Happy Sunday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ETTA INVINCIBLE! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Reese Eschmann to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Published on July 12, 2022 by Aladdin
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram
A girl with hearing loss and a boy adjusting to life in a new country connect through their love of comics and get entangled in their own fantastical adventure.
Twelve-year-old Etta Johnson has Loud Days where she can hear just fine and Quiet Days where sounds come from far away and she gets to retreat into her thoughts. Etta spends most of her time alone, working on her comic book about Invisible Girl, the superhero who takes down super villain Petra Fide and does all the things Etta thinks she can’t.
But when Louisa May Alcott, a friendly Goldendoodle from across the street, disappears, Etta and the dog’s boy, Eleazar, must find their inner heroes to save her. The catch? LMA has run onto a magical train that mysteriously arrived at the station near Etta and Eleazar’s houses. On-board, they discover each train car is its own magical world with individual riddles and challenges that must be solved before they can reach the engine room and rescue LMA.
Only, the stakes are even higher than they thought. The train’s magic is malfunctioning and spreading a purple smoke called The Fear through the streets of Chicago. Etta and Eleazar are the only ones who can save the city, save Louisa May Alcott—and save each other.
What would you do if you spent the day with Etta and Eleazar? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
We would definitely spend the day in Chicago, where all three of us live! If Etta and Eleazar weren’t too traumatized by the train ride I put them through in the book, we’d hop on the El train and take the Red Line to the Blue Line in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. We’d visit Challengers Comics to pick up some new Spiderman stories, buy some books at Semicolon Bookstore, and eat ice cream at Jeni’s. Then we’d ride bikes along the elevated 606 trail and relax among the trees that live above the city. If we were feeling fancy, we’d finish the day eating pizza on the rooftop terrace at Etta, the restaurant I visited to celebrate my book deal and the release of Etta Invincible.
If Etta and Eleazar were to hang out with other fictional characters, who would they be and why?
I think Etta and Eleazar would love hanging out with Maya, Eli, and Frankie from the Maya and the Rising Dark Series by Rena Barron! They’re all kids from Chicago who have magical adventures and end up becoming heroes themselves. They’d probably all go to C2E2, one of the Chicago Comic Cons, dressed as their favorite heroes. I wouldn’t be surprised if some magical shenanigans went down while they were there, and it was up to the five of them to save the Con!
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
I would love to visit an air temple from Avatar: The Last Airbender! I think Avatar is possibly the most perfect show in existence, and the air temples always felt so magical and serene (before the Fire Nation came along, at least). I’d spend the day above the clouds, riding flying bison, eating egg tarts, and drinking tea with Uncle Iroh, if I could convince him and Zuko to visit.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
I would bury a memory card from my camera, filled with pictures of my family, my dogs, and my adventures. My camera is bursting with memories I’ll treasure forever, and I think future generations should get to see them as well! I’d also bury a book of my favorite recipes and some seeds from my garden. I don’t know how long the time capsule would be buried underground, but snickerdoodles and lemon squash are always good things to have around!
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
While researching trains in Chicago, I discovered that there are abandoned century-old freight train lines beneath the city. They’re smaller than regular subway lines and were built to carry debris and cable spools underground. The company that built them went under, and everyone forgot they existed for decades, until they flooded in 1992. Huge department stores and apartment buildings in downtown Chicago were flooded—and many people hadn’t even known that there were tunnels beneath their buildings! People tried to block the flooding with sandbags, stones, and mattresses, which obviously didn’t work (but it’s so Chicago that they tried, hah). Those tunnels and train lines didn’t make it into the story, and most were closed up after the flooding, but I think it’s such a cool, weird piece of Chicago history!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Etta Invincible?
I’m going to cheat and give you an example of each, since it’s so hard to choose!
“Maybe for me, being strong doesn’t mean being invincible. Maybe it’s just a heavy foot followed by a heavy foot followed by hope.”
Favorite Scene: When Etta, Eleazar, and Mariana punch the (spoiler) in the face!
Favorite Moment: When Etta’s mom is doing her hair in the kitchen during the opening scenes. Every time I read it, I think of my mom and I getting ready before school when I was a kid, and I can’t help but feel what Etta feels, “a warm feeling [spreading] from the hairs at the base of my neck all the way down to my toes.”
What do you think about Etta Invincible? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!