I am on the nominating committee for the Cybils middle-grade and young-adult nonfiction category. I will be posting my reviews here, and this is the first: Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty.
When I was young, I remember reading a book about Marie Curie. That book captivated me; I wanted to learn more about Curie.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the same reaction to this book. Though well written technically, I didn't think it had a hook--that thing necessary to engaging the reader. Being the author of books such as this, I understand the constraints put on what can be included and what cannot. However, I'd find myself reading about something and want to know why? For example, why was the French Academy of Sciences so important. I wanted to know more about her life after Pierre's death.
I thought the author did a good job describing Marie's life as a governess, her marriage, and her relationship to her daughters. But, overall, I found the book dry and not very appealing. We need books that will get young girls interested in science, but I'm not sure this is one of them.