Itch: The Explosive Adventures of An Element Hunter by Simon Mayo

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, 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?

Description taken from Goodreads.
I was extremely excited to get my hands on this book and was somewhat disappointed to find out that it was shelved as YA. When I read it though, I was happy to find that it really is a middle grade novel, and it is as it is blurbed–as action-packed and suspenseful as a middle-grade novel can get.

I loved so much about this book. From the action to the very deepest parts of the main premise, everything about it was intriguing to me. This is most definitely not one of those books and is science-fiction related and doesn’t really delve into that world as much as I would like. There’s lots of facts and even nice paragraphs of information that make Itch understandable while still keeping it’s complexity. What I really appreciated about that was the pacing. It never slowed down, and all the action kept me going even at the slightest waver of pace. The science doesn’t make the book heavy either.

Then there was Itch. While he wasn’t the most fun or clever protagonist I’ve ever run into, I liked him. I didn’t love the constant repetitive plotline of running from problems, I liked the quirks about him. What I really loved about the characters here was the supporting characters. They were funny, provided comic relief and well, they had to deal with Itch. Overall, a very fun, packed story. 4 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 432

Series: Itch


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