies)
by Lisa Wade Mccormick
Paperback: 32 Pages (2006-09)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$2.59
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Asin: 0516214454
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Presents a brief look at the life of Marie Curie ... Read more

11. Giants of Science - Marie Curie
by Beverley Birch
Board book: 64 Pages (2000-08-24)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$0.25
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Asin: 1567113338
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Inspiring biographies of scientific pioneers! Included in these books are:

  • Glossary
  • For More Information
  • Index
(20020401) ... Read more

12. Marie Curie (DK Biography)
by Vicki Cobb
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-08-04)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.70
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Asin: 0756638313
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Marie Curie tells the story of the discoverer of radium, from her childhood in Warsaw, to her experiments with radioactivity in Paris, to her recognition as one of the preeminent scientists of her time.

Filled with archival photographs and amazing fact boxes, this groundbreaking series introduces young readers to some of history's most interesting and influential characters. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series of books
Amazing pictures, great graphics, wonderful text... what more could you want?My classroom students love this series of books... thanks for making them! ... Read more

13. Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout
by Lauren Redniss
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2011-01-01)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$19.79
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Asin: 0061351326
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In 1891, 24 year old Marie, nÉe Marya Sklodowska, moved from Warsaw to Paris, where she found work in the laboratory of Pierre Curie, a scientist engaged in research on heat and magnetism. They fell in love. They took their honeymoon on bicycles. They expanded the periodic table, discovering two new elements with startling properties, radium and polonium. They recognized radioactivity as an atomic property, heralding the dawn of a new scientific era. They won the Nobel Prize. Newspapers mythologized the couple's romance, beginning articles on the Curies with "Once upon a time . . . " Then, in 1906, Pierre was killed in a freak accident. Marie continued their work alone. She won a second Nobel Prize in 1911, and fell in love again, this time with the married physicist Paul Langevin. Scandal ensued. Duels were fought.

In the century since the Curies began their work, we've struggled with nuclear weapons proliferation, debated the role of radiation in medical treatment, and pondered nuclear energy as a solution to climate change. In Radioactive, Lauren Redniss links these contentious questions to a love story in 19th Century Paris.

Radioactive draws on Redniss's original reporting in Asia, Europe and the United States, her interviews with scientists, engineers, weapons specialists, atomic bomb survivors, and Marie and Pierre Curie's own granddaughter.

Whether young or old, scientific novice or expert, no one will fail to be moved by Lauren Redniss's eerie and wondrous evocation of one of history's most intriguing figures.

... Read more

14. Marie Curie: Scientist Who Made Glowing Discoveries (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Inventors and Scientists)
by Mike Venezia
Paperback: 32 Pages (2009-03)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 053122208X
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These books are without a doubt the definitive and most entertaining biographies of scientists for young readers. Author and artist Mike Venezia provides hilarious, cartoon-style illustrations to complement his easy-to-read text and full-color reproductions of the scientists' sketches and notebooks. ... Read more

15. Sterling Biographies: Marie Curie: Mother of Modern Physics
by Janice Borzendowski
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-02-03)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$2.61
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Asin: 1402753187
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Janice Borzendowski tells Madame Curie's remarkable story, exploring: Marie's many firsts, including becoming the first woman awarded a Ph.D. in physics and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize; her amazing personal and professional relationship with husband Pierre Curie, with whom she worked side-by-side; the tragedies that affected Marie deeply, including the loss of her mother and brother at a young age; the difficulties she had establishing herself in Parisian scientific circles, both as a woman and a foreigner; and, the importance of Marie's work and the tragic consequences of not understanding the dangers of the radioactive materials she was researching. ... Read more

16. Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium
by Carla Killough McClafferty
Hardcover: 144 Pages (2006-03-21)
list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$4.79
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Asin: 0374380368
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Marie Curie's story has fascinated and inspired young readers
decades. The poor Polish girl who worked eight years to be able
to afford to attend the Sorbonne in Paris became one of the
most important scientists of her day, winning not one but two
Nobel Prizes. Her life is a fascinating one, filled with hard work,
humanitarianism, and tragedy. Her work with her husband,
Pierre Â- the study of radioactivity and the discovery of the
elements radium and polonium Â- changed science forever. But
she is less well known for her selfless efforts during World War
to establish mobile X-ray units so that wounded French soldiers
could get better care faster. When she stood to profit greatly
from her scientific work, she chose not to, making her methods
and findings known and available to all of science. As a result,
this famous woman spent most of her life in need of money,
often to buy the very elements she discovered.

