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© 2020 by Elizabeth Rusch

Mario and the Hole in the Sky

How a Chemist Saved Our Planet
Illustrated by Teresa Martinez

​How did a boy from Mexico City become a Nobel Prize-winning chemist who saved our planet?


Eight-year-old Mario wanted to learn all he could about chemistry. He examined everything under a microscope—from rotten lettuce to toothpaste.


As an adult, Mario continued studying chemistry—and discovered something scary. CFCs, used in millions of refrigerators and spray cans, were destroying the earth’s

protective ozone layer. Without ozone, deadly solar radiation would bombard our planet. Mario had to warn the world—and quickly.


This is the true story of Mario Molina, the Mexican-American chemist who brought the world back from the brink of environmental catastrophe. His inspiring story offers hope in the face of today’s battle against global warming.

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Date: November 2019


~ Winner Golden Kite Award ~

~ Best Spanish Picture Book Silver Medal ~

New York Public Library Best Book of Year

Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Tradebook

2020 Notable Books for a Global Society

 Junior Library Guild selection 

Tejas Star Reading List selection

Cook Prize finalist

Green Earth Book Award long list

KIRKUS ★ Starred Review ★


★ Kirkus, starred review ★

“A timely and fascinating look at what courage and focused, informed action can accomplish.”

Betsy Bird, FUSE8

“A stellar bio…realistic while remaining hopeful.”

School Library Journal

“Vibrant, imaginative illustrations convey the possibilities of science and the urgency of Molina’s discoveries and depict Molina’s interest from an early age. VERDICT An excellent addition to children’s nonfiction collections, and sure to be a great highlight of Hispanic Heritage Month biography collections."

¡También disponible en español!

Mario y el agujero en el cielo:

Cómo un químico salvó nuestro planeta