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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)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,418 Ratings  ·  251 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
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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.

Community Reviews

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Kyle
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

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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
Kribu
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
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Amber
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
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Bri
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
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Jack
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
Hayley Jones
DNF at page 164. As I gave up on it I suppose I should mark it as 1 star but I don't feel that it was a bad book, it just wasn't for me. I was so bored through the whole thing that the thought of picking it up just makes me what to do homework instead to be honest. The pace of the book is so slow that by 100 pages in the plot was only just making an appearance. I found there was far too much detail and description in this book, there pages and pages on landscape descriptions and the likes and di ...more
Beverly
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 13-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: indie next list/indiebound.org
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
Tiff
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
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Elly
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
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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.
Luvish
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.
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.
Rachel
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable and exciting! Looking forward to the sequel!
Lewis
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.
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.
Emma
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I different read, but really good.
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
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Grrlscientist
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
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Jayden Houghton
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good adventure and science novel.
Tyler-Ann Day
Aug 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Boring
E
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing!! Loved it!!
Bethany Thompson
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading this book and its sequel! Very well-written.
Brooklyn
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dudes.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tristan
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, drama
Reading challenge No. 41 was the one I was looking forward to the most as it asked me to read a book of an author I have never read before. So after a quick trip to the book shop I came away with Itch by Simon Mayo. And It has been an absolute pleasure to read.

Itch has been a welcome change of pace from the usual early teen/ young adult books in which the focus lays mostly on the fight back against a single evil entity or a bad guy establishment and getting the guy or girl. Instead in this book
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Rosie
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have never in my life chosen to read a book similar to Itch by Simon Mayo. Even out of all the novels I have read from grade school through college I do not recall a similar book that we were required to read. I have never chosen a book similar to it and if we were not assigned it in class I would not have chosen to read it. This I am sure is mainly because math and science are my two least favorite subjects since they are like Chinese to me. However, I am in some ways I am glad that I was re ...more
Jess Huhn
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Instead of sports, video games or any other interests common to 14-year-old boys, Itchingham “Itch” Lofte is fascinated by science, and has an unconventional collection of elements. Although Itch has trouble making friends due to this interest, he learns the value of his uniqueness when his elemental knowledge helps him escape troubling situations and protect a newly discovered radioactive element from hostile interests.

Author Simon Mayo effortlessly weaves scientific concepts into his story, i
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