Marie Curie's life and work are given a fresh telling, one that
also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world
culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Something Out of Nothing
Something Out of Nothing is the true story of Marie Curie, her relationship with Pierre Curie, and their discovery of radium.This is truly an inspiring book about a wonderfully brave and creative woman. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars a masterful title for a great book
The title, "Something out of Nothing," is truly inspired! It taps into so many layers: 1) Marie's humble beginnings and rise to greatness; 2) alchemy, and the creation of precious material from base sources; 3) the unexpected discovery of radioactivity; and even 4) the "big bang" origin of the universe.

According to the introduction this book is primarily intended for juveniles (high school students, or even middle school); this is reinforced by the large type font, the large amount of white space, and the many illustrations. But this book transcends your typical juvenile book by a wide margin! It is worthwhile reading for professional scientists, as well as anyone interested in the history of science. While it can be perused in a couple of hours, there is enough material there to bring one back for a second and third readings.

The book does a good job summarizing Marie's life: Her humble beginning; her pact with her older sister to obtain a good education; her move to France; courtship and marriage to Pierre Curie; choosing Becquerel's newly discovered radioactivity for her doctoral dissertation; birth of daughters; discovery of radium; Nobel Prize; fame; health problems and death. Not even the "scandal" with Langevin is left out.

I was familiar with the basic biography of Mare's and Pierre's prior to reading this book. But I learned some new facts: 1) I knew that Marie had two daughters; actually bore three: the second daughter died shortly after birth; 2) I was under the impression that Pierre died in a taxicab accident. In actuality, he was run over by a horse-drawn freight wagon; 3) Marie was not originally included in the Nobel Prize of 1903 (for the discovery of radioactivity). Originally, only Pierre and Henry Becquerel were to be awarded. It was through Pierre's efforts that Marie was included.

In keeping with current trends, the book has a slight "feminist" feel to it. That is fine, but perhaps "Marie the social climber" - something the book "pooh-poohs" - is not that easily dismissed. Despite the obvious fact that she was smart and extremely hard working, deserving of much credit, she might still have had a touch of "social climber."

The book is not completely without flaws. Sometimes the science is a little careless. For example, it is stated that radium/zinc-sulfide luminous paint degrades over time "because it destroys the zinc." That the paint degrades with time is absolutely true, as can be seen by the browning of the numbers on the dials of old radium alarm clocks. But the reason is the destruction of the zinc sulfide crystals, not the zinc itself. In short, there is no "transmutation" of the elemental zinc going on.
At another place it states that to prove that radium is an element, the Curies needed to produce the actual radium metal, not just a salt of radium. While producing the metallic element was a step in the right direction, it is not absolutely conclusive:at one time a new "element," named didymium, was believed to have been discovered. It was reduced to the metal; but subsequently it was found to consist of a mixture of two different elements.

In short: a highly readable, informative, and interesting book - all at a modest price. A book I highly recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I purchased this book for my grandniece, to demonstrate what women can achieve, and ended up reading it first.I loved how the author presented Marie Curie and her discoveries.I loved how she presented all of the hardships she encountered along the way, yet prevailed in her work. I learned a lot about Madam Curie from this very wonderful book.I hope my grandniece and other young girls will get inspiration from the story and the woman it is about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful Reading!
I always say that if all history-based textbooks were written like some of the best nonfiction books I've read in my day (ON THE REZ by Ian Frazier, FS&G, being one of them), then kids would gobble up history in school! Carla McClafferty's SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING is one of those books. It reads like a STORY, in a delightful but informative way that painlessly imparts the facts about Marie Curie and her life's work. I read it straight through, like I would an entertaining novel! I would recommend this book to kids looking for a biography to read--and to adults, too. Excellent job.

