Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 6 and up
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Splinter (April 2, 2013)
Series: Itch #1
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Thrills. Danger. And world domination. Itch is as action-packed and suspenseful as a novel for young readers can get!
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 government agency are all after Itch. Can his science
know-how keep him one step ahead of everyone…and help him stay alive?
Cover and jacket flap feature augmented reality animations via a free downloadable Itch app!
About the Author:
SIMON MAYO is one of Britain’s best-loved and well-known radio DJs. He works for BBC radio, and in 2008 he was recognized as the Radio Broadcaster of the Year at the 34th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the Speech Broadcaster of the Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. ITCH is his first middle-grade novel, and he’s working on a sequel, scheduled for 2014. Simon lives in England.
“Chock-full of science, a strong young hero, and a plot that’s a roller coaster of
danger, Itch is a definite must-read for geeks everywhere.”
“You’d have to
work quite hard not to like Itchingham Lofte. . . amid the teenage
intrigue and heart-in-mouth escapades there are sequin flashes of real
science. . . the story [moves along] in a high-speed Hitchcockian
“A great debut. You’ll be itching to read more!”
—Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Alex Rider
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 the one hand, he is the brilliant
kid that gets bullied at school, on the other hand, he is brave and
adventurous. He is not a perfect character. He gets scared after
poisoning his entire class with arsenic and doesn’t fess up. He
constantly puts others in danger by keeping (and using) his element
collection in public places and around other people. Not to mention that
he involves his teacher, cousin, and little sister in his elemental mess. In
spite of his many flaws, I really like Itch. He comes across as a
believable fourteen year old boy with a weird hobby.
The adventure part of the book is well thought out, carefully planned,
and well executed. Flowerdew is fantastic. What an awesome lunatic. He
is unpredictable and rash. While the book is rather unbelievable (what
are the odds of a new element that will start a battle for world domination being discovered?), it comes
across as being a situation you could actually see happening.
The ending is perfect. I love it when an author finds a way to break the
mold of adventure novels and deliver something new. I am really looking
forward to the next book in the series. Some of the suspense gets lost
during the slower parts, but overall, this is a great book for middle
grade and young adult readers. It will appeal most strongly to boys, but
the girls will enjoy it as well.
1 Hardcover of Itch
Open to the US only
Must be 13 or older to enter