Glow
When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings with hidden glowing images that are only visible in the dark, she wants to learn more about the artist. In her search, she uncovers a century-old romance and the haunting true story of the Radium Girls, young women who used radioactive paint to make the world's first glow-in-the-dark products—and ultimately became radioactive themselves. As Julie’s obsession with the paintings mounts, truths about the Radium Girls—and her own complicated relationships—are revealed. But will she uncover the truth about the luminous paintings before putting herself and everyone she loves at risk?

Glow Details

TitleGlow
Author
ReleaseSep 1st, 2017
PublisherAlbert Whitman & Company
ISBN-139780807529652
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Teen, Young Adult Historical Fiction, Mystery

Glow Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....For those who are slightly confused by or don’t understand the references in the jacket design, Megan E. Bryant’s Glow is a young adult fiction that blends a modern storyline with the tragic history of the radium dial painters employed at the United States Radium factory in Orange, New Jersey. Three of Bryant’s fictional characters – Liza, Lydia, and Charlotte Grayson – work at the factory and while I absolutely loved the le Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....For those who are slightly confused by or don’t understand the references in the jacket design, Megan E. Bryant’s Glow is a young adult fiction that blends a modern storyline with the tragic history of the radium dial painters employed at the United States Radium factory in Orange, New Jersey. Three of Bryant’s fictional characters – Liza, Lydia, and Charlotte Grayson – work at the factory and while I absolutely loved the level of detail worked into their experiences, I couldn’t help feeling the historic elements of Bryant’s book played second fiddle to the modern mystery. The author obviously did her homework with regard to working conditions and the effects of radiation sickness, but I found the novel as a whole poorly balanced and wished Bryant had spent more time with the Grayson sisters and less on Julie’s needlessly dramatic personal life.Don’t get me wrong. I felt the link Bryant created between Julie and Grayson girls grotesquely imaginative, but the supplemental details of Julie’s life felt unnecessary. Luke, for example is a conveniently single chemistry student who falls for Julie the moment they meet. The romance is clichéd at best, but his role in the mystery at the heart of the book is blatantly obvious from the moment he’s introduced. Rounding out the trio is Lauren, Julie’s best friend and poorly contrived foil. Bryant seems to have created the character to emphasize Julie’s misfortune, but I personally felt the effort banal and trite. The only character that annoyed me more was Julie’s mother, but even I admit my frustration on that point relates to the open-ended and ambiguous nature of her role in the story. I can’t speak for everyone, but it is my opinion that her subplot could have been omitted entirely without detriment to the narrative.(view spoiler)[Lingering questions regarding the plausibility of an art enthusiast’s ignorance of the history of glow-in-the-dark paint also bother me, especially when the character in question harbors a distinctly defined penchant for chemistry. Pardon the observation, but I couldn’t put stock in the premise Bryant presented and found myself increasingly irritated with Julie as the story progressed. I suppose it is possible that she’d lack a base knowledge when the story opened, but the fact that she conducts enough research to create her own formula from strontium nitrate and europium undermines her integrity as a basic internet search for luminescent paint reveals the effect itself is created through fluorescence, phosphorescence, or radioluminescence. Call me crazy, but that last point should have piqued some interest.I’m an unapologetically picky reader, but let’s consider this reality against the context of the story. At this point, Julie has already broken into the factory in Orange, perused what remains of the work stations, and been unnerved by a sign proclaiming the site is contaminated by hazardous materials. I might be going out on a limb here, but shouldn’t someone smart enough to dissect the chemical compounds of luminescent paint recognize the obvious link? Not in Bryant’s universe, but let’s be real. The factory itself was torn down by the EPA in 1998, long before the development of the GPS system that led Julie to 482 Dover Street in the first place, which makes it impossible for Chapter 11 and the discovery of key character Charles Graham to have unfolded as depicted. (hide spoiler)]Long story short, I’d recommend Glow for its representation of the historic material, but I’d caution those who don’t appreciate young adult themes to proceed with caution. As for me, I can only hope that I fare better with Stout’s Radium Halos or Mullner’s Deadly Glow.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    When I was first asked to read and review Megan E. Bryant's Glow, I was instantly intrigued by the Radium Girls aspect. As a chemistry graduate student, I'm always interested in (1) anything that has do with science and (2) seeing how factory workers' conditions once were, especially regarding the case of radium. As it turns out, Glow was a stellar read! Beautifully blending together historical accuracy and two girls's coming-of-ages, Glow was a book I easily devoured in one extra-long sitting. When I was first asked to read and review Megan E. Bryant's Glow, I was instantly intrigued by the Radium Girls aspect. As a chemistry graduate student, I'm always interested in (1) anything that has do with science and (2) seeing how factory workers' conditions once were, especially regarding the case of radium. As it turns out, Glow was a stellar read! Beautifully blending together historical accuracy and two girls's coming-of-ages, Glow was a book I easily devoured in one extra-long sitting. One of my favorite aspects was the dual narrative. As I've said before, sometimes it works in books and sometimes it doesn't. Thankfully, in the case of Glow it truly managed to work quite well. Megan E. Bryant did a beautiful job of blending together Julie's