5-0 out of 5 stars Radium: It slices.It dices.
The biography for children is rarely done well, if at all.It's too easy to take the life of someone famous, slap a few facts together, and then sell copies of your newest creation to countless school libraries around the country.When it comes to bios for small fry there are two modes of thought.Either you're going to do the least interesting, simplest biography (thereby boring both your child reader and yourself), or you're going to put some work into your creation and place the subject of your biography within the context of their times.Ms. Carla Killough McClafferty has opted for the latter."Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium" starts slow and then builds and builds until you find yourself in a remarkable world of radium drinks, pills, and miracle cures.McClafferty is no stranger to the world of radiation, having penned a history of the X-Ray for kids before.Now she turns her sights to one of the greatest female scientists in the history of the world.From stage frightened Polish child, to Parisian researcher, to her death at the age of sixty-six, Marie Curie's life is propped before us with just the right combination of kid appeal and facts.

She was born a poor Polish girl on November 7, 1867.Smart from the start, Marie Curie, born Marya Sklodowska, dreamed of someday being given the chance to study at the University of Paris.After many years of saving and unpleasantness, she was able to come to France to fulfill this dream.While there, she met and married Pierre Curie and together the two of them set about discovering a couple elements and the true nature of that most mysterious of substances, radium.Author Carla McClafferty takes Marie's discoveries and counterpoints the rise in radium popularity with the high-profile Marie reluctantly had to adapt to.She was a celebrity of her time so that just as radium caught on with the public, so too did Marie's personal life.Remarkable in more ways than one, this is a story of a scientist who broke with convention to become extraordinary.This telling matches her in magnificence.

I admit that in my ignorance I didn't think there'd be much to say about Marie Curie in a book for kids.I mean, she grew up, married Pierre Curie, discovered radium, and died of radiation poisoning, right?I thought maybe Ms. McClafferty would have a chance to make a long book if she simply stretched out Marie's early life for as long as possible.So when I got to page 32 and found the book's subject already studying uranium rays, I couldn't help but yell at the narrator, "Slow down, McClafferty!There isn't much more to say!You're going too fast!"Of course, she wasn't.This book goes at exactly the right speed, never dwelling on a dull factoid or pulling to inordinate length a moment in Mrs. Curie's life that needed no stretching.And while I knew the basic "first woman" facts surrounding Marie, I had no idea what a great person she was as well.This is someone who refused to patent radium because she felt the element belonged to the world and not just the people who happened to find it.A woman who drove mobile X-ray units into war zones to aid doctors.Who named a new element Polonium after her beloved Poland.I knew none of this before and with McClafferty's snappy writing helping me along, I feel any kid that reads this book will learn so very much.

A couple years ago I had a chance to visit Minneapolis, Minnesota's now defunct Museum of Questionable Medical Devices.Besides the exhibits featuring ear candles and phrenology machines, there was a large section of the museum dedicated to the radium fads.It never would have occurred to me to think that Marie Curie had an indirect connection to the bottles of Radithor or the Revigator jars on display under glass cases.Even the Museum, though, didn't have half the fascinating items shown in photographs in this book.Radium was the original glow-in-the-dark paint, making everything from watch dials to crucifixes shine when the lights were low.The most frightening of all of these?The "Atomic `Bomb'" ring.Says the book, "You could see tiny flashes of light come and go as individual atoms of a radioactive material gave off energy and lit up the zinc sulfide in the ring."McClafferty knows to pepper her book with stuff of this nature, giving the book just the right amount of zing and zazz for the kiddies reading it.

