The Curie Society

MIT Pr. Apr. 2021. 168p. pap. $18.95. ISBN 9780262539944.
Gr 7 Up–Three college roommates learn to work together as they discover the power of friendship. But it’s a rocky road—the three Edmonds University freshmen couldn’t be more different. Overeager Simone, who is African American, started college at 15 and wants to prove she belongs. Rebellious, green-haired Taj, who is brown-skinned, prefers robots and circuits to people, while privileged super-student Maya, who is brown-skinned, staggers under the weight of her parents’ expectations and grapples with her entitlement. Though the three grate on one another, they must cooperate when they receive a strange invitation; deciphering the code, they find their way to an initiation test for the Curie Society: a secret organization dedicated to supporting women scientists. To succeed, the trio will need to use their scientific prowess and prove they can work together, especially since their first mission will pit them against rogue agents from the Society itself. In other hands, a story immersed in the STEM world might have sacrificed plot for educational content, but this is a well-paced adventure full of twists and a cast of strong, relatable female characters. Readers who want to explore the science further will appreciate the glossary and the appended biographies of female scientists.
VERDICT Budding scientists and fans of exciting graphic novels are in for a rollicking journey that stresses that women in STEM truly are better together.

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