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by "NSTA Science
and Children"

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


¡También disponible

en español!


~ Winner AAAS/Subaru Prize for Science Picture Books ~

~ Winner Golden Kite Award ~

~ Winner Cook Prize ~

~ Winner Green Earth Book Award ~

~ Winner Jefferson Cup ~

~ Winner Oregon Spirit Award ~

~ Winner Storytelling World Award ~

~ Best Spanish Picture Book Silver Medal ~

New York Public Library Best Book of Year

Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

Bank Street Best Book of the Year

ILA Teachers Choice

NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Tradebook

Oregon Book Award finalist

Sigurd Olson Award (honorable mention)

Notable Book for a Global Society

 Junior Library Guild selection 

Tejas Star Reading List selection

KIRKUS ★ Starred Review ★


“A timely and fascinating look at what courage and focused, informed action can accomplish.”                                                                — ★ Kirkus, starred review ★

“A stellar bio…realistic while remaining hopeful.”      — Betsy Bird, FUSE8

“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."

— School Library Journal

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