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Glow Hardcover – September 1, 2017
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2019-2020 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominee
"Readers who love the historic side of this genre will crave more of Lydia's story...gruesomely detailed and suspenseful."―VOYA
"The historical background is intriguing, embracing chemistry, medicine, and labor and women's histories...Builds nicely in suspense and tragedy."―The Horn Book
"Students who love a good mystery and/or historical fiction will have no issue getting into this well-told story of historical significance."―School Library Connection
About the Author
- Grade level : 8 - 12
- Lexile measure : 810
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 080752963X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0807529638
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : AW Teen (September 1, 2017)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #792,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In this story, past and present are interwoven as 18-year-old Julie discovers an old painting in a thrift shop bin. Readers immediately learn that the painting - which utilizes glow-in-the-dark paint underneath regular oil paint, for a secret scene that is revealed only in the dark - dates back to the early 1920s. Teenage sisters Lydia and Liza are proud to be employed by the American Radium Corporation as watch dial painters, a highly skilled job that also pays much more than the average woman's job during that era. Yet their joy is short-lived as Liza falls seriously ill with strange symptoms. Her bones become soft and easily breakable, her teeth fall out and strange putrid boils begin to fester upon her jaw. Lydia soon begins to suspect that the paint used at ARC may be the culprit. But who will believe her?
Meanwhile, in present day, Julie has her own issues. Having generously sacrificed her college fund in order to save her mother's house from foreclosure, she's now working two minimum-wage jobs in order to redeem her dreams of one day attending art school in New York City. Her mom, on the other hand, says she's looking for work yet spends her days on the couch. Julie is furious. Why isn't her mom taking better care of things, the way she has all of Julie's life til now?
Readers of all ages will enjoy this historical fiction, largely told via Lydia's letters to her boyfriend Walter off fighting World War I.
I had just finished reading Radium Girls, a truly fascinating story of the women and girls who painted watch dials with radium paint back about 100 years ago when the dangers of this paint were not fully understood. These girls paid with their lives when they became very sick. Eventually they fought in court against their employers who knew more than they pretended to about the dangers. Their fight helped create modern day protections for employees which still exist today.
GLOW tells the heartbreaking story of the young women who went to work for the companies that used radium to make glow in dark objects, mostly watch faces for the soldiers of WWI.
My grandmother worked briefly for The Radium Dial company in Ottawa Illinois. Fortunately she remained healthy although she went every year of life (she died at 96) to The Argonne National Laboratory for extensive testing. GLOW is unflinching in relating the horrific illnesses that plagued the radium workers. Although GLOW is aimed at young adult audience, adult readers will also react favorably to this tale.
Bryant uses the true stories of actual workers to underscore her fictionalized work. Sisters Lisa and Lydia help support their family by the “easy work and good pay” offered by the companies. This mostly untold story is also related in THE RADIUM GIRLS by Kate Moore.
Very sensitive readers may be upset by the descriptions (accurate) of the results of “tipping” to paint tiny numerals on watch faces with the radium based paints.
5 of 5 stars