One problem I do have with the book is that McClafferty doesn't really drill home the danger of all these radioactive consumer products.Take, once more, the Atomic Bomb ring.Was it really dangerous to kids or was it as harmless as the manufacturers said?Obviously McClafferty wouldn't be able to say just how harmful each and every product shown in this book was (there are, after all, quite a lot of them) but I would have liked a little clarification on a couple points.It isn'tuntil we get to the end of the book that we learn exactly what it is that radium poisoning does to the human body.Even then, to what degree is radium outside of the body dangerous?We hear that when someone wants to view the original notebooks of the Curies they must, "sign a form releasing the library from responsibility for any `possible risks of radioactivity'".But to what extent would those notebooks be dangerous?A little more clarification on contact with radium without ingesting it would be welcome in this title.

And yet nothing eases my fears faster than an author who knows the importance of displaying their source materials.Right from the start a "Note to the Reader" explains why the author chose one spelling of Marya Sklodowska over another.Later on, Ms. McClafferty gives us copious Source Notes, a rather impressive Selected Bibliography, Illustration Credits, an Index, and (most impressive of all) a wonderful list of well-selected Recommended Web Sites.Kudos all around.What I want to get through to you is that this book is equal parts fun writing and great factual info.Sure it's chock full of great info about this great woman.But it also happens to be a gripping read and a great story to boot.Marie Curie appears here to be the kind of woman authors dream of writing biographies about.Ms. McClafferty just happened to be bright enough to tie in Mrs. Curie's life to the world around her and the fads that came about due to the radium hype.A great book and well worth adding to any and every collection in the country. ... Read more

17. Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters
by Jeannine Atkins
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2010-03-16)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805089349
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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As a child, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon. Her daughter, Rose, thought those stories might make a good book, and the two created the beloved Little House series.

Sara Breedlove, the daughter of former slaves, wanted everything to be different for her own daughter, A’Lelia. Together they built a million-dollar beauty empire for women of color. Marie Curie became the first person in history to win two Nobel prizes in science. Inspired by her mother, Irène too became a scientist and Nobel prize winner.

Borrowed Names is the story of these extraordinary mothers and daughters.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is a remarkable book of poetry that captures the mother-daughter relationship with sensitivity and insight. Read it even if you don't normally read poetry - you will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Read
I've had this book on my nightstand for several weeks, because I knew I would want to read it slowly. So of course, I opened it last night and just kept reading. And now it's back on my nightstand, because I want to let the poems and the people in them sit for a bit, then go back to them again and see what else they stir in me.

Yesterday and today, they stirred interest and curiosity and love and sadness. Interest and curiosity, because I thought I "knew" about Laura and Rose, but found out how much there is that I could still find out about them, and because I knew almost nothing about the other women--the mothers or daughters. Love because of the pull between these mothers and daughters, the need for warmth and caring, the need to GIVE warmth and caring. And sadness, because somehow there is a layer to these poems that shows the conflict in the relationships, as well as the connections.

Is it that the three mothers were such strong and, each in their own way, very powerful women? Did this set up a goal that the daughters felt they had to reach and then, perhaps, felt they didn't or couldn't reach? Or is it that all daughters have to break away from who their mother's are, to find out who they themselves might be? And some of the sadness was for the one daughter, at least, who may have learned that piece too late, too late to come back and share it with their mothers.

I'm not sure yet what all the feelings ARE that Atkins has woven into these poems, or what all the feelings ARE that echo in me as a response. I am sure that she has mined deeply into these individual and universal relationships, that she has shared the gold she found with us in lines of beautiful language--both joyous and painful. And I am sure that I will pick up the book again, soon, to see what else I can find for myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Treat

Jeannine Atkins' Borrowed Names is like fine chocolate - velvety texture, rich content.Her three subjects are presented not in their iconic splendor, rather as women in full, with sometimes bumpy childhoods, sometimes sour marriages, passionate in their work though sometimes drawn to it late, and all experiencing the joy and pain of mothering.It is the mothering and the daughtering that is the center of this book.Most interestingly, Atkins gives us the daughters' views of their famous mothers - the strains of the relationships, the stresses of the times - as the younger women make their own lives.The reader comes away with eyes wide open and heart moved by Atkins' surprising, ennobling work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book about mothers, daughters, & the creative spirit
I think this is one of my favorite books ever. Really.