narrative point of view with that of Lydia's letters to Walter. It was incredibly easy to not only connect with both characters but also get to truly know them over the course of the story. Additionally, Megan did a great job of switching between the two at just the right moments - building up suspense for both Lydia and Julie's respective stories. Lydia's letters particularly struck a cord in me, as they managed to grab ahold of my heart and squeeze it. When Glow first introduces Lydia, she's the typical lovesick wartime girlfriend, sad to see her man off to war, even thought she knows it's for the good of the country. Soon enough Lydia throws herself into a new gig, painting dial watches. Over time, she begins to feel some more importance - she's doing this great deed for the solders, helping them to tell time even when it's dark outside. I loved seeing her cultivate her skill and gain a family within the workers at the factory. Those relationships are what made her so life-like and real to me. I also loved her bond with her sisters and mother, especially when it came to protecting her little sister. While all these relationships ended up breaking my heart even more as the times got tough and the conditions got worst, I was so happy and even honored to get to read the story of Lydia and her fellow factory girls. It was one that shined an important light on the narrative of a radium girl, truly making the reader understand and feel the thoughts and feelings they experienced. I also throughly enjoyed Julie's POV. Julie's a character who is incredibly down on her luck. She's had to forfeit college to save her family, and by doing so, she's managed to alienate herself from everyone who loves her. From the start, I was impressed by Julie's determination to earn the money to put herself through college; however, I was hoping she'd be able to finally open up to someone about how lost she has been. Over the course of the book, Julie goes from being a "watcher" to a "go-getter," someone who's not afraid to ask the college boy for help, or break into a factory to get answers, or even stand up to a friend who has been treating her bad. I loved seeing that development occur, especially when it involved Julie cultivating her scientific and detective abilities. There was one aspect, though, that did bug me about her character: the amount of time it took her to truly understand what was going on. However, I can only be so taken aback by it, as it did help to make the storyline more interesting - constantly waiting for the moment Julie realized what was going on. As hinted to above, the plot of Glow is also incredibly addictive. I loved how Megan brought to light a time so often ignored in history: the time of the Radium Girls and the horrible, deadly poisoning they were unknowingly subjected to at the time. I hate to admit this, but prior to reading Glow, I didn't know too much about the Radium Girls. Over the course of the story, however, I learned a lot and every time a new detail of ignorance from the higher-ups or a new odd sickness of one the girls came to light, my stomach turned. I was internally screaming "leave the factory, don't continue with the painting!" In all, Glow is an amazing and thought provoking story. Throughout the story, it's easy to feel the pain, the hope, and most importantly, the love these characters posses. If you love science and brave female characters, you simply must add this to your TBR! Grade: A
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  • E. M. Jenkinson
    January 1, 1970
    I have a love hate relationship with Glow, an upcoming young adult novel from Megan E. Bryant. Earlier this year, I read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore - an absolutely horrifying account of injustices committed against young women under the guise of patriotism. Before Moore, I cannot recall ever hearing about the dial painters. This book provides a fictional account based heavily on true stories about the girls that met their untimely demise.The main character of Glow is a young woman of eightee I have a love hate relationship with Glow, an upcoming young adult novel from Megan E. Bryant. Earlier this year, I read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore - an absolutely horrifying account of injustices committed against young women under the guise of patriotism. Before Moore, I cannot recall ever hearing about the dial painters. This book provides a fictional account based heavily on true stories about the girls that met their untimely demise.The main character of Glow is a young woman of eighteen by the name of Jubilee - but don't you dare call her that! She prefers Julie. After making the ultimate sacrifice for her mother, she spends the summer unraveling the mysteries behind paintings she finds at thrift stores while her best friend prepares for college.Between each chapter, readers find an epistolary account from the mind of Lydia Grayson. Like her sisters, Lydia is one of the many girls that worked for the American Radium Company (I think I got that right). The Grayson sisters, for those that haven't read The Radium Girls in order to make the comparison, appears to be based loosely on the Maggia sisters, while the company is, obviously, a fictionalized version of the United States Radium Corporation. (Amelia "Mollie" Maggia was the first of the Radium Girls to die.)Unlike most books that attempt this method, I do not find the switch between perspectives and styles to be detrimental or clunky - if anything, it is inconvenient. Rather than wrap up preceding chapters, Bryant uses these switches to leave Julie's story on a cliffhanger more than once throughout the book. This style can easily be avoided, considering the letters written from Lydia to her boyfriend are interesting enough on their own to propel the reader forward.While Julie's story offers an plot that appeals to younger readers, I feel Glow would have worked just fine without it. For that purpose, I'm caught between a three and a four on this book. Ultimately, I lean toward the latter and must applaud Bryant on the amount of research she obviously put into writing this book. Julie's story is unbelievable and full of things that I simply have no interest in, but the haunting tale that the Grayson sisters weave is horrifying.I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for the purpose of unbiased review.