Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet
This book talks about a boy named Mario who lived in Mexico City and who received a microscope for his eighth birthday. He was so intrigued by chemistry that his family eventually allowed him to convert their unused bathroom into a laboratory.
As he grew up, Mario remained interested in science, took extra classes in school, and conducted his own experiments. Mario discovered that the CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, used in refrigerators, insulation, and hairspray cans did not dissolve in rain or break down in sunlight. They actually go into the ozone layer, or the sunscreen of the Earth, and break it up. This was a terrifying discovery because the human race would die out if the ozone layer was destroyed.
Mario told the media about his discovery, but no one believed him until a British scientist took measurements of the ozone in the atmosphere and found an enormous hole over the Antarctic. It was a hole the size of the United States.
I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but it is a happy one! The illustrations are really fun and add to the story to help tell it. I recommend this book for science nerds like myself aged 7 and up.
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