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The first book in the new action adventure series by BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo.

Series: ITCH
Itch, Simon Mayo

'A great debut. You'll be itching to read more.' Anthony Horowitz

Meet Itch - an accidental, accident-prone hero. Science is his weapon. Elements are his gadgets. All-action adventure perfect for fans of Alex Rider and Young Bond.

Itchingham Lofte - known as Itch - is fourteen, and loves science, especially chemistry. He's also an element-hunter: he's collecting all the elements in the periodic table. Which has some interesting and rather destructive results in his bedroom.

Then, Itch makes a discovery. A new element, never seen before. At first no one believes him - but soon someone hears about the strange new rock and wants it for himself. And Itch and his family are catapulted into a breathless adventure with terrifyingly high stakes . . .

The debut novel from BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $15.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780552565509
    Published: 02/01/2013
    Imprint: Corgi Childrens
    Extent: 432 pages
  • eBook
    ISBN: 9781446495414
    Published: 15/03/2012
    Imprint: RHCP Digital
    Extent: 432 pages
See All Reviews

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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 story is mad and fantastical and I loved it . . . It has literally everything I love in a good book - mystery, action, adventure, genuinely engaging characters and without knowing it, I've learned stuff . . . teachers will have a field day getting kids to read this. We'll have a new generation of mad scientists on our hands. Wait, maybe I shouldn't say that?" - Liz, myfavouritebooks blog

"A gripping and wholly enjoyable debut . . . I’m greatly anticipating the sequel" - Daily Record

"It's worth noting that ITCH is clearly the result of a man driven by a passion for his story, rather than a desire to be published. It's a genuinely thrilling and original adventure, with added sciency geek-chic . . . a great read and certainly worthy of its ISBN" - Helen Mulley, Teach Primary

"Mayo balances the high-stakes plot and serious reality of radiation posioning with an underlying absurdity, particularly the over-the-top nastiness of Flowerdew and his compatriots. It's n action-packed adventure with some chuckle-worthy moments, appealing protagonists, and a premise derived from plausible scientific theory. Readers will never look at common household objects in the same way again." - Publishers Weekly, Publishers Weekly

"A young boy who has a fiery curiousity and a love for the periodic table. A mad scientist bent on personal gain, no matter what the consequences to the planet. A new susbstance that pops up from deep beneath the Earth's crust, just in time to save the world—or destroy it. All these elements (pardon the pun) are what make Simon Mayo's debut novel, Itch a compelling, action-packed read.

The characters in the book are relatable and memorable. Itch and Jack, although smart and fun, are often bullied by classmates who don't understand their dinisterest in soccer (or in Itch's case, surfing). Anyone who is fascinated with science, particularly biocehmistry, will love the way the elements are intertwined in the plot. The book also has a strong environmental message, making the reader think about the consequences even the smallest decisions they make impact the planet.
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." -,

Simon Mayo

Simon Mayo

Simon Mayo is one of Britain's best-loved and well-known radio presenters. He has worked on BBC radio since 1981 and is now the presenter of 'Drivetime' on BBC Radio 2, which features the regular 'Book Club' show. He is also the co-presenter of 'Kermode and Mayo's Film Review' on BBC Radio 5 Live. In 2008, Mayo 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. To find out more about Simon and his Itch books go to