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineJubilee (although please call her Julie) has just graduated from high school and is working at Bed, Bath, and Beyond because her mother's financial woes required her to spend her college fund to save their home. She hangs out with her friend Lauren, who will be going off to art college in the fall, whereas Julie will not. The two find a strange painting at a vintage shop, and Julie becomes obsessed about finding more of the paintings and replicating the tec E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineJubilee (although please call her Julie) has just graduated from high school and is working at Bed, Bath, and Beyond because her mother's financial woes required her to spend her college fund to save their home. She hangs out with her friend Lauren, who will be going off to art college in the fall, whereas Julie will not. The two find a strange painting at a vintage shop, and Julie becomes obsessed about finding more of the paintings and replicating the technique. In alternating chapters, we find out about Lydia, who is working with her sister Liza in a watch factory in 1918. Both girls had fine painting skills, and got hired to put glow-in-the-dark paint on watch faces. We see Julie meet the quirky Newark College student Luke, who helps her make some of the paint, and watch as she tries to hunt down more of the paintings and find their original owner. Lydia tries to solve her own mystery, which we read in her letters to Walter, who is off fighting in the war. The girls at the watch company are falling ill, and Lydia wants to find out what is behind their mysterious symptoms. The two stories converge at the end, and several mysteries are solved.Strengths: This is a fascinating and overlooked period in women's history, and the addition of Julie to the mix makes this a bit more interesting to older readers. The relationship with Luke, while not fully developed, is interesting. I can see this being a great purchase for high school libraries. Weaknesses: The girl on the cover looks like she is barely entering middle school, much less a high school graduate! This moved a bit slowly, and the language in the letters is somewhat old fashioned. While I liked this, it did slow down the story a bit. The subplot with the mother's inability to manage her life didn't add anything to the story. What I really think: This is a completely intriguing historical event, but I want a slightly different book about it.
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  • Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
    January 1, 1970
    Combining the true story of the Radium girls with a young woman’s own complicated life, Glow is a coming of age story that weaves multiple timelines together. After giving up her ability to return to college, Julie finds herself purchasing a unique painting that has the ability to glow. Moving back and forth between the present and the past, the narrative at times became clunky, with the link between the past and the present feeling forced. The haunting tragedy of the Radium Girls was poorly pai Combining the true story of the Radium girls with a young woman’s own complicated life, Glow is a coming of age story that weaves multiple timelines together. After giving up her ability to return to college, Julie finds herself purchasing a unique painting that has the ability to glow. Moving back and forth between the present and the past, the narrative at times became clunky, with the link between the past and the present feeling forced. The haunting tragedy of the Radium Girls was poorly paired with the insta-love of the present. While the narrative of the Radium Girls was engaging, Julie’s story never really captured my attention. The historical aspects of this story were intriguing and left me interested in a topic I knew nothing about. Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Amanda Drover-Hartwick
    January 1, 1970
    Glow is a young adult novel by Megan E. Bryant that sheds light on a dark time in American history. Julie (Jubilee) Chase, a high school graduate who was looking forward to attending College only to have it postponed due to her mother's debt issues. When the bank was about to foreclose on their mortgage, Julie cashed out her college fund to buy the house. She harbors resentment towards her mother for having to lose her college fund, putting her dreams on hold, while her mom seems to not be bothe Glow is a young adult novel by Megan E. Bryant that sheds light on a dark time in American history. Julie (Jubilee) Chase, a high school graduate who was looking forward to attending College only to have it postponed due to her mother's debt issues. When the bank was about to foreclose on their mortgage, Julie cashed out her college fund to buy the house. She harbors resentment towards her mother for having to lose her college fund, putting her dreams on hold, while her mom seems to not be bothering to find a job. Julie's friend Lauren is from a well-to-do family and is off to college leaving Julie behind. This creates a rift between the two, bringing the worst out of the both of them. Attempting to salvage their friendship they head off for a fun day of shopping (Lauren's idea), and Julie buys a painting at Lost and Found consignment store. When darkness blankets Julie's room the painting reveals a glowing secret artwork that ignites her curiosity. She becomes obsessed with finding more paintings by the same artist, and attempts to re-create the technique. Julie has no idea that the technique involves the "radium girls" who unknowingly poisoned themselves while painting numbers on watch dials used to help soldiers see the time more accurately during WWI.Bryant uses fictional characters inspired by real history to tell the story of the "radium girls." The perspective shifts back and forth from Lydia in 1917-1918 to Julie in modern time. We hear Lydia's story from letters she writes to her beloved Walter who has gone off to war. Lydia has an incredible weight upon her shoulders at 16 years old. Her older sister Liza helps Lydia get a job at ARC painting watch dials with a magical glowing substance. The same magical powder used to make the paint is also sold as a cure for practically all ailments.While running an errand at the local college Julie