The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

Rating: 4/5


Genre: Historical Non-Fiction


Recommended Age: 13+ (some mature scenes)


I received a free e-book copy of this book from NETGALLEY in exchange for my honest review. This did not influence my decision in any way.


The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive ― until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives… –



While I enjoy fantasy so so much, I do enjoy reading about historical events. I actually used to be a history major! So I was very excited to receive an ARC of this book on NETGALLEY! Thanks Sourcebooks! Anyways, when I read it I was expecting the dry history books of my college days… but I was highly impressed by this book! Not only was it totally engaging, but it was very educational without being pushy (which is pretty rare for some books especially for younger children). What really made this book was the character development. The characters in this book seem to just come alive and you really become invested in these characters and their plight. The writing is superb and is extremely enjoyable as well.


However, while I am freshly out of college I did try to keep in mind how this book would be for younger children, especially those that would pick this book up for a book report. Keeping that in mind, I did find that the pacing was a bit slow and that the plot was a bit drawn out because of it. However, very enjoyable book, very educational book, and very inspirational book because while this is a book about women who were poisoned by the radium fad it does show the strength of these women who could be a role model to many.


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