Full disclosure - I know Jeannine and heard her read a poem from this book at a writers retreat last summer. It was lovely and poignant, but when she described the book as a collection of poems about mothers and daughters, in the voices of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, and Marie Curie, I wondered a bit how that could all fit together.

Then I was lucky enough to pick up an advance copy of BORROWED NAMES at ALA Midwinter, and I understood.

It does fit. As beautifully as anything I've ever read.

The poetry in this book is magnificent by itself, but it's the characterization of the women -- mothers and daughters both -- that makes it stand out even more. The verse shines with the creative spirit of all of these amazing women, and I really can't imagine capturing the whole give-and-take, come-together-and-go-away moments of mothers and daughters any better.

I'm sitting here at my computer frowning because I can't really make my words do justice to this special book. But trust me. Just go get it. ... Read more

18. Marie Curie: A Biography
by Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie
Paperback: 172 Pages (2010-12-07)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1616142162
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This is an illuminating look at the life and legacy of one of the world's most famous female scientists. Marie Curie (1867-1934) is arguably the world's most famous female scientist. She made one of the most important theoretical breakthroughs of the 20th century when she postulated that radiation was an atomic rather than a chemical property. She coined the term radioactivity; isolated two new elements: polonium and radium; and, won two Nobel prizes: for physics in 1903, and then for chemistry in 1911. This informative, yet concise and accessible biography examines Curie not just as a dedicated scientist, but also as a complex woman with an often tumultuous personal life - from her formative years in Poland, through her marriage and collaboration with Pierre Curie, to her appointment as the first female professor at the Sorbonne University and the work that led to her recognition by the Nobel Prize committee. ... Read more

19. Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima
by Diana Preston
Paperback: 400 Pages (2006-03-07)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425207897
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In 1898, Marie Curie first described a phenomenon she called "radioactivity." A half-century later, two physicists would stand before dawn in the New Mexico desert, slathering themselves with sunscreen-and fearing that the imminent test detonation might ignite Earth's atmosphere in a cataclysmic chain reaction and transform our planet into a burning star.

This is the epic story of Curie's quest to unlock the secrets of the material world; of the scientists-Rutherford, Bohr, Einstein, Oppenheimer-who built upon her work; of the day the first weapon of mass destruction dropped on Hiroshima, bringing both sudden terror and sudden peace, and of the new era of global uncertainty that emerged in its wake. With the clarity of great science writing, the vividness of historical narrative and the insight of biography, Before the Fallout is an unforgettable and sweeping account of the scientific discovery that changed the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's The People - Not The Physics!
Yes, the advances in physics were tremendous. Stop for a moment - this book gives you the humanistic view of that ensuing the discoveries. Think of the advances of human thought developing the science. Marvelous!
The dedication is phenomenal.
This is a great historical presentation of a period of magical thought.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Dawn of the Nuclear Age
BEFORE THE FALLOUT: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima
--By Diana Preston Reviewed by Philip Henry

"My God, What have we done?"

With those words, the crew of the "Enola Gay" summed up their feelings after dropping the A-Bomb that obliterated Hiroshima.The history of the Atomic (and later, Hydrogen) bomb permeates the history of the past century:from 1895, when Roentgen discovered the X-Ray, through the pioneering experiments of Einstein, Edward Teller, J. Robert Oppenheimer; Leo Szilard (the often-overlooked main ingredient in the Manhattan Project)through efforts to control nuclear proliferation and the Cold War.
That's a lot of ground to cover, but in "Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima" Diana Preston attempts, and to a large degree succeeds, in doing so.

While Richard Rhodes' monumental two-volume history (The Atomic Bomb, and "Dark Sun") will remain the Industry Standardfor the nuclear historycottage industry, Preston has done an admirable job of encapsulating the excitement, paranoia, and regrets of the Nuclear Founders.She does an excellent job of giving credit where credit is due to some of the neglected major players in the drama:Leo Szilard, who was prescient about the political and military consequences of nuclear energy; Werner Heisenberg, who directed the Nazi nuclear project although he wasn't a Nazi; and Niels Bohr.

