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Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter (Itch, #1)
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Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter (Itch #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  659 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Thrills. Danger. And world domination. Itch is as action-packed and suspenseful as a middle-grade novel can get!

Fourteen-year-old Itchingham Lofte, nicknamed Itch, has an unusual passion: collecting specimens of every element in the periodic table. So what if that means he's had a few ... mishaps? But when he gets his hands on a suspiciously warm rock made of a new, previo...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Splinter (first published March 1st 2012)
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A couple of days ago I had no idea this series existed. I only found out about it when I saw Itchcraft by Simon Mayo on NetGalley recently, requested a review copy as it sounded interesting, and upon being accepted, realised that it was, in fact, the third book in the series.

So I sighed and went and bought a copy of the first one. (I should also say right away that I'll be buying the second one, too, and reading it.) And ... yeah, really glad that I did.

I should say right away that - as is the c...more
Ms. Yingling
Itchingham Lofte fancies himself an element collector, a past time which has lead to so many unfortunate explosions in his home that his sister Chloe is prepared with a fire extinguisher, and his mother eventually makes him take his collection outside. After he obtains some antique wallpaper from a dealer named Cake, he takes it to school. Unfortunately, his class spends the morning in the hot, damp green house, and the paper releases arsenic gas that makes all of his classmates sick and closes...more
This was a pretty good read about a boy named Itch who collects the elements of the periodic table and burns his eyebrows off and has accidents with his elements. It's only when he discovers a new radioactive element that bad people start to chase him for it. Can he outrun them and keep his friends alive, read this book to find out. I recommend this ya thriller to anyone who likes science and adventure.
Trudy Zufelt
I review a lot of children's literature on my blog so I know a good book when I read one. Itch is one of the best action adventure books I have read in years and will appeal to adults as well as young adults and middle schoolers. My original review as it appears on my blog, Boys to Books:

Itchingham "Itch" Lofte didn't mean to burn off his eyebrows. He also didn't mean to send his whole science class to the hospital with arsenic poisoning. When you take up a dangerous hobby like collecting elemen...more
Jul 07, 2013 Beverly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 13-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: indie next list/
With a name like Itchingham, a boy is pretty much destined to become a science geek, and Itch is just that. He has been collecting and studying elements since he was a kid. Itch is a very original story, but still sticks to the action thriller formula and has characters more interesting than in most adult action thriller novels. The suspense begins when an eccentric fellow collector gives Itch an unusual stone and a dire warning. Turns out the stone is so highly radioactive its levels can't be d...more
Chemistry is widely considered as one of the most difficult subjects to make exciting, but Simon Mayo, radio presenter of the BBC's Drivetime and Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, seems to have discovered the perfect formula for doing so: (explosions x noxious materials) ÷ sinister global corporations. And, utilising this winning equation, Mayo has penned his debut novel, Itch; the story of fourteen year old Itchingham Lofte who, whilst attempting to collect every element in the periodic table, co...more
Ian Kirkpatrick
Simon Mayo. You probably know him as a radio DJ and might remember that he took over the flagship Radio One Breakfast Show from Mike Smith back in the 80’s. You might also know him from his great 5Live afternoon show which included his verbal sparring with Mark Kermode debating the relative merits of the latest movies. Perhaps in recent years you’ve heard him as the Drivetime DJ on Radio 2, including the excellent Radio 2 Book Club. Well now he’s written a novel and quite simply it is a revelati...more
Apr 07, 2013 Nancy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I was never big on chemistry when I was in high school. I’ve even been avoiding it at all costs all through college. It’s safe to say that Itchingham Lofte, the main character in Itch, is my completely opposite… but I loved him anyways. What a great character! Itch was a collector. His goal was to collect every single element in the periodic table. That’s 118 for the people like me who had no idea. That’s a hefty goal. This is exactly why I loved this book, the plot and the characters were defin...more
Wow. Lets just take a moment to appreciate THAT cover! POW! Such an attractive design that will grab JF-YA readers of both genders. Their first question (and mine): What is an element hunter?

