Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, October 2, 2023

Sisters In Science: Marie Curie, Bronia Dłuska, and the Atomic Power of Sisterhood by Linda Elovitz Marshall

Sisters In Science: Marie Curie, Bronia Dłuska, and the Atomic Power of Sisterhood
By Linda Elovitz Marshall; Illustrated by Anna and Elena Balbusso
Alfred A. Knopf. 2023

We all are familiar with the accomplishments of Marie Curie. Her discovery of radioactivity brought her, and her husband, Pierre, and fellow researcher, Henri Becquerel, the Nobel Prize for their work. 

Born into a time when women women were not supported to receive higher learning,  Marshall recounts the many ways the two sisters supported each other throughout their lives, both trailblazers in their own right.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Bronia (1865) and Marie (1867) suffered two major loses, the death of their mother and sister, Zosia. Saddened by their deaths, Bronia and Maria were determined that as adults they would help others. Bronia wanted to be a doctor; Maria a researcher.

So they concocted a plan: “Bronia would start at the Sorbonne (in Paris) immediately, while Maria would work as a tutor to pay for Bronia’s education.. When Bronia finished, they would switch. Maria would start, and Bronia would pay. 
                                    Maria and Bronia made a pact!”

This picture book biography follows the two sisters throughout their lives as they work in their chosen fields, while always lending a helping hand when needed. 

The two sisters made a pact, "honored it, and gave the world better ways to diagnose diseases, better ways to treat illnesses, and one of the world's best examples of the power of SCIENCE - and the power of SISTERS!"

The beautiful illustrations in earthy tones were created using mixed media. Traditional tools (gouache, watercolor, brush, pencil, pen, collage)were combined with digital programs. 

The book includes a timeline, partial list of works consulted, and an author's note.

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