September 24, 2017

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Glow by Megan E. Bryant | SLJ Review

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redstarBRYANT, Megan E. Glow. 272p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807529638; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780807529652.

Gr 8 Up –Two young women, a century apart, find themselves drawn to the same dangerous glow. Julie, a young woman in the present day, is unable to pay for college after sacrificing her savings to help save her family’s home. In her desperate attempt to forget about her circumstances, Julie looks for a project to occupy her thoughts. During a visit to a thrift store, she discovers paintings that not only glow in the dark but also reveal an entirely different scene that cannot be visible in the light. Julie becomes obsessed with learning the identity of the painter. In her quest, she finds the paintings are connected to a young woman named Lydia. Lydia and her sister work for a factory, painting watches that can glow in the dark for soldiers overseas during World War I. Unbeknownst to the women in the factory, the paints they work with contain radium, a dangerous chemical. Bryant weaves this story by alternating chapters of Julie’s perspective and sharing Lydia’s letters to her loved one overseas. As each girl tells their story, the true events and stories of the real radium girls are brought to light. Bryant’s novel will surely spur readers to learn more about this dark part of history. Pair with Kate Moore’s Radium Girls. ­VERDICT Libraries looking for historical fiction novels to add to their collection should consider this a strong purchase.–Aileen ­Barton, Sherman Public Library, TX

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

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