Itchingham Lofte is science obsessed. When he is not causing small explosions in his bedroom, he is tracking down elements from the periodic table. So far his growing collection has been stored under his bed but after losing his eyebrows in an 'experiment', Mum insists it is all bound for the shed.

After acci...more

Reading "ITCH" by Simon Mayo has really changed my perspective on how I view science. This book made me itching for more, a marvelous piece of work by Mayo. We follow the story of Itchingham Lofte, "Itch", and his epic adventures revolving around a single rock. When I started this project I was immediately excited when I read the back and seeing that there is an featured augmented reality animation app, the animation was truly fantastic a short snippet of the book, which part... well you're gon...more
I've been recommending Itch to a few older students who I think would appreciate the sciencey stuff but would also be able to handle the dead body stuff, because let me put this to you straight: this is graphic. Like, serious bloody violence, graphic description of group vomiting, detailed process of radiation poisoning - it is serious shit. Definitely age 14 and up, unless there are some hardy kids out there.

I think it is a cool way to get students thinking more about science in a hobby way rat...more
Adrian Thompson
This, the first novel by Radio presenter and DJ Simon Mayo, is simply excellent stuff. It's cleverly science--themed (Itch is an element collector) and manages to outline a lot of 'real science' along with a mile-a-minute chase plot. Clever plotting, interesting and mostly believable characters, and a unique premise add to the quality of the book - and if you've got an iPad or iPhone, don't miss out on the very clever app which you can get from App Store (search for itch book) - it's very clever...more
I read this because it was on a list of books preferred by boys. It was compared to the Alex Rider Series. I did not know much about it. As far as covers go, I think boys would like the strange, explosivish, black, green, and silver silhouette.

Interestingly enough, this is yet another English story! I seem to be on a roll. Itchingham "Itch" Lofte is a bit of a ninth grade nerd. He is not overly social with anyone except his cousin Jack (a female) and his sister, Chloe.

Itch's hobby is collecting...more
I picked up this book because of its amazing and fantastic cover. it held my two favourite colour schemes- fluro green and black.
And of-course it had things blowing up on the front cover.

I wont lie, I judge books by their covers and the title- and I know that you all do.
Its a subconscious thing.

However, this book totally ruined that theory- that books with amazing covers are amazing- because I swear my theory had been going perfectly for the past 14 years and now look.

Rachel  Brooker
The only reason I bought this book in the first place was because Anthony Horowitz recommended it on the cover....

I know the saying is 'Don't judge a book by its cover' but in this sense, I feel there's place for disagreement. If I wasn't for his words, "You'll be 'itching' to read,' I wouldn't have given it a go. SO glad I did!

At the start, I wasn't too impressed. The plot was slow, the characters not that amazing but by page 50 (or round about) I was absolutely hooked. HOOKED. Nowadays, it t...more
Sep 03, 2014 Luvish rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Luvish by: Jabiz Raisdana
Shelves: read-stretch
This is a really good book! It might seem a bit long but the plot moves really fast and is accessible for most readers. The language and content is also pretty easy to understand and most people won't have a problem with it. I really loved this book because it was about mystery and adventure that I really like and I also was interested in the science content. If you are interested in mystery, adventure and science fiction, this is a very good book for you.
Jabiz Raisdana
This book was not for me. I found it slow, predictable and mired in a boring plot with characters that I didn't care for. There is some adventure and science and it is pretty well written, but never feels like it goes anywhere. It takes a while to get going and then the climax and adventure scenes left me unsatisfied.

The whole time I was looking forward to finishing it. Curious what you think.
Thrills. Danger. And world domination. Itch is as action-packed and suspenseful as a middle-grade novel can get!

Fourteen-year-old Itchingham Lofte, nicknamed Itch, has an unusual passion: collecting specimens of every element in the periodic table. So what if that means he's had a few ... mishaps? But when he gets his hands on a suspiciously warm rock made of a new, previously unknown element, things really begin to explode. Soon, a malevolent teacher, an evil-doing corporation, and a top-secret
OK, I'm hardly in this book's target age range, but teenage / young adult fiction is often creative and fun, so I'm always happy to try.
The cover design is very clever. Was helping my teacher sister find some books for her departing 11 year olds and this one stood out. The promise of singed eyebrows and explosions hooked us! We were also delighted to discover it is mostly set in our home county of Cornwall too.

