Tom-the-Atom is a series of 22 books by a local author in Apollo Beach.

By Gwen Rollings

It is not every day that a recently retired professor emeritus of the College of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University is also the author of 22 books in an ongoing comic series for children about Tom-the-Atom.

That is what Dr. MUM did. The Apollo Beach resident noted, “To be a good engineer or scientist, you need to be an acute observer and a curiosity seeker with a keen sense of completion.” She also believes you must find beauty in dark and light in deformation and perfection to keep a young spirit; it is important to think like a child.

Dr. MUM recently published a new book in the Tom-the-Atom series and promised that readers will end up knowing so much about chemistry that teachers will be surprised and parents and classmates will be amazed.

The series centers on Tom-the-Atom as he introduces his brothers, sisters and cousins to his new friends, Mary and Henry, who learn a great deal from Tom-the-Atom. They find out how everything alive and not-alive (organic and inorganic) in our universe is made of tiny atoms which, by shaking hands, form bonds among themselves to create molecules, compounds and all small and large things.

Book 1 only introduces the readers to Tom-the-Atom. In subsequent books, the readers will learn about the exciting world of atoms. When a concept is simple, it is introduced in a single book. However, more challenging concepts are introduced gradually in steps, with a partial explanation given in one book and followed up more completely in a later one.

By Book 22, the readers will be an ‘experts’ in chemistry. Dr. MUM enthusiastically supports the idea of teaching science to our children from an early age. This way children will enter school with an avid taste to learn about nature’s wonders and sharpen their observational skills.

Dr. MUM invites young readers to discover the secrets of nature and dig into nature’s microscopic world and into nature’s secrets. She hopes her series will help the readers develop a profound understanding of how nature, objects and man-made things are composed of atoms.

Information about Tom-the-Atom, for children grades kindergarten to fifth grade, can be viewed at

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