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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for children
Being a children's book I got this for my young grandson to read when he visits but the synopsis on the cover sounded quite good so I read it first and it was a really good read.

The basic premise is that a young schoolboy, Itch (short for Itchingham), is a collector of items that correspond to the elements of the period table. He comes across a completely new...
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by Dave

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elements of surprise and action but there isn't quite enough
Itchingham (Itch) Lofte is about to become the most important person in the world. In his quest to gain all the elements listed in the periodic table, he unwittingly stumbles across something never seen before; a new radioactive element that could change the future of the world's current energy sources.

When Itch shows his rock to his geology teacher, he...
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by Book Addict


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for children, 24 Feb 2012
By 
Dave (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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Being a children's book I got this for my young grandson to read when he visits but the synopsis on the cover sounded quite good so I read it first and it was a really good read.

The basic premise is that a young schoolboy, Itch (short for Itchingham), is a collector of items that correspond to the elements of the period table. He comes across a completely new element and aided by his sister Chloe and cousin Jack (Jacqueline) try to fend off different groups of people trying to capitalise on Itch's `find'.

It is refreshing to read a book with no sex, swearing and gratuitous violence and Simon Mayo has done just that while keeping the story quite exciting and not in any way condescending to his younger readers. That is not to say this book is all sweetness as there are some terrible consequences written into the story line.

The touching relationship between Itch, Chloe and Jack, the school bullies (mild) and the pupil's natural instinct for good and bad all went into the pot to make this a well rounded story.

It is quite conceivable imagine this plot in a James Bond type scenario. Just add gorgeous girls/chases and fight scenes, Oddjob and Spectre.

I think parents can buy this book for their children with no qualms about it being unsuitable in any way. Roll on Simon Mayo's next book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Itch. - Calls for Early Nights for More Reading Time, 23 Feb 2012
By 
Alessi Lover "C.A.D." (Knightley UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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Itch finds the rock that no one else could and the amount of trouble it brings ...... More than enough to fill any teenage boy (or one over 10). Not going to tell how or that would spoil the book, but he does get into a heap of trouble and possible danger .... Chemistry.

Had a quick look through it myself and was somewhat impressed with what Simon Mayo has come up with, a book that would appeal to most over the age of 10.

Itch the main character is fourteen and is not your typical teenager, bored with computer games and the usual things teenagers do. Yes, he is a geek, but one that finds a rock compound that hasn't been found before. Lots of chemistry make ups, some of which I didn't understand but our youngest got.

He found it to be an entertaining read, but did keep asking who was 'Simon Mayo'. Yes, us adults know him but not as being an author of a book like "Itch".

Just look out for the main villain in it, one to be reckoned with according to our son,

A nice thick book to keep your child amused, it worked in our house, early nights just for the reading of "Itch".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and harmless teen adventure, 21 Mar 2012
By 
southcoastreviewer "perpetual student" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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As Mayo's Wikipedia page says, "think Alex Rider with Geek Power!"

Itch is a harmless, accident prone and refreshing hero for a book that seems squarely aimed at younger teenage boys. Think Flint Lockwood from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [DVD] [2010] and you'll be about there, but exchange gadgetry for a collection of elements.

In a world of zombie plagues and opressing violent fiction, Itch is a refreshing read that you should have no hesitation in buying for your youngster to read. Not too complicated, a good length, and well written enough that I would expect to see more in this vein from Mayo in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for adults and older children- fast paced and engrossing., 15 Mar 2012
By 
A. I. McCulloch "Andrea" (Co Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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This was a a bit of a surprise - not the expected foray into music or media from a well known DJ on a top national station but something very different.
Itchingham Lofte is a very unexpected hero, (or perhaps unexpected heroes are now the norm, post - Harry P. ), a quiet teenager, unsporty and bullied. Itch's not especially academically gifted but he has an absolute passion for science and particularly the periodic table of the elements.