I enjoyed it. I suspect a few chemistry teachers will too, as it'll help them bring...more
Itchingham Lofte collects elements. The ones from the periodic table - good an bad. And, as you would expect, this leads him into some problems. Not content with almost blowing up his bedroom, he then proceeds to accidentally poison most of his class. But the main problems arise when he gets hold of a previously unknown element which is highly radioactive. Of course, bad guys want in on the find, which leads to Itch, his sister and his cousin involved in a cross-country chase.

I have always thoug...more
Ok- I want to make something perfectly clear fist- I did NOT finish this book, I made it to page 103(for some reason good reads doesn't want to admit i got farther in it) before I decided to give up. See, it's awesome that the author has developed this one of a kind character that collects elements of all things and jumps through hoops and all to get them, but the story didn't really immerse me- I was very distracted when reading it and little things too- I started to realize I was dreading when...more
Paul Charles
I'm definitely not the target demographic for this book, but it kept me engaged far more than much of my reading material. It has a good dose of action, confused relationships, and plenty of moments where you have no idea what's going to happen next. I came to the end wanting to read the sequel. In essence it's about a young teenager whose hobby gets him in a world of trouble, and he has to grow up fast and make decisions that will enable him to keep the world safe. He's an unlikely hero, but yo...more
Really enjoyable and exciting! Looking forward to the sequel!
Martin Landeros
It took me about 50 to eighty pages to get intersted in this book. I really thought I was going to iput it down. as the plot began to move I got intersted. Itch this teenager who likes science and has a hobby collecting elements and it ends up getting himself in situations that are pretty scary and tough. I really thought he wasn't that smart in the begging but I can see as the story moved on he started using his brain at the end. Overall the plot moved well after fifty pages. For characters was...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
This book is so different from anything else in the middle grade and young adult categories right now. It's really refreshing to read a book that is pure adventure. No magic, no aliens, no dystopian world. It is set in current day England and it is about a fourteen year old boy that collects elements from the periodic table.

It is such an original idea. Nobody has done this before, and I love the author for coming up with something unique. *Hugs to the author!*

Itch is an interesting character. On...more
Stephanie Ward
3.5 Stars

ITCH is an exciting young adult adventure that follows teenage science fanatic Itchingham "Itch" Lofte, whose science experiments and love of the elements has gotten him into more than a little trouble. When Itch gets his hands on an unknown rock and discovers a new element, his usual level of trouble escalates into real problems when an evil corporation comes after him trying to steal the rock. Itch must find a way to keep the element away from the wrong hands and keep himself alive in...more

Itchingham Lofte is a 14 yr old element hunter (at first I thought this was a fantasy/sci fi thing ... not so!) He collects the elements in the periodic table. He has an acquaintance named Cake that deals in exotic items and often finds objects that meet Itch's collection criteria. One day he sells Itch a rock that they think has small, safe amounts of Uranium in it, an element that Itch is extremely excited to now own. Soon they discover, however, that this is no ordinary rock - but a rock made...more
Michelle (Much Loved Books)
I had previously heard of Itch, and a few bloggers had recommend it, but I was hesitant to pick up a copy. Over the Christmas period Audible had an offer from the TV, you got two free credits by using a special code so I decided to pick up Itch and give it a try.
I had no idea what to expect from the author and I am pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised. The combination of a great narrator and a great story lead to a gripping 'read' that I did not want to stop. Even going to bed at night I ju...more
All-in-all a pretty interesting book with a good story and writing style. The author clearly did his research, which is even more impressive when he explains in an afterword that he came to science late in life. I do have a few issues, however, which took me from a 5- to a 4-star rating (although part of that wasn't just problems; the story didn't quite grab me as much as the books that get 5 stars from me usually do.

Problem 1) Inconsistency in Itch's collecting patterns. One of the first elemen...more
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