The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

“The Radium Girls”, by Kate Moore, is the true story about the avoidable poisoning of the young women who worked in the radium dial painting factories. These ambitious young ladies were seeking security and stability for themselves and their families, and radium dial painting was the most coveted of all factory jobs. They were all trained in the lip-dip-paint technique; put the brush in your mouth and use your lips to create a point, dip your brush in the radium paint, and meticulously paint the small characters on the dials.

When the Radium Girls first became sick, their doctors and dentists were perplexed. As an increasing amount of women fell ill, a network of concerned co-workers helped the doctors connect their cases. What followed was a ground-breaking struggle that set the stage for the future of worker’s rights. After directing a play about the Radium Girls, These Shining Lives, Kate Moore’s deep connection motivated her to write this inspired chronicle of their lives.

This non-fiction narrative gives an intimate view into the lives of the young women who hoped for so  much, and left the world too soon. Many of these young ladies were eager to support the war effort and provide for their parents and siblings. Following these young women from the time they started at the factories through their confusing illness and untimely deaths, Moore provides a complete perspective. 

— Katelyn Derderian

May 2017 Indie Next List

“The harrowing true story of The Radium Girls is a compelling and forthright portrayal of a dark, insidious mystery and the 'shining girls' who revealed it. Author Kate Moore takes the reader from Orange, New Jersey, to Ottawa, Illinois, following several women who work at factories that specialize in painting watch faces and instrument dials with the glow-in-the-dark wonder element radium. As these women fall ill in various and dire ways in the ensuing years, they seek answers and relief from the very companies that would deny them. In The Radium Girls, Moore, like the 'shining girls' before her, casts a bright light on these lives lost too young.”
— Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi's Books, Rapid City, SD

Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List

“This story of the first all-women class action lawsuit is one that everyone needs to read. Moore does a fabulous job of showing these women for who they were: real people, with families and lives that were torn apart by devastating health problems caused by years of working in a watch factory, painting glowing radium onto watch dials. A heartbreaking, inspiring story of strong women who stuck together through the most horrible of circumstances.”
— Maggie Henriksen, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI


A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller

"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."--NPR Books

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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781492650959
ISBN-10: 1492650951
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018
Pages: 496
Language: English