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Itch Paperback – 25 Oct 2012
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"A great debut. You'll be itching to read more" (Anthony Horowitz)
"Itchingham, a science-mad boy, is trying to collect examples of all the elements. He gets hold of a peculiar rock from a shadowy contact but some sinister heavies are also keen to get hold of it (and him) and he goes on the run in this gripping read" (Financial Times Books of the Year)
"An exciting and nail-biting thriller" (Booktrust)
"Amid the teenage intrigue and heart-in-mouth escapades there are sequin flashes of real science: reminders that physical chemistry really does make things happen" (Tim Radford Guardian)
"A cracking thriller which had me seriously worried our hero might not survive the story . . . A fantastic read for 13- to 16-year-olds, I've also got some staff who would enjoy this for a bit of 'R and R'" (Rachel Ayres Nelson The School Librarian)
The first book in the new action adventure series by BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
At its core, Itch revolves around the relationship of Itch, his younger sister Chloe and his cousin Jacqueline (Jack) as they cope with the problems associated with possessing a radioactive substance the world and his dog would do anything to obtain. And what a charming and absorbing relationship it is; despite being the youngest, Chloe is the most sensible of the trio and keeps her likeable brother in check as his escapades teeter on the verge of disaster. Jack brings an abundance of smarts to the dynamic, helping Itch see through his more risky moments with a tomboyish expertise. Mayo has written all three of the central trio brilliantly, and you can't help but wonder if some traits of his own children have contributed to the mixture.
As for the chemistry included, it's well measured, clear and undeniably fascinating; from learning how the household objects you own relate to the periodic table, to explanations of explosive reactions, there is enough here to justify Itch as an informative text without ever suffocating the exciting plot. I recently wrote a piece arguing that the Pokémon games successfully communicate biological principles to their target audience, and I think it's fair to say that Itch does the same for Chemistry.
Being set in modern-day Cornwall (and being a young adult title), a good proportion of Itch takes place in the central trios' school. Mayo has always been vocal of his love of the Harry Potter series and some of the disastrous goings on at Cornwall Academy echo some of the more memorable happenings in the classrooms of Hogwarts. However, whilst there was always the healing properties of magic to help smooth things over in Rowling's universe, the potential consequences of Itch's exploits are more serious, and this is perhaps the book's greatest strength: whilst tremendous fun, there is the constant, underlying feeling that the main characters in Itch may well be about to come to serious harm.
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!!!!!!!!!!!
Characters brill and he has got the age group in the characters off to a T (with all the current teenager language)
keep them coming Simon they are .....................
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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Most recent customer reviews
The main character in this book is a 14 year old boy who goes by the odd name ITCHINGHAM, ITCH for short.Read more
Unfortunately I think the publishers jumped at the chance to get something on the shelves with another reasonably...Read more