Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE EINSTEINS OF VISTA POINT! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Ben Guterson to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!The Einsteins of Vista Point by Ben Guterson
Published on April 12, 2022 by Christy Ottaviano Books
Genres: Contemporary, Middle Grade
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When Zack’s younger sister dies in a tragic accident, his family moves to a small town in the Northwest to try and heal from all the pain. Eleven-year-old Zack blames himself for his sister’s death, and he struggles to find any comfort in his new surroundings. Vista Point is home to many mysterious landmarks: The great domed Tower casts inscrutable shadows, and what is the cryptic message in its ceiling medallion? There are several hidden watering holes and even a secret cave in the woods with messages written on its walls. Zack, at first, feels lost in Vista Point. Until he meets Ann, a girl who lives in the area and shows Zack all the special places to be discovered. But there’s something that seems a bit strange about Ann—and perhaps a secret she is keeping from him.
What would you do if you spent the day with Zack? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If I spent one day with Zack, the main character from my book The Einsteins of Vista Point, he and I would definitely take a dip or two or three in one of the swimming holes he and his siblings discover in the forest near their house. I love to swim in freshwater lakes or rivers, and the spots Zack visits to cool down on the summer days of the story seem like ideal places to pass the day. Zack would also need to take me to the Tower on the edge of his family’s property—I’d love to see the place and admire the view from its stairs.
If Zack were to hang out with other fictional characters, who would they be and why?
I think Zack might enjoy spending time with two Roald Dahl characters—Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James Henry Trotter from James and the Giant Peach. In the Dahl books, both Charlie and James are dealing with degrees of unhappiness or discontent in their lives, and then they are launched into new adventures that introduce them to broader, happier horizons. I think Zack would be able to relate to those two characters’ travails and triumphs and would probably like to share with them his own experiences—meeting an interesting new friend, discovering a mysterious medallion in the stone Tower, attempting to decipher a coded message flashed at him and his siblings from across the river, and much more.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
I might like to travel to the Kingdom of Wisdom, the land featured in Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth. I read Juster’s book when I was in second or third grade years ago, and it completely fired my imagination—it’s always lived in my memory as a very magical place. Some of the locations in the Kingdom of Wisdom are Dictionopolis, the Doldrums, and the Castle in the Air. I used to dream about all these places and was completely swept away not only by Juster’s imagination but by the fun wordplay and humor in his story. So—take me to the Kingdom of Wisdom!
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
A baseball, a CD of John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, and a copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire—three things I adore and examples, maybe, of great American contributions to the worlds of sports, music, and literature.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
As I was looking into various codes and ciphers (eventually settling on Morse code in one part of the book, and a sort of substitution cipher in another part of the book), I encountered several coding systems and historic artifacts I would have loved to work into The Einsteins of Vista Point somehow. None of them fit, as it turned out, but they’re all pretty interesting—examples include the Phaistos disk, the Voynich manuscript, the Ave Maria code, the Bellaso cipher, the Dorabella cipher, Sherlock’s code, and the SOE code. Lots of fun to investigate these, particularly for those who enjoy puzzles and mysteries! Look ‘em up!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Einsteins of Vista Point?
“Make sure the good survives,” is a phrase that comes up at a crucial part of the story and sums up a good portion of what the book might convey to some readers—so I’ll call that my favorite quote from the story!
What do you think about The Einsteins of Vista Point? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!