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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)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,689 ratings  ·  271 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
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Splinter (first published March 1st 2012)
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David Humphrey A teenage boy who collects chemical elements comes across a very rare and potentially world changing rock and becomes hunted himself.

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3.96  · 
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 ·  1,689 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

So a novel about chemistry huh? Turns out it was pretty good.

Itchingham Lofte or "Itch" is fourteen and he collects elements. That's right elements Hydrogen, Helium, etc. From 1 on the Periodic Table up to 118. Now most of these elements are harmless but others, well, not so much. This has gotten Itch into trouble before. Like blowing up his bedroom and in the process burning off his eyebrows with his sample of Phosphorus. But when a rockhound friend of his sells him what he thinks is a small r

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
Ian Kirkpatrick
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Steve Fincher
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This was ok, I was at like 3.5 stars.It had an intro from Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz, probably because Simon Mayo has a radio show on the BBC and he has a section on books, its good he has Anthony Horowitz on a lot so he must have owed him.
Some have compared to Alex Rider and Jason Steed…. FAIL. Alex and Jason are much better books and more exciting.
This is ok but I started getting board with all the elements stuff it got in the way of the story.
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
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Keith (CHINNY) Chinn
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first heard about this book when my teacher read us a taster of it. Some people in my class went on to read the whole book and said it was brilliant so i decided to read it. Even though it is a science book you can read it even if you dont know the first thing about science like me. Itch was shocking, surprising and made me want to read more. I can't wait to read the next book 'ITCH ROCKS' and see if it is as good as the first. a good read! If you like books like Alex Rider or Jason Steed you ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Itch is an engaging young adult Fiction, mystery about a boy's peculiar passion to collect all the elements of the periodic table, his friendship with his sister and cousin, and the adventures they have as a result.

In the beginning of the novel we meet just such a child, 14 year old Itchingham Lofte, "Itch" who is interested in science. Well actually, it's more accurate to say that this boy is passionate about the Periodic Table. This book takes place in a little town called Greenville. Ever si
Nam Facchetti
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really good book, a lot of adventure and suspense.
Ben Roberts
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic idea for a book and such a rollercoaster of a story, loved all the characters, twist and turns and especially the fact that there were two more books so I can carry on reading.
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, science
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
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Adrian Thompson
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-books
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
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.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dylan Tsao
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
I didn't really like this book even after 100 pages. This book isn't my type of genre. The book is slow and it didn't catch my attention.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable and exciting! Looking forward to the sequel!
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very nice book. A bit slow to begin with but it does pick up. Not as good as the Alex Rider series but a good follow up book and hopefully the whole series.
Alex B.
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was a great book, but it got a little bit confusing at the end.
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I different read, but really good.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
3.4 stars. A good sci-fi book with a lot of action.

Itch has caused explosions with his elements before. But when an accident involving blowing off his eyebrows happens his mum bans the elements from the house. But taking them to school will be alright, won't it? Wrong. Then a load of events lead up to some very dangerous rocks in Itch's hands. Itch must protect them with people coming for them and get them to a safe place.

I really enjoyed this book, partly because it taught me so much about the
David Humphrey
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read Itch for a while as the premise of Simon Mayo’s first YA novel had a killer premise: A boy who is an element hunter ie. He collects all of the 118 chemical elements of the periodic table.

This is a great hook and after I seen it in my local library, I thought I’d give it a go. After a slow dubious start with a callously accidental Arsenic based gassing of his class mates (no deaths so its OK), Itchingham ‘Itch’ Lofte comes across an unusual rock that changes colour. It turns out
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I've read a book this good. Itch is a boy obsessed with the periodic table, and desires to collect every last element. While that may seem a strange hobby to some, to Itch it's fascinating and exciting; why aren't more people interested in learning like he is?

It turns out that some people are, just not in the way he expects them to be. When he is gifted a rock he believes to be Uranium, his life takes a turn for the exciting. With radioactive readings off the charts, ever
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-ya
The story kept my son interested, and he has now started collecting elements. He's going about it with a bit more nous than Itch, though, by actually learning about the elements, rather than being surprised when bad things happen, and having some rigour in what compounds are allowed.
I felt the book was hit and miss. Some good writing, but it could have sorely done with a decent editor. So many sentences with superfluous words - it could have been 80% of the length, with no appreciable difference
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Have you wondered how to pique your kids’ interest in science? Perhaps another child can help? In Simon Mayo’s Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter [Corgi Childrens, 2012], we meet just such a child, 14-year-old Itchingham Lofte — “Itch” — who is interested in science. Well actually, it’s more accurate to say that this boy is passionate about the Periodic Table.

The story begins with a “bang” (literally) when one of our young hero’s science experiments (with phosphorus) blows up
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 918
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Simon started work in Hospital radio and later became a Dj on BBC radio 1 and later on BBC radio 2.
His series 'Itch' is closely related to best selling series such as Alex Rider & Jason Steed. Also written by British authors.
Simon was recognised as the Radio Broadcaster of the Year at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards in 2008, and has won several Sony Awards for his work in radio.

Other books in the series

Itch (3 books)
  • Itch Rocks (Itch, #2)
  • Itchcraft (Itch, #3)