The Age of Amy: Behind the Fun Zone is the fourth novel in the “Age of Amy” series by Bruce Edwards. The Amy books put Amy, a rebellious and precocious teenager, into some fantastical scenarios. In the first book, she comes toe to toe with a farm animal that can manipulate time and space. Behind the Fun Zone is more sci-fi than fantasy, and puts Amy against a creepy new technology called the Jimmie, which implants cell phone technology into your head. Amy, who’s already averse to technology, is having none of it, and her aversion to the Jimmie is borne out when thousands of Jimmieheads suddenly disappear.
If that scenario sounds like it could happen, that’s exactly what makes this installment in the Amy series very effective. The “Jimmie” echoes the technology we have already and many people would line up in droves. With the Jimmie, people can make phone calls inside their head, film video with their eyes, text, even drive a car. It also gives the Jimmie corporation access to control what you see and feel, a terrifying dystopian idea that’s eerily plausible.
In addition to being a commentary about people’s addiction to technology, Behind the Fun Zone also covers issues of privacy and conformity that are an issue for people today. The novel could have been preachy, given its heady issues, but it is a fun and breezy read, made all the more satisfying because it asks so many important questions.