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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, previously unknown element, things really begin to explode. Soon, a malevolent teacher, an evil-doing ...
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, 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?
A 2013 Parents' Choice Award Winner: Silver Medal.
Cover and jacket flap feature augmented reality animations via a free downloadable Itch app!
“A great debut. You'll be itching to read more!” —Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Alex Rider series
“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 manner...” —The Guardian
Posted April 7, 2013
I was never big on chemistry when I was in high school. I’ve even been avoiding it at all costs all through college. It’s safe to say that Itchingham Lofte, the main character in Itch, is my completely opposite… but I loved him anyways. What a great character! Itch was a collector. His goal was to collect every single element in the periodic table. That’s 118 for the people like me who had no idea. That’s a hefty goal. This is exactly why I loved this book, the plot and the characters were definitely unique! What other 14 year old sets his mind on collecting all the elements? Not many.
I really liked that the main character was such an unusual protagonist. He was amazing. Itch was kind of strange and he tended to experiment in his room, which usually ended in disaster. I have to say that one of the best things about Itch was his sister. Unlike some other middle grade fiction books that I’ve read, Itch actually had a close relationship with his sister. They talked, bonded, and tolerated each other. I love sibling bonding in books, when it’s done right, and Chloe was an essential part in Itch. Chloe being in the book showed that Itch was not just all about science. He was a caring and attentive brother. I just loved that.
Itch was very much a family oriented book. Itch’s cousin, Jack, was also a big part of the book. Jacqueline, or Jack as she was called, was Itch’s only friend and though she didn’t feel the same way about chemistry and the elements, she did everything she could to help him every time he needed help.
Besides the amazing main characters, the plot of Itch was outstanding. The way that everything developed was great. I loved that the story line was not at all what I expected. A little problem turned into a massive catastrophe of a situation and I just could not turn the pages fast enough! The pacing was great and I loved how everything unfolded. It was very exciting and I found myself reacting to all the crazy things that were happening.
Another thing that I want to point out is that while Itch was the hero of this story, he had help from adults, which I thought was great. I don’t like seeing kids doing everything by themselves, sometimes they need help! The adults in the book were all pretty awesome too. Though there were a few that I would have liked to slap.
Overall, Itch was a great, great book. I loved it! I loved the characters, the plot, basically everything. It was fun from beginning to end and it was even funny. This would be a perfect book for middle schoolers and, well, just about everyone! Go read it.
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Posted October 6, 2013
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.
Posted September 20, 2013
Posted March 31, 2013
ITCH is an exciting young adult adventure that follows teenage science fanatic Itchingham "Itch" Lofte, whose science experiments and love of the elements has gotten him into more than a little trouble. When Itch gets his hands on an unknown rock and discovers a new element, his usual level of trouble escalates into real problems when an evil corporation comes after him trying to steal the rock. Itch must find a way to keep the element away from the wrong hands and keep himself alive in the meantime.
This was a really interesting and fun young adult science fiction adventure novel. Itch is quite an unique main character. You don't see many teenage science geeks as the leading male in books. He is quirky but really likable and has a strong sense of morality and courage for someone his age. The plot was full of action and adventure, along with science fiction elements mixed in. The writing was well done and had me hooked from the first chapter. I was eager to see how Itch would get out of his dire predicaments and what would happen next. The book was fast paced, but wasn't rushed - it was a great speed to keep readers engaged in the story and the action happening in the book. Overall, Itch was a great character that I would love to read more about and I'm eager to see what the next book in the series will bring! Recommended for fans of science fiction and adventure novels.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted April 22, 2014
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