Book Review: Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Book Review: Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moor

Started Reading: July 31

Finished Reading: September 11

Pages: 496 pages

Audiobook and physical


The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive ― until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives… – Amazon

Overall Thoughts

I gav this book 3 stars. I listened to most of it as an audiobook and was not impressed with the narrator. She was very boring at times. I chose to read this book because it was a period of history that was unknown to me. I love reading about the 1920s in America,  but I had no idea that Radium was used in this way. I learned so much about rights in the workplace and how they came to be because of what happened to these girls. I think that it is important to read about this part of our history and I am wondering what “everyday” items we use today will be proven harmful in the future. I gave this book 3 stars because I felt it was drawn out and had some places that the author speculated and did not have support for her argument. I think we could have cut out a lot in the book and still have benefited the same.

Bullet Journal


I am a middle school teacher who loves to read. I am part of the ARC-sharing group LitReviewCrew and a creator for the YouTube Channel Legit KidLit.

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