Determined Dreamer: The Story of Marie Curie

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062373328.
Gr 3-5–Hopkinson highlights the obstacles Marie Curie faced, her achievements in multiple fields, and the determination behind her success. The story is simple to follow and showcases many parts of Curie’s life and legacy, not just her more notable achievements, making it easier for students to fathom Curie’s world and find their own inspiration. The vocabulary can be advanced in its use of specific science terms, but Hopkinson helps provide definitions in context; even readers new to terms such as “energy” or “radioactivity” will grasp meanings without background knowledge. The text itself is easy to read and engaging. Hill’s illustrations illuminate the world of this era and show the obstacles Curie faced, while also providing additional help in conveying science vocabulary and insights for young readers. The back matter includes an author’s note about Curie’s life and a time line that offers further reading, with good quotes and citations for more discovery. Together Hopkinson and Hill have created a window into the life and times of an acclaimed scientist for a young audience.
VERDICT A solid biography of Marie Curie that highlights her determination and main achievements.

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