meets Luke (Lucien), a chemistry student working at the college over the summer. Their friendship evolves as he helps her figure out how to create the glow-in-the-dark paint.Through Julie's research and Lydia's letters we learn the heart-wrenching story of the Grayson sisters. There are parts of the story which are descriptive and vivid. I will admit that I cried twice while reading this page-turner.I do have a couple of complaints. For one, why is Julie friends with Lauren? Lauren is selfish, stubborn, and rude. I feel like the tension between Lauren and Julie was unnecessary to the plot.I also find it strange that Julie didn't suspect the glow-in-the-dark paint used on the vintage artwork. She researched how to create the paint, yet somehow didn't stumble across the possibility of radioactive ingredients.There were a couple of times where the dialogue felt a bit clunky, and I also think Lydia's letters are a little unbelievable. I don't know anyone who writes complete back-and-forth dialogue while recounting an event in a letter.Even though a couple small areas were bothersome, this is an extremely important story to write, to read, and to share. Glow is an incredible story that sheds light on the hideous greed of some companies who put profit above health, giving opportunity for brave people to sacrifice, and fight for what's right.Expected Publication: September 1st, 2017Publisher: Albert Whitman & CompanyI received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you Brandi from Flutter Communications, the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.More Review on my Blog :) http://amandadroverhartwick.wordpress...
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  • Dorine White
    January 1, 1970
    This book is told in two parts, present and the past. In the present, artist Julie discovers some old paintings in a thrift store that glow-in-the-dark. In the daylight, the pictures are normal, but when they glow they portray disturbing and gruesome images. Wanting to know more, Julie begins hunting through thrift stores for additional paintings. Her artistic love leads her on a journey to recreate the type of glow-in-the-dark paint the original artist used, but despite Julie's best efforts she This book is told in two parts, present and the past. In the present, artist Julie discovers some old paintings in a thrift store that glow-in-the-dark. In the daylight, the pictures are normal, but when they glow they portray disturbing and gruesome images. Wanting to know more, Julie begins hunting through thrift stores for additional paintings. Her artistic love leads her on a journey to recreate the type of glow-in-the-dark paint the original artist used, but despite Julie's best efforts she is unable to duplicate the results.In the past, we learn the story of three sisters, Liza, Lydia, and Charlotte Grayson. Liza is able to get her younger sister Lydia a job as a watch dial painter at the factory where she works. The job entails tipping a paintbrush between your teeth to paint the delicate numbers on watch faces for soldiers off at war. The girls working at the factory use the glow-in-the-dark paint to paint on body jewelry, decorate their teeth, even paint their walls. When Liza falls ill, Lydia begins to notice other girls at the factory with similar symptoms. Lydia tries to figure out what is going on, but as girls begin dying, it might be too late. Lydia does her best to stop their youngest sister from working at the factory, but every penny in needed by the family. The two stories converge at the end and several mysteries are wrapped up.My Thoughts-Holy Smokes! This book took my breath away. I had never learned about the Radium girls before (I received this ARC before the other Radium Girls book came out). I could not stop myself from turning page after page. I suspected what was happening, but the author does an amazing job of not tying up all the ends until the very end. The horror of the girls' bodies falling apart, of fake doctors telling the girls' they had syphilis, and of using radium as a medicine were chilling. I can not even begin to convey the emotions this author's work invokes.The characters are strong and relatable. Lydia is easily recognizable as a loving sibling. She is strong, determined and courageous. The emotional roller coaster that her character brings to the reader is noteworthy. Julie, in present time, is a fun character who moves the story along with investigations and a side romance. Her drive to figure out the glow-in-the-dark paint gets her in trouble and at the end of the book I had to take deep breaths. Plot is solid. The tension is high and never lets down. The interweaving of past and present is a puzzle of unsolved mysteries that the reader is dying to get to the bottom of. A true work of art. I give this book 5 stars! You will never forget what you read, especially since it is based on real life trials. The author gives more information at the end of the story that will leave you flabbergasted.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Albert Whitman & Company for an e-arc in exchange for my honest review.Earlier this year I read RADIUM GIRLS by Kate Moore which is a non-fiction book about the woman who painted pocket watches with radium during WWI. So when I saw this YA book also dealt with a radioactive plant, I knew I had to read it.In Glow, we switch back and forth between Julie and Lydia. Julie is a modern day young women who gave up her college dream in order to help her mother pay off debt Thank you to NetGalley and Albert Whitman & Company for an e-arc in exchange for my honest review.Earlier this year I read RADIUM GIRLS by Kate Moore which is a non-fiction book about the woman who painted pocket watches with radium during WWI. So when I saw this YA book also dealt with a radioactive plant, I knew I had to read it.In Glow, we switch back and forth between Julie and Lydia. Julie is a modern day young women who gave up her college dream in order to help her mother pay off debt, so they don't lose everything. Because of this Julie is sad, and her best friend Lauren who is still going away to college decides that she needs to go on a shopping trip to help lift her spirits. While thrifting Julie finds some paintings that she decides to get. She has no idea what they hold though and once she gets them home she realizes