Letter Essay #3 The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter



Dear class,

About a week ago I finished reading the novel, The Explosive Adventure of an Element Hunter. This book is a 432 page book by Simon Mayo. It is part of a 3 book series called Itch. The author Simon Mayo is a radio presenter for BBC in britain and is one of the most well known radio presenter in britain. He has finished two other books in the same series, Itch. This is a science fiction book and was published in 2014. This book was recommended to me by the library teachers. I read the back of it and thought I would like it because it was an adventure book that had something to do with science and I love science.


A boy named Itchingham Lofte aka Itch is an element hunter. This means he tries to collect all of the elements of the periodic table. When his favorite element dealer Cake, sells Itch a heavy rock which he believes to be titanium things start to go wrong. Itch takes the rock home but the next day he finds that the rock is acting different that titanium should so he brings it to school for testing. It is unlike any other rock seen before with off the chart radiation levels. Itch soon finds himself in the middle of a hunt for the rock which is believed to be a new element, number 126. He has to escape from the bad guys and figure out what to do with the rocks not only for his own good but for the whole world’s good.


!Caution Spoiler Alert!

I like the idea of Itch being an element hunter. I am really into science so I can relate to Itch who also is really into science. I also think that him collecting all of the elements would be an awesome feat and it made me want to read on to see if Itch could really collect all of the elements. Also the fact that Itch had all of this stuff in in his backpack made it possible for him to escape using his elements. He lit an element on fire to blind his enemies and he also put people to sleep with a different element.


I don’t like how the author introduces the 126 element. I think that when Cake gave Itch the elements he should have known they were radioactive because he does after all trade elements for a living. Also the fact that he didn’t know made him die and I hate it when good characters die.  Even though even though I don’t like what he did,I know the author wrote it this way because it creates suspense thinking the element is safe then realising it is nothing like what it was thought to be.


One of my favorite parts in the book was when Itch dropped the bag in the well. I like how the author explained how Itch was keeping the place a secret from everyone and how the author hid the hiding spot from the readers for as long as possible. It was genius to connect the hiding spot to a story a teacher said, especially because that teacher was the original person who spoke to Itch about the rocks and helped him figure out what they were. Also when Itch was going to hide the rocks in the  well over 1,000 feet deep the didn’t think about how to get the rocks all the way down and I loved that he used his elements to do so created an explosion to push the rocks all the way down.


Page 2, “And from deeper still came a dark cluster of strange rocks, pushed higher and higher, forced through the fissures, stopping only when it met the cooler,solidified mass of granite that ran for miles like a ceiling-north, south, east, and west.

The cluster stopped there.

Half a mile beneath the man and his bathtub.



I chose this quote because when I first read it it made no sense at all and I didn’t remember it till reread the book to find a quote and now I realised how important this is. This quote is explaining the mystery of the book, where the rocks came from. It also provides insight that the book is going to be about important rocks so it is a foreshadow. I hope to use foreshadowing in one of my next writing pieces because I think it is a very exciting writer’s tool.

I rate this book an 8.5 out of 10.

-Sincerely Zachary Shortt

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