Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

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"Physicists always publish their researches. It is only a chance that our discovery has a money value. We can’t use a chance like that for profit. And radium is going to help the sick. It seems impossible for me to seek any profit from it."

Radium Woman

Carnegie winner: 1939
Author: Eleanor Doorly

Marie Curie, nicknamed, Manya is the focus of the only biography aimed at a child audience to have won the CILIP Carnegie Medal.  Manya’s childhood is described in detail in the early chapters of the book and highlight the oppressive regime that the country experienced as part of the Russian Empire.  This was particularly felt by Manya and her family as her father was a teacher of Mathematics and Physics at a school under Russian influence and, later in her life, when the brother of one of her friends is sentenced to execution for rebellion. 

Marie was honoured as the first woman to be chair at Sorbonne University.  Feeling keenly aware of the significance of this, Marie poured her energies and enthusiasm wholeheartedly into the lectures she gave.    

Through the book we learn of Marie Curie’s discoveries around radium, scientific advances which were to not only earn her the Nobel Prize but lend her the unique distinctions of being the first woman to be awarded this and the only person to be awarded it twice.

Readers are able to chart the innate sense of curiosity and discovery that fuelled Marie’s work from the earliest days.  Here we are given an insight into her relationship with Pierre and the research the two undertook together which was eventually to prove fatal for Marie.

More than just an account of remarkable scientific achievement against a backdrop of repression and fear, this charts the vigour and verve of learning, of love and ultimately of life itself.

Balancing cultural history, personal development and growth and scientific achievement, this charts the life of an extraordinary innovator and makes a profound impression on readers.


courage / discovery / inspiration / x-rays /