Marie Curie: A Life of Discovery

Graphic Universe. Aug. 2019. 208p. notes. bibliog. tr. from Italian by Kerstin Schwandt. ISBN 9781541528178. $33.32; pap. ISBN 9781541572867. $14.99. Rated: Teen+. BIOG
Italian creator Milani (cocontributor, Post Pink) offers her first English-language translation with this biography of French Polish physicist Marie Curie (1867–1934), tracing the Nobel Prize winner’s life using several themes: her scientific exploration, the sexism she faced, and her Polish identity. Central to the narrative is Curie’s partnership with husband and colleague Pierre Curie, as is the scandal some years after his death, when Curie became involved with a married colleague. Yet Milani most successfully conveys the professional achievements and impassioned life of an extraordinary mind while also making clear the challenges Curie overcame as a female scientist and foreigner working in France. The author’s striking watercolor and pastel art employs color expressively and varying styles to enhance this affecting portrait. Milani’s parents, a physicist and a mathematician, served as consultants for this work and provide an afterword about Curie’s legacy. A helpful time line and bibliography round out the book.
VERDICT Will appeal to curious high schoolers and adults interested in history and science, though some themes will challenge younger readers. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels Preview, “Mass Appeal,” p. 39.]

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