The tension between J.Robert Oppenheim, the brilliant physicist (he got his PhD at 22) and developed the Black Holes in space theory) and Edward Teller is the material for books that stand on their own in reporting it:"American Prometheus", for one.

This is fascinating stuff for all of us:those in "The Greatest Generation" who fought WWII; those of us in the Baby Boomer generation who grew up under the shadow of the bomb and remember "duck and cover" drills in elementary school; and the Public Leaders who should read, and digest, this material CAREFULLY!

My only reservations are the speculative "What If's" that she includes in her Epilogue. Sure, its fascinating to speculate on what might have happened if Hitler had used the intellectual genius of Heisenberg and others to buildthe bomb.. but he didn't.

I give this four and a half stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars History....even the history of science... is inherently about people
Diana Preston combines the exciting story of the individuals responsible for the scientific discoveries of Atomic Energy with the race for the Atomic Bomb. She traces the fifty year journey of discoveries which culminated in Hiroshima's destruction. The book is one of biography, science (well told and easy to understand), and the history of this unique quest for knowledge. The book is a broad overview of the subject which along the way presents material that surely could be expanded into many different books and even a few movies. For example the story of the two attempts to destroy the Nazi's Norwegian source of Heavy Water reads like the film "The Guns of Navarone".
I have had the pleasure to meet Diana Preston and hear her speak at the Los Angeles Times Book Fair. She is a regular attendee. I have read all but her first book and have felt her "Lusitania" her greatest achievement but this, her newest, is just as wonderful.
The book is well organized and has many characters that you find easy to follow via each mini biography throughout the narrative. The book ends with really two epilogues. (I do like a good epilog too.) The first tells what happened to each participant after WWII and the last is a "what if" analysis this is most interesting as it puts many of the events in the book into a broad context and points out the individual difference each scientist made. I just loved Preston's comment at the end of the book... "History....even the history of science... is inherently about people, how they thought, what they did with their thoughts, and how they interacted with the individuals immediately around them and then with society and the greater world order. All involved in this story....regardless of race, sex. creed, age, or intellectual ability... had the potential to act individually. In thinking about history but, above all, about the future, we should not depersonalize situations but remember our individual responsibility for them and the consequences fro others." I know you will find this book amazing even if you feel the subject might be dry and to scientific. (High Schools please add this one to your required reading list.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Diana Preston has done it again!
Since reading Lusitania three years ago, I have devoured every Diana Preston book that I can get my hands on.I wasn't sure that I would enjoy Before the Fallout as much as the others since science is not my specialty, but once again her book has totally captured my attention.The way Preston weaves the history with the science (but not too technical) with the personal lives of the people involved is fascinating. Certainly the development of the atomic bomb is one of the defining events of our lifetime, and the story behind that event as told by Diana Preston is so intriguing that I would recommend this book to anyone! My only disappointment is that now that I'm done, I'm going to have to wait awhile for her next book!

4-0 out of 5 stars An Overview for the Layperson
"Before the Fallout", while lacking the technical detail presented in Richard Rhodes' "The Making of the Atomic Bomb", presents some interesting personality sketches (the degree to which these are subjective remains unresolved). Preston presents an interesting collection of missed opportunities on the road to the discovery of fission. One may be left with the feeling that body of the book serves only as a platform for the epilogue and its litany of "what if"s. ... Read more

20. Marie Curie (Giants of Science)
by Kathleen Krull
Hardcover: 144 Pages (2007-10-04)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$7.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670058947
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Talk about a "glowing reputation"! Marie Curie, the woman who coinedthe term radioactivity, won not just one Nobel prize but two—in physicsand in chemistry, both supposedly girl-phobic sciences. As with herprevious star-studded biographies of Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, andSigmund Freud—all three chosen as ALA Notable Books—Kathleen Krulloffers readers a fascinating portrait of this mythic "giant of science" whoabhorred publicity. And she also places Curie’s ground-breaking discoveryof two elements within the framework of science at that time. ... Read more

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