Conkling, Winifred. Radioactive! How Irene Curie & Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World. Non-fiction. Algonquin, 01/2016. 227pp. $17.95. 978-1-6162-0415-0. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 8-12.
In the 1930s, “the world of physics was exploding with exciting possibilities,” and Irene Curie and Lise Meitner were two of its most brilliant contributors. At the time, however, they were often sidelined by the established scientific community. Curie and her husband discovered artificial radioactivity in 1934 and catalyzed the nuclear age. When she subsequently sought membership in the all-male French Academy of Sciences, Irene, like her mother Marie, was denied. In 1938, at the height of her scientific career, Lise Meitner, an Austrian with Jewish heritage, was forced to flee Germany to Sweden. She was the first scientist to articulate the concept of nuclear fission, but her German research partner, Otto Hahn, took entire credit for her discovery and won the Nobel Prize in 1945. Radioactive! reads like a novel while meeting the “complexity criteria” of Common Core texts. Sidebars explaining scientific concepts complement the compelling narrative. Back matter includes a timeline, notes, an index, and a bibliography.
Katrina Bergen, Berkeley PL