they have a mysterious glow.Which is when we finally get to meet Lydia a 16-year-old in 1917 who is working at the Radium Dial plant painting watch faces for soldiers. Her big sister also works with her and got her the job in the first place. But when the ladies start getting sick, and her sister is one of them. Lydia does everything in her power to help her get better. All while slowly making things worse because of the lies being told to her. Once she realizes whats really going on, she stops at nothing to save her little sister Charlotte and to make the company pay for what they have done.Personally, I would have liked more of Lydia's story, or maybe Julie actually working on her own to figure out what happened etc, instead of just trying to recreate the glow herself. Having said that though I did enjoy this book.Julie's story is one that while realistic, also got rather annoying at times with how she placed the blame for her choices on others instead of choosing to go to a different school while she saved to go to her dream one. I also really disliked how she treated Lauren, I get it you don't have money anymore, but instead of just pouting all the time, find cheap things to do etc., don't just shut your best friend out and then wonder why they don't come around. As you can probably tell I got pretty frustrated with Julie for most of the book. The ending did redeem her a little bit.Lydia's story is heartbreaking and one that needs to be told and while this novel only touches the surface of the horrors the radium dial painters went through, it's still nice to see it being the focus of a YA novel. The Young women at these plants changed things for everyone in the work force with work safety and compensations if you get hurt on the job, and while most of them never saw anything. They will never be forgotten.Blog Twitter Instagram Facebook
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  • Virginia McGee Butler
    January 1, 1970
    The books I like best set a really good story, or maybe two, in an authentic time in history. Glow by Megan E. Bryant, with its book birthday today on September 1, is just such a book. Chapters rotate between two teenaged girls. Julie’s story is told in narrative in the present day while Lydia’s tale is in letters to her soldier. Not only does Megan shift between the two girls with different styles of story, their distinctive voices in the telling reflect the period in which they live. Present d The books I like best set a really good story, or maybe two, in an authentic time in history. Glow by Megan E. Bryant, with its book birthday today on September 1, is just such a book. Chapters rotate between two teenaged girls. Julie’s story is told in narrative in the present day while Lydia’s tale is in letters to her soldier. Not only does Megan shift between the two girls with different styles of story, their distinctive voices in the telling reflect the period in which they live. Present day Julie has relationship issues with a father who has abandoned the family, a mother who needs her college money for debt rescue, a friend whose continuing plans for college inspire envy, and maybe a boyfriend. These become peripheral when Julie finds some mysterious art in a secondhand store which glows in the dark revealing an entirely different painting. She begins a trek to find out where and how it was produced and who the “LG” might be who signed these and other paintings she locates in her search. It is almost too late before she realizes the paintings themselves are placing her in great danger. Lydia, in the alternating chapters, tells her story in the letters she writes to Walter beginning on September 5, 1917. She and her two sisters become caught up in the excitement of making glow-in-the-dark watches. The reader will see where this is going long before Lydia does and will want to yell out words of caution. Like many books listed for young adults, this one captures the attention of an adult reader as well. The Author’s Note at the end gives a good capsule of the history behind the novel. For a more detailed historical account, I recommend a paired reading with The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore, which I reviewed on this blog on May 12, 2017.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this e-book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.This YA novel follows recent high school graduate Julie, who finds her college plans suddenly derailed. As she works two minimum wage jobs, she encounters a series of thrift store paintings. Each seemingly innocent painting hides a secret macabre scene, which only glows in the dark. She begins a quest to figure out how the artist made the secret scenes glow. Interspersed with the novel are letters written by L I received a free copy of this e-book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.This YA novel follows recent high school graduate Julie, who finds her college plans suddenly derailed. As she works two minimum wage jobs, she encounters a series of thrift store paintings. Each seemingly innocent painting hides a secret macabre scene, which only glows in the dark. She begins a quest to figure out how the artist made the secret scenes glow. Interspersed with the novel are letters written by Lydia Grayson, a young woman who works in a radium dial painting plant during World War I. I really liked that this novel introduces YA readers to the basics of what happened to the Radium Girls and a little bit about the effects of radiation. I think it is an excellent fictionalized account of an incident from our nuclear past. It is important to know that business is not always on the side of the employees, and ionizing radiation is nothing to scoff at. As an adult reader, I did have to suspend my disbelief to fully enjoy this novel. I found it hard to believe that someone who knows what strontium and europium are would not have immediately guessed that glowing paintings from this era contained radium. Even if she didn't her Luke the chemist should have known right away. Also, the handling of contaminated materials was inconsistent throughout the novel. I also do not believe that people put full dialog of their conversations in their letters. A lot of historical novels written in epistolary form fall into this hole. Would you write a letter like that, or would you paraphrase?