Simon Mayo's deep love of Cornwall and deep knowledge of it makes the book realistic and enjoyable, dealing as it does with the highly improbable discovery of a new element. I loved the fact that one of the lead characters is called Cousin Jack, 'Cousin Jack' being the nickname for emigre Cornishmen.
Music does sneak in an appearance via Jack; 'Cousin Jack' is the title of a brilliant song by the band Show of Hands and one of the characters is described as wearing a Show of Hands T-Shirt. (Nice one.)

After some very realistic scene setting involving Itch's school, the tale really takes off and becomes a proper thriller - fast paced and page turning with nasty villains and tight, scary situations. It won't give nightmares, but realistically people aren't left unmarked by what happens to them. Radioactive materials are nasty and the book makes this very clear.

This book would be a great choice for any child who also finds it difficult to fit in through not sharing the enthusiasms that so many share in the playground.
The end is left open enough for a sequel whilst still being self contained; if this is the first of a series, I would love to read what happened next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 yr old daughter couldn't put it down, 17 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Itch (Paperback)
I bought this at my daughter's request after the author had visited her school. She absolutely loved it and had it glued to her side until she had finished it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ITCH: Element Hunter. A Boy's Discovery of a Lifetime, 2 April 2012
By 
Mr. William Oxley "oxenblocks" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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I enjoyed reading this story right from the beginning as my imagination was captured by the thought of how a young boy discovers a new element on the Periodic Table and what would happen next. The writing style of Simon Mayo made the story easy to read and spot on in terms of vocabulary for young readers.

The characters are great and the choice of name is one which just jumps out at you, Itch, short for Itchingham, is an inspired choice. Itch is a 14 year old science mad boy who is always experimenting in his room and he has already started collecting elements of the Periodic Table. He has an 11 year old sister and a best friend, his cousin Chloe. Together they will find themselves in unexpected and dangerous situations, and all because of a rock, a very powerful rock.

To me there really was only one negative and that was the drawn out ending which seemed to take too long to reach a defining moment. That said, this was an entertaining read of just over 400 pages in a good large font. I am looking forward to more stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for struggling teen boy readers, 14 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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This is a fast paced and exciting thriller style book firmly aimed at teen boys. I say this, because unlike some I have read, I would say that it is not a strong cross-over read. That really isn't a bad thing - this would be one of my top recommendations for reluctant readers as is moves quickly, has quick and snappy chapters, and is manly. Really. If your son can't be bothered to read, or is struggling to read, this book may just be your secret weapon!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An impressive debut, 2 Feb 2012
By 
P. M. Fernandez "exilefromgroggs" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
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This is a book which is being pitched into the territory occupied by characters like Alex Rider (Horowitz) and the Young James Bond (Charlie Higson). I did not have terribly high expectations for this book - I know a fair amount about science, and I read quite a lot of books. But in actual fact, Mayo has done a good job.

There is plenty of sound and interesting science - Mayo has done his research - the "discovering a new element" is handled more convincingly and with more authenticity than, for example, the "unobtanium" in the blockbuster film "Avatar", and that had a few fans! The dialogue is convincing, and the narrative carefully and realistically constructed. The slice of a Year 9 child's life - down to "Lord of the Flies" and photosynthesis - is authentic. Texting, Ugg boots and Facebook chat are part of their lives.

The inner life of the characters is not complex - but then, this is a book that is designed to engage young teens, I imagine - a rattling adventure story, with a bit of education which will hopefully provoke some interest in science. Completely satisfactory from that point of view, and I imagine my son will find it a good read too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!!!!!!!!!!!, 10 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Itch (Kindle Edition)
This amazing book had me reading non-stop and I love science so Itch was the perfect book for me. YEY!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would say that this book is for anyone who loves science and for all ages.
I'm 9 and me and my Mum have both read it and loved it!!!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Itching for more!, 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Itch (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. It was educational, and also fun to read. I read both Itch and Itch rocks, the sequel in the space of 3 days!
I would recommend it to people who like science :-) Age 11
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