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NECC Chemistry Professor Publishes Debut Children’s Book

Submitted by on August 5, 2019 – 8:24 pm
Mike Cross holding his book in a science lab.

NECC Professor Mike Cross, author of “Francesca and the Genie of Science”

Try mixing the rhymes of Dr. Seuss and the enthusiasm of Bill Nye the Science Guy and you might have something that looks a lot like “Francesca and the Genie of Science,” a new children’s book by Northern Essex Community College’s own Dr. Mike Cross, professor of chemistry.

The book, created with the intention of inspiring young minds with scientific fun facts, covers the story of its title character, Francesca, and the microwave mishap that leads her to the Genie of Science and to a subsequent journey of growth and scientific inquiry.

A resident of Atkinson, NH, Cross says that the idea for the book resulted from his experience in reading stories to his own children.

“I have three kids and I’ve always loved reading to them,” he says. “After reading ‘Fox in Socks’ for the millionth time to my son, I thought of how much fun it would be for me to write a children’s book of my own.”

And so, with the help of illustrator James Goodwin, he set about doing just that, creating a rhymed 24-page story to entertain children and their guardians alike. The book, now available online, was officially published in June. Signed copies will also be sold during NECC’s annual Homecoming day on October 5, 2019.

Cross notes that all proceeds from “Francesca and the Genie of Science” will benefit the NECC Fund, which provides critical support for scholarships and academic programs on campus.

“I’m extremely grateful for the NECC Fund,” Cross says of the decision to allocate proceeds in this way. “Because of these funds I’ve been able to purchase the supplies that I needed to work on projects that have really helped my students…I felt that donating the proceeds of the book to the NECC Fund would be a good way to give back.”

The possibility of future publications is not out of the question. Cross is now working on his second book – a science fiction novel set in a dystopian future.

Mike Cross holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Utah, where he specialized in oxidative lesions in DNA and RNA. He teaches courses in chemistry and forensic science at NECC and is a member of the NECC Speakers Bureau, through which professional staff and faculty members have the opportunity to present lectures to public and private school systems, libraries, service clubs, and more.

NECC offers an associate degree in chemistry, physics, and environmental science. For more information, please visit