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    The story moved back and forth between Julie, from the present, who finds a painting that looks different when the lights are turned off. As an artist, she becomes obsessed with finding out how this was done. The past consists of letters from a young woman, one of the people who painted the numbers on watches using dangerous paints, to her boyfriend who is in the military. The letters become more upsetting as the book goes on, and we are given a glimpse of what life was like for the radium girls The story moved back and forth between Julie, from the present, who finds a painting that looks different when the lights are turned off. As an artist, she becomes obsessed with finding out how this was done. The past consists of letters from a young woman, one of the people who painted the numbers on watches using dangerous paints, to her boyfriend who is in the military. The letters become more upsetting as the book goes on, and we are given a glimpse of what life was like for the radium girls.The author did a good job of showing how the characters felt through their actions and words. She also set each scene with the little details that bring a book to life. As with any good book, there are a few characters that are a bit difficult to like, and some that feel superfluous, however, they do bring out different elements of the characters personality and I felt they were an interesting addition: One of these is Luke, a young college student Julie meets who really gives her much to think about as he has taken a different approach than she in terms of a college education. There is also Julie’s mother, who was saved from losing her house by her daughter’s giving up her college fund, and she doesn’t seem to want to work. These people let you see other sides of the main character.The book does make me curious about what happened in the past with the radium girls, and I plan to read the non fiction book on this subject. Overall, I thought the book was an interesting one on a topic I knew nothing about.
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  • Elizabeth Cole
    January 1, 1970
    Original copy of this review can be found at: http://www.nerdprobs.com/books/book-r...**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**When I requested this book, it was in conjunction with the book The Radium Girls that I had also requested. I was very interested to see how they addressed the issue when dealing with young adults. The other book was not for the faint of heart in some spots. While the cover of the book looked slightly childish I try to not “j Original copy of this review can be found at: http://www.nerdprobs.com/books/book-r...**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**When I requested this book, it was in conjunction with the book The Radium Girls that I had also requested. I was very interested to see how they addressed the issue when dealing with young adults. The other book was not for the faint of heart in some spots. While the cover of the book looked slightly childish I try to not “judge a book by its cover”.The story revolves around Julie. She is a budding art student who gives her mother her $200,000 school savings to save her from crushing debt and foreclosure on the house. Now in order to make ends meet she works two jobs. One at Bed, Bath and Beyond and the other at McDonald’s. She is scrimping and saving to pay her way through the art college of her dreams. So when she is thrift shopping with her best friend Lauren and comes across a painting she knows she has to have it. There is another painting and the owner offers to sell it as well for a discount but she doesn’t really think she needs it. That is until she goes home and views the painting in the dark of her room. Suddenly, the painting is awash with a glow. To her surprise and delight, there is a gruesome glowing painting underneath that shines through with an unearthly light. That night she decides that she HAS to go back for the other painting to see if that one glows as well. When she goes back, however, the owner has raised the price. When Julie does decide to buy it, she learns that there were multiple paintings but the shop owner only wanted the two she had in the store. Julie manages to find all the paintings. Julie then embarks on a mission to find out what is making them glow. She experiments with various paints and nothing seems to be the answer. Will Julie discover what is making the unearthly glow before it is too late?While this book was a good quick read, it seemed at times way to YA and at other times (the almost sex scene in the rain) much older than what I think of as young adult. My other issue was that the after an entire book of build up the answers were all in the last chapter and a half. The conclusion seemed rushed. If we had slowed down the book would have come to a nice end and I wouldn’t be left wondering what Julie decides to do. I do think choosing a storyline that revolves around Radium is an interesting choice for a YA book. It will make them curious to learn more about this substance and hopefully, open new opportunities for them to learn.
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  • Sascha
    January 1, 1970
    Earlier this year you may have heard about The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women about the women who worked in radium-dial factories. While I haven’t yet gotten around to reading that non-fiction account, I was intrigued by their story and when I was invited to read Glow by Megan E. Bryant, a fictionalized account of women working in a radium-dial factory, I gladly accepted.Glow is one-half contemporary young adult novel and one-half historical, epistolary, young adult nove Earlier this year you may have heard about The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women about the women who worked in radium-dial factories. While I haven’t yet gotten around to reading that non-fiction account, I was intrigued by their story and when I was invited to read Glow by Megan E. Bryant, a fictionalized account of women working in a radium-dial factory, I gladly accepted.Glow is one-half contemporary young adult novel and one-half historical, epistolary, young adult novel. It is eye-opening to see the lifestyles of two women of the same age, but different times, juxtaposed. In one instance, you have a young woman, Lydia, whose love is fighting in the trenches in World War I, working at a factory for a decent wage to help support her family, slowly coming to terms that the fascinating paint she uses could be deadly while another, Julie, works to save for college at McDonald’s where the danger is smelling like grease after work.read more: https://saschadarlington.me/2017/09/0...
