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Celebrate Marie Curie’s Birthday by reading about her life and work! Born November 7, 1867 in Poland, Marie Curie was a pioneer of radioactive research.

Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and she is the only woman to win the award in two different fields. She made immense contributions to physics with her discovery of polonium and radium, and influenced generations of nuclear physicists and chemists.

East Wenatchee Librarian Hanna has curated this reading list of books and one documentary found in our physical and digital collections:

Radioactive : Marie & Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love & Fallout by Lauren Redniss

Radioactive is the mesmerizing, landmark biography of Marie Curie, by acclaimed author and artist Lauren Redniss. Through brilliant storytelling, Redniss walks us through Curie’s life, which was marked by extraordinary scientific discovery and dramatic personal trauma—from her complex working and romantic relationship with Pierre Curie, to their discovery of two new scientific elements, to Pierre’s tragic death and Marie’s two Nobel Prizes.

Half Life: A Novel by Jillian Cantor

In Half Life, Jillian Canor reimagines the pioneering, passionate life of Marie Curie using a parallel structure to create two alternative timelines, one that mirrors her real life, and one that explores the consequences for Marie and for science if she’d made a different choice.

The Soul of Genius: Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and the Meeting that Changed the Course of Science by Jeffrey Orens

Einstein and especially Curie come alive as the complex people they were in the pages of The Soul of Genius. Utilizing never before seen correspondence and notes from Solvay, Jeffrey Orens shows the human side of a woman who pushed boundaries and demanded equality in a man’s world, no matter the cost.

Marie Curie by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

This educational book for young children explores the childhood of Marie Curie, who overcame adversity to become one of the most respected scientists in the world.

Marie Curie: A Quest For Light by Frances Andreasen Østerfel 

This graphic novel for middle grade readers presents a special collaboration between two internationally acclaimed Danish scientists: Frances Andreasen Østerfelt and Anja Cetti Andersen, and features delightful illustrations by the prize-winning Polish artist Anna Blaszczyk. Together they tell the story of Marie Curie’s exceptional life and groundbreaking research that changed the world, expanded scientific understanding and created new opportunities for women.

Who was Marie Curie? by Megan Stine

Born in Warsaw, Poland on November 7, 1867, Marie Curie was forbidden to attend the male-only University of Warsaw, so she enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris to study physics and mathematics. There she met a professor named Pierre Curie, and the two soon married, forming one of the most famous scientific partnerships in history. 


Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge

This 2016 documentary looks at the most turbulent five years of the life of a genius woman: Between 1905, where Marie Curie comes with Pierre Curie to Stockholm to be award the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radioactivity and 1911, where she receives her second Nobel Prize.

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