The Radium Girls: Young Readers’ Edition | Book Review

Book Review of Radium Girls
The Children’s Book Review

The Radium Girls- Young Readers Edition

Written by Kate Moore

Ages 12+ | 432 Pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Explore | ISBN: 9781728209470

What to Expect: Science, history, civil rights, workers rights, consumerism, feminist viewpoint

What would you do if you found out that your job was killing you? That’s what happened to the Radium Girls, who discovered back in the early years of the twentieth century that, despite knowing that radium was harmful, their managers at the dial-painting studios where they worked had been actively encouraging them to ingest this radioactive substance and concealing the dangers from them.

The girls soon developed terrible health problems, from rotting jaws to legs that were different lengths.  The end result for all of them was an early and painful death. But the worst part was, no one—not the government, not the health authorities, and certainly not their employers—was interested in compensation or justice. Luckily for later generations, these girls were not willing to take this miscarriage of justice lying down…

Science and history are fascinating because they teach lessons that can make a real difference to human wellbeing and progress. The best science and history non-fiction, therefore, is expository and inspirational—it tells readers things they might not have been aware of and encourages them to take action for positive change. Radium Girls achieves both of these goals with powerfully engaging writing that combines humor, accuracy, and personality. Moore brings the radium girls back to life to tell their stories and inspire a new generation of girls and workers not to leave their safety in the hands of powerful and uncaring others.

The Radium Girls: Young Readers’ Edition: The Scary but True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark is gripping, heartbreaking, and deeply inspiring—very much worth reading.

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About the Author

Kate Moore is a New York Times best-selling writer with more than a decade’s experience writing and ghosting across varying genres, including memoir, biography, and history. In 2015 she directed a critically acclaimed play about the Radium Girls called ‘These Shining Lives.’ She lives in the UK.

Visit her at

The Radium Girls: Young Readers’ Edition was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like The Radium Girls: Young Readers’ Edition by following our reviews and articles tagged with Self-Awareness and Self-Discovery.

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January 13, 2022 at 12:32PM Dr. Jen Harrison