The last week has been very busy working with English teachers to match the more reluctant boys in their classes with books they might enjoy. It can be hard work sometimes but so rewarding when you have some success. We also had parent/teacher interviews over two days/nights. The English teachers stressed that the boys should be reading in a number of interviews so I had a chance to talk to the boys and their parents about what might be of interest to them. It was also interesting to see that many parents after looking at the books on display (many were military fiction and biographies/autobiographies out for ANZAC Day) had their boys borrow a book for them to read.
I was very happy to talk about books and reading when I didn’t have an interview of my own. One of the books I enjoyed last year was Itch by Simon Mayo. I read a review in a blog from the UK and bought it via my Kindle to read. The book was later released as a paperback that we now have in the library.
The main character, who has the marvelous name of Itchinham Lofte, is fairly ordinary 14-year-old who loves science and has one obsession, his collection of elements. His obsession puts him and his friends in a lot of danger.
There is plenty of intrigue and action with a bad guy, in the form of a mad scientist and a ruthless corporation with dubious morals laying claim to the new element Itch has in his hands. Is the element dangerous and did it cause the death of the mysterious traveler “Cake”? Itch needs to know more but who can he trust with his secret?
An action adventure with a science theme made this book a little unusual. The pace was brisk and the ending a good one. So, after believing you have poisoned your whole class with arsenic gas then going on the run from a your mad science teacher and to top it off almost dying of radiation poisoning, what adventures could there be to write about? There were a few big questions unanswered at the end of the book so there are enough things open for a follow-up story.
The book trailer for the novel was also great. Watch it below.
Now the second in the series has been published. I have yet to read it. I will have to finish off some other books this weekend before I get a copy to read. I will probable get the kindle version before getting a hardcopy as well for the library. We have boys who like the digital format, boys that will read the story whatever the format and others who prefer the traditional book.
There is again a good book trailer to whet the appetite.
by jane hewitt
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