Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet


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The true story of how a scientist saved the planet from environmental disaster.

Mexican American Mario Molina is a modern-day hero who helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s. Growing up in Mexico City, Mario was a curious boy who studied hidden worlds through a microscope. As a young man in California, he discovered that CFCs, used in millions of refrigerators and spray cans, were tearing a hole in the earth's protective ozone layer. Mario knew the world had to be warned—and quickly. Today Mario is a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580895811
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 171,430
Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Rusch is the author of several award-winning children's nonfiction picture books, including Volcano Rising, Electrical Wizard, and The Music of Life. Her highly acclaimed Scientists in the Field books include the Orbis Pictus Honor book The Mighty Mars Rovers, Eruption!, The Next Wave, and Impact!

When Teresa Martínez was a child, her family moved from a small town to the city. Drawing helped shy Teresa connect with the other kids at school. Now she connects with children across Mexico and around the world through the books she illustrates.

Read an Excerpt

Mario Molina was born in Mexico City on March 19, 1943. By the time he was six, the world was awash in amazing new products made from amazing new chemicals.
Spray. Spray. Mario’s mother misted perfume onto her wrist. Squirt. Squirt. Someone polished a window. Spurt. Spurt. A press of a button propelled cleaner onto a counter, paint onto a fence, and hair spray onto curls.
But one of the new chemicals, used in millions of spray cans and refrigerators, had a dangerous side that no one had yet discovered. . . .
“¡Feliz cumpleaños, Mario!” On Mario’s eighth birthday his parents gave him a microscope. 
Mario peered through the lens at a drop of water. 
 Boring, he thought. Then he began to wonder: What would happen if I looked at dirty water?
Mario soaked some lettuce and let it rot. After a few days the gooey, brownish-green mess smelled awful. Mario plugged his nose, sucked up a dropper of the filthy water, and dripped it onto a slide. He peered into the lens and gasped.
“¡Increíble! All these amazing creatures in just one drop of water!” Mario studied everything he could under the microscope: sparkling salt crystals, tomatoes, onions, chilies from salsa—even toothpaste.
Mario was itching to see more.
“Can I use this bathroom as a laboratory?” he asked his parents. “No one ever uses it.”
¡Dios mío! ” his mother groaned. “Sounds messy.” 
 But they removed the toilet for him and installed some shelves. 
  “Don’t blow anything up,” his father warned.

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