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one. It struck me as clever and having a slowly gathering feeling of impending doom that made the story move at a great pace.I can sympathize with the arguments that Julie's life is unnecessary dramatic and that the historical half would have worked fine without intertwining it with the modern era. Historical fiction isn't particularly popular among teens in my library and I think twisting the story with modern drama accelerates the pace of the narrative and will draw in pe I really enjoyed this one. It struck me as clever and having a slowly gathering feeling of impending doom that made the story move at a great pace.I can sympathize with the arguments that Julie's life is unnecessary dramatic and that the historical half would have worked fine without intertwining it with the modern era. Historical fiction isn't particularly popular among teens in my library and I think twisting the story with modern drama accelerates the pace of the narrative and will draw in people who might not be interested in reading about the radium girls.Likewise, I too was a bit irked that Julie didn't connect the dots sooner, but in fairness I only knew about the radium girls from being a history nerd, it never came up in school at all. Nor in the science or art texts I read until well after college.
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  • Miss Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    ARC gr 7+ 1917-1918/present day Orange, NJ. The story alternates between 18 year old Julie in present day and 17 year old Lydia in 1917. Julie's dreams of going to college to study science or art are put on hold when she spends all her college savings to save her house from foreclosure. At loose ends, she finds a painting at a consignment shop and decides to buy it. At home, she discovers there is another painting that is only visible at night. The glow in the dark painting has a much darker the ARC gr 7+ 1917-1918/present day Orange, NJ. The story alternates between 18 year old Julie in present day and 17 year old Lydia in 1917. Julie's dreams of going to college to study science or art are put on hold when she spends all her college savings to save her house from foreclosure. At loose ends, she finds a painting at a consignment shop and decides to buy it. At home, she discovers there is another painting that is only visible at night. The glow in the dark painting has a much darker theme. Julie begins to hunt for other paintings by the artist in the hopes of discovering why and how she made the paintings. At first, Lydia is thrilled when her older sister helps her get at job painting watch faces with radium paint. But then she learns that other workers have been falling ill...
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  • Sunshine
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARE of this book on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions/thoughts expressed are my own.The beginning of this story we find our very modern narrator Julie bumping into a friend of hers, Lauren. We learn some back story involving Julie giving her Mother her $200,000 savings for college to save their home and that everyone knows that Julie can't go to college now.Deciding to hang out with Lauren, Julie finds herself in a thrift store and I received an ARE of this book on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions/thoughts expressed are my own.The beginning of this story we find our very modern narrator Julie bumping into a friend of hers, Lauren. We learn some back story involving Julie giving her Mother her $200,000 savings for college to save their home and that everyone knows that Julie can't go to college now.Deciding to hang out with Lauren, Julie finds herself in a thrift store and in awe of a work of art. She purchases the piece and brings it home. Later that night, she notices it is glowing and there is an inscription painted in French.Then all of a sudden we are taken back to 1917 and reading a letter written from a 16 year old Lydia to her just went to fight in the war sweetie, Walter. This letter tells of how Lydias' sister just got her a job at the factory and the conversation that led to that position being offered.Once the letter is completed, we jump back to Julie in modern times and she is ready to go back to that thrift store to purchase the second piece in the set!Julie is shocked at the imagery that appears when darkness falls. The depiction is not one of love like the first, but of agony and despair. Shocked but even more intrigued, she mentions the findings to her friend and they decide to go to the thrift store and ask the owner where she acquired these works. The girls leave a note for when the gentleman comes in to pick up his consignment earnings.The technique is hard to place. They figure that the glow must have been painted first then the painting on top, but they can't figure how there isn't some type of residue.A journal by the artist was among the work brought in and Julie purchases that too.We are then thrown into the past again through letters and discover more about the girl who had the dial painting position before Lydia. She is unable to work and has a festering wound on her face that won't heal.The story in present day continues on as a clue is found and followed up on.Mixing the modern with the classic, this novel weaves through the timelines and story lines brilliantly.There is a love interest set up for Julie and it's very sweet without being over the top.Lydias' sister begins exhibiting mysterious symptoms after breaking a bone in her leg. Then her teeth start falling out...I won't sugarcoat this, there are some truly horrific moments in this one. The details are shockingly sad and difficult to wrap the mind around the fact that this is all based on the true stories of The Radium Girls. The elements are all there and while these characters are fictional; the fall out of the radium poisoning is not.I am deliberately glossing over some of the story so as not to give everything away, there lots of twists and turns here, but this tale puts characters and emotions to the real life story of The Radium Girls and does so in a way that makes the tale come alive.It has been a little while since I have read a dual perspective novel like this and it was handled well. Sometimes it isn't clear where the "jumps" in time occur in novels like this, but thankfully this one did not have that issue.I will note that I always have liked stories that don't neatly tie everything up. Life isn't like that. It's nice to see that sometimes (depending on the content of course; it isn't the best when there are huge things left open or plot holes with no promise of a sequel) and I appreciated that here.Whether or not you are familiar with The Radium Girls story, check this one out for the story itself as it is very well done.I referenced this work on my channel on 4/12:YouTubeRead about other books I have reviewed here:Blog
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Full of haunting details and emotion. This book will grab you from the start and transport you right alongside the Radium Girls. I couldn't put it down! I was so fascinated and disturbed that before I knew it the time was midnight. Perfect for young adults looking for a bit of romance alongside little known historical events. The Radium Girls will stay with you long after you put this down. Their story deserves to be known, and this is a fantastic fictional adaptation to engage readers to look f Full of haunting details and emotion. This book will grab you from the start and transport you right alongside the Radium Girls. I couldn't put it down! I was so fascinated and disturbed that before I knew it the time was midnight. Perfect for young adults looking for a bit of romance alongside little known historical events. The Radium Girls will stay with you long after you put this down. Their story deserves to be known, and this is a fantastic fictional adaptation to engage readers to look further into the historic events.
