I’m hosting a snippet today from YA contemporary “The Age of Amy: the Thumper Amendment”. Enjoy!
— EXCERPT #1 —
“Somebody help me!” I cried, knowing that my plea would go unheard over the clamor of school children at recess. Two large boys held my arms tightly behind my back, laughing as I struggled to get free. A third boy circled me, like a wolf taunting its helpless prey, his cold stare never leaving my face. Elementary school was supposed to be a wondrous place to learn and grow, to discover reading, writing, and finger painting. But for naïve school girls like me, we sometimes get more education than we signed up for.
The pacing boy stopped and faced me, then held a large, rubber ball up to my nose. “Looking for this?” he said. An out-of-bounds pass in a friendly game of four square caused me to chase the ball behind the cafeteria. How was I to know that I had wandered into enemy territory?
I took a futile swing at the boy’s shins with my foot.
“A real hellcat, we got here,” said the leader of the band of juvenile delinquents. Then he tossed the ball over a chain-link fence, where it was immediately flattened by city traffic.
A sharp pain shot up my spine, as the boys behind me pulled my arms back even harder. My shoulders felt like they would pop out of their sockets at any moment. “You’re hurting me!” I shouted.
The boy in front of me grabbed the back of my hair and pulled it down. My head lurched backward. I could smell the potato chips on his breath as he leaned into my face.
“What are those train tracks doing on your teeth?” he said, staring at my braces. I didn’t want to grow up with crooked teeth, so I agreed to have those ugly things put on. Now I was starting to wonder if I would live to see them taken off.
Then the boy’s eyes shifted to the charm I wore on a gold chain around my neck. Gold letters spelled out my name: AMY. It had been given to me by my grandfather, who taught me never to back away from confrontation. He also taught me a few self-defense moves that, had I not been restrained, would have my captors reeling in pain.
Clenching his fist around my charm, the cold-hearted boy yanked it clean off my neck, then tossed it over the fence, where it suffered the same fate as the rubber ball.
The school bell signaled the end of recess.
As the playground emptied, the boys that had held me captive released me, and ran off to resume their roles as elementary school students. Their leader remained behind.
I stood there, as the sound of children at play faded into silence. What had I done to deserve such abuse? I rubbed my neck where my cherished medallion had been, and wept.
“Tell anyone about this, little girl, and I’ll box your ears!” was the last thing that bully said, before he joined the others.
He was a 6th-grader.
I was in the 3rd.
About The Book
Author: Bruce Edwards
Genre: YA Contemporary
Congress has lowered the voting age to 14! Not one to refuse political involvement, 16-year-old Amy patriotically joins a campaign to elect the next President of the United States. Her real reason for participating, however, is much more personal: the opposing candidate’s son bullied her when she was a 3rd grader. Thwarting his father’s bid for the presidency would be the perfect way to get even with him!
Campaign reform laws now require presidential contenders to face off on a TV reality show. The “race” for the White House has become just that! Absurd challenges await the candidates as they speed cross-country toward Washington. But the campaign trail turns bumpy, when their buses take an unexpected detour into fantasy world! There they are confronted by half-human creatures, haunted by dead presidents, and rocketed into an economic dystopia of the future—all while being viewed by a worldwide television audience.
Amy is on board for the journey, as her grade school nemesis rides on the competition’s campaign bus. But along the way she develops second thoughts about avenging the boy. Her brutal offender has changed in the last seven years, becoming thoughtful and compassionate. (And cute!) Amy’s contempt for him surprisingly turns to affection. Is she falling in love?
Award-winning author Bruce Edwards is a former Hollywood film animator, and brings the whimsy of a character artist to his stories. A music major in college, he is also an accomplished musician and composer. His other creative endeavors include a stint as a puppeteer and performing magic at Disneyland. Bruce’s thought-provoking books for young adults are never short on fun, fantasy, and imagination.