Monday, September 23, 2019

Mario and the Hole in the Sky & Free Download


I'm emotional because I've been listening to all the news about our amazing youth who are championing demanding action on climate change from political leaders around the world. I've listened to Greta Thunberg deliver passionate speeches and interviews, including today's speech at the United Nations. I've read about American Alexandria Villasenor, who at 14 is one of the youngest organizers of the global climate strike. And I've watch interviews with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, one of the young people suing our federal government in Juliana v. United States of America.

In light of all this, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to share this new book from Charlesbridge!

This post contains affiliate links.

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch is the biography of Dr. Mario José Molina, the researcher who discovered the horrifying effects of CFCs on our planet's protective ozone layer.


The book begins with Mario's childhood and how he became interested in science. It highlights his family's support of his interests, and then follows his journey into higher education eventually earning his PhD. 

And then the story focuses in on his research of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and his discovery of the damage they were causing to our atmosphere. It talks about his struggle to let the world know about the danger and what it took for people to finally believe him.

And it talks about his new concern - global warming - and how he has hope because he's already lived through the first environmental crisis and seen how universal action can happen and make solutions work.

This awesome book goes further to help extend the learning because it also has additional pages included to help kids, including:
  • an epilogue in the back of the book that talks about Mario's new focus: climate change,
  • pages dedicated to showing the surprising similarities between the ozone hole and global warming in an easy to read flow chart,
  • an entire section with books and websites to read about Mario Molina and the ozone layer, as well as books and websites for understanding about global warming,
  • a section listing things kids (and families!) can do today to use less energy and release less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere,
  • another section from the author dedicated to the research process,
  • and a timeline inside the back cover!
I mean, really. This book is such a treasure for families and schools! And I love that it highlights such an important figure in our world history: A Mexican American chemist. 

Elizabeth Rusch is a science writer who loves telling important, overlooked stories. She does a great job with this book.



And the illustrator, Teresa Martínez, is a Mexican artist. Her artwork in this book is very engaging for children. (It actually reminds me of early Disney movies - beautifully hand-drawn.) The illustrations make science come alive - chemistry at that! How hard is that for an artist?

And you know what the best part is? It's available in BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH! (See below.)


I love this book so much that I've created a free download with some easy comprehension questions for you to ask your child/student after they have finished reading the story. Yes, they are in English and Spanish so you can choose which one best suits your needs.


You can find these fabulous books (English and Spanish) on Amazon:

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