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  • alex
    January 1, 1970
    i read this after both seeing the play 'radium girls' and reading The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women. i would recommend the nonfiction book over this one, but this is an okay historical fiction introduction to the radium girls. however, even though the characters were late high school/early college age, the writing felt more middle grade to me.
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  • Lauren Sutherland
    January 1, 1970
    It wasn't a page turner in the sense of thrill, but I couldn't stop reading until Julie uncovered the truth of The Radium Girls. Knowing that the dial painters were unrighteously exposed to such a substance made you want their story told just as much as Julie wanted to understand the paintings and the lives left behind.
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  • Geri Katz
    January 1, 1970
    I love the true story of the Radium Girls and their fight for workplace safety as they sped toward death from radiation poisoning. This fictional telling of the story was compelling and kept me wishing this book had been around when I was a YA.
  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. ARC review to come
  • Tara Caillavet-Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing book.
  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    I am not one to read historical fiction books. For some reason I find it uninteresting to read about characters that live in past decades, unless of course the novel was actually written in that time (The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, etc.). However, Glow was fantastic and I truly enjoyed reading this story about the Radium Girls.Maybe I enjoyed it so much because reading about the Radium Girls was fascinating – I never learned about them in any of my history classes. It is horrible what I am not one to read historical fiction books. For some reason I find it uninteresting to read about characters that live in past decades, unless of course the novel was actually written in that time (The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, etc.). However, Glow was fantastic and I truly enjoyed reading this story about the Radium Girls.Maybe I enjoyed it so much because reading about the Radium Girls was fascinating – I never learned about them in any of my history classes. It is horrible what happened to the young women, who had no idea what painting the glow-in-the-dark watches was doing to them. I cannot believe the women went on for so long using radium to paint watches, and then having horrible things happen to them, yet no one would do anything about it. Considering the Radium Girls’ cases were one of the first reasons why we have workers’ compensation today, I can’t believe I never learned about them in any of my history classes.I love that Glow is told in a dual narrative, since it kept me interested in both girls’ stories. Julie’s connection to Lydia was interesting since she discovered her story through the antique glow-in-the-dark paintings made with radium. It is fun to read Lydia’s letters to Walter and then to read about Julie discovering paintings that went along with Lydia’s story. At some points, it felt like there were too many different elements to the story: Julie’s struggle to pay for college, her friendship with Lauren and Luke, Julie’s discovering of the paintings and desire to learn how they were made, Lydia’s love story with Walter, and of course, Lydia and her sisters’ work as dial painters. But somehow, Megan E. Bryant made it work, and it all wove together wonderfully. Glow tells the significant tale of the Radium Girls and that often in life, there are selfless people who give their lives trying to improve the lives of future generations. As Megan said in her author note, we remember the Radium Girls and how they fought through their struggles to change the future.*Spoilers below*(view spoiler)[Wow, that ending was beautiful. I can’t believe Charlotte was the artist of the paintings! I truly thought it would be Lydia, since we are reading her letters throughout the story. But now that we know it’s Charlotte, and after reading the poem that accompanied the paintings, I think it is so wonderful that it is Charlotte and that she had a desire to tell the story of Lydia, Liza, and all the dial painters.The novel sealed up well, with Julie finally attending college and choosing to be called Jubilee. But that ending sentence: what did she choose to do that night?! I need to know.And I also thought Megan’s author note was beautiful as well. Instead of spending pages talking about her life and all the people she would like to thank (not that there is anything wrong with that), she chose to use those pages to write about the true history of the Radium Girls and how their legacy lives on. We remember. (hide spoiler)]*I received an ARC from Albert Whitman & Company*
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