Monday, March 14, 2016
The Age of Amy: The Thumper Amendment Book Tour
Title: The Age of Amy: The Thumper Amendment
Author: Bruce Edwards
Genre: YA Fiction
TEENS Win the Vote!
It’s an election year, and Congress has lowered the voting age to 14. Not one to refuse political involvement, 16-year-old Amy joins a campaign to elect the next U.S. President. Her goal isn’t only to see her candidate win, but to prevent his rival—an arrogant, profiteering sleazeball—from ever stepping foot inside the Oval Office.
Amy’s participation is also personal. The opposing candidate’s son viciously bullied her in the 3rd grade. Foiling his father’s bid for the presidency would be the perfect payback. But, there’s a problem. Her grade school offender has changed. He has grown into a kind and thoughtful (and cute) young adult. No longer able to dislike him, Amy’s hatred turns to affection. Is she falling in love?
Pinnacle Achievement Book Award, “Best Book for Young Adults.”
“Readers will appreciate Amy’s sharp wit and the overall comedy of political theater.”
“This book will be popular with those looking for a quirky love story with an exciting twist.”
--School Library Journal
“The author does a highly credible job of displaying the incredible cost of meanness.”
Bruce Edwards writes young adult fiction on subjects most YA authors shy away from. His award-winning The Age of Amy series explores unconventional topics—from the trappings of modern technology to the absurdity of Washington politics. Through fantasy and imagination, Bruce addresses real-world issues, as young readers enjoy a fun read.
Barnes & Noble
-- EXCERPT #1 --
With my new standing as the head “young politician” in town, I decided it was time to address an issue that was receiving national attention, and a problem I knew something about: school bullying. The way I saw it, kids being mean to each other was merely an extension of a larger problem. Meanness among adults had become so common on TV, in the news, and in politics that it was now considered acceptable behavior. If grownups could be openly mean to each other, why wasn’t it okay for kids to do the same thing?
It was a presidential election year when people are at their meanest. Every four years, Americans must endure an onslaught of beastliness:
TV attack ads,
Candidates criticize and insult each other in televised debates, and when the show is over, you’ve learned absolutely nothing about them—except how bloated their egos are.
Tolerating political corruption had long been considered a part of living the American Experience—until now. The presidential primaries were coming up, and the American people had had enough! So, new campaign reform laws were proposed, put on the ballot, and approved by the voters. From now on, no candidate or political party could throw their weight around to sway an election. No eligible voter would be excluded from participating. American democracy would finally rise from the ashes—for the voters had unanimously passed Propositions 7 and 18.
Prop 7 lowered the voting age to 14, nullifying the 26th amendment of the Constitution, which gave 18-year-olds the vote in 1971. For the first time, high school-age kids could vote in public elections, and have a real voice in shaping the country they would one day inherit.
Opponents of the proposition challenged its constitutionality. Legal arguments were heard all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices ruled that it was indeed valid.
Political candidates proclaimed the new amendment a victory for democracy, even though we all knew they would use it to finagle more votes for themselves. They reasoned that teens, with their limited grasp of campaign trickery, could easily be persuaded to vote in their favor. Even a new political party was formed that targeted teens:
The Awesome Party!
-- EXCERPT #2 --
Peter turned and bent over to close up his tool box. I checked him out while his back was to me. So far, I had only seen him from a distance. He was taller than I thought he would be. Under his oil-stained t-shirt was a fairly attractive build. My eyes lingered on his disheveled blond hair. My instincts were telling me, ‘Look away! He’s a brute! He’s scum!’ but my adolescent hormones were saying, ‘Hmm.’
“Is washing the bus part of your job description?” asked Peter, straightening up.
“Just trying to keep busy,” I said. “With Alan away all day, I was getting bored.”
“My dad had to fly off to a corporate meeting this morning, and won’t be back till late.”
I froze. I hoped Peter hadn’t confused my comment as being some kind of a come-on. The two of us were alone, with no Press around, and no Secret Service to chaperone us.
I dipped my sponge into the soapy bucket. My hand trembled, but not enough that Peter would notice. I stepped up onto the ladder, but holding the sponge in one hand, and the hose in the other, I started to lose my footing.
“Here,” said Peter, “let me help you with that.”
“No-no,” I said. “I can do—”
But before I could finish my sentence, his hands were around my waist, as he hoisted me up to the first step.
“Thank you,” I said. I must have been blushing.
“You know what?” said Peter. “I have something to make your job a lot easier.” He went into his own bus and came back with one of those car-washing gizmos that jets out soapy water through a nozzle. He attached it to the end of the hose.
“Why don’t you relax,” he said. “I’ll do this for you. It’ll go quick.”
While Peter was being the perfect gentleman, I still had my doubts about his sincerity. But I would worry about that later. For now, I could relax while he did my dirty work for me.
It was now early afternoon, and the day was warming up. So while Peter spray-washed the bus, I brought out two chairs and set them in a nice, shady spot. I made up two, tall glasses of ice-cold lemonade. After he finished with the bus, I figured Peter and I would . . .
What was I doing? Okay, he was polite and a pretty good looker, but how could I have so easily forgotten what he did to me all those years ago? Had he changed that much? I had to find out.
-- EXCERPT #3 --
A thin shaft of dust swirled off to our right. Land spouts, we called them back in Shankstonville. It traveled in the same direction we were going, even matching the speed of our bus. Watching it helped to lessen the boredom of mile after mile of nothingness. Soon the dust column grew wider, taller, and darker. It was still a good way off, and didn’t seem to pose a threat, until it suddenly made a hard left and headed straight for us! We were in the path of a charging bull that didn’t like us passing through its neighborhood.
“It’s a twister!” I said.
“Twisters are for the Land of Oz,” said Alan. “That’s a tornado!”
The bus rocked and swerved as the whirlpool of doom got closer to us. Alan was having trouble keeping us moving in a straight line.
“Can’t you go any faster?” I said.
The tornado was now as wide as a baseball field. It lifted off the ground, and I thought maybe it was fizzling out, but the dust monster had other plans for us. It crashed down on top of the bus, like a wrestler body-slamming his opponent to the mat.
Alan pulled over and stopped. “Hit the deck!” he shouted.
I crouched down on the floor, covering my head with my arms like we were under a nuclear attack. The old bus swayed from the wild wind. Suddenly, I was overcome with a sense of weightlessness. Standing up, I looked out the window to see a bus-shaped shadow on the road below us. We were air-borne.
In the middle of a dirt field was a large patch of green. It was a town—no, a complex of some sort. Roads pointed outward from a central hub, like the spokes of a giant wagon wheel. I saw the tall, curving peaks of a roller coaster, and the outline of a Ferris wheel. Train tracks encircled the entire area. The words THEME FARM had been cut into a wheatfield, like those mysterious crop circles you hear so much about.
The violent wind that had tossed us around was now little more than a breeze, as we gently touched down.
“Well,” said Alan, “any landing you can walk away from . . .”