Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Radium Girls by Cy.

Radium Girls by Cy.
Iron Circus Comics
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
ISBN: 9781945820991

In 1918, lucky young women looking for work might be hired at the watch factories, where they were taught to use their lips to moisten the brush they used to paint the radium on watch faces to make them glow. They became “ghost girls”, glowing about town as the life of the party,  but unknowingly ruining their health to the point of death with the radium infused paint they were using.

Their heartbreaking plight is drawn clearly on the pages of Radium Girls, contrasting against the joyous party life backdrop of the roaring twenties. The color palette and linework draw the eye across the page. While Radium Girls focuses on this specific situation, it speaks to early examples of the worker’s rights that are still highly relevant today. 

The quickness of the story and the beautiful artwork will hold teens’ attention for this important history lesson. Those who enjoyed other historical graphic novels such as March by John Lewis, or Ten Days in a Madhouse by Brad Ricca will find similar appeal here.

—Cathy Outten

Other Nominated Titles: 

  • Cat + Gamer, vol. 1 by Wataru Nadatani (May 24, 2022)
  • Hawkeye: Kate Bishop by Marieke Nijkamp and Enid Balam (May 10, 2022)
  • Lumberjanes, vol. 20: End of Summer by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh and Gus Allen (November 9, 2021)
  • Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez and Danica Brine (April 12, 2022)
  • Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit by Samira Ahmed and Andres Genolet (June 28, 2022)
  • The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories by Kate Ashwin, Kel McDonald, (April 5, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.