Check out this announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:

Beth Vrabel's THE BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE, in which a blind girl with albinism advocates for her future and faces her mother's depression by digging into her paper mill town's past, featuring a farting guide dog poser and a nippy albino squirrel, again to Julie Matysik at Sky Pony Press, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2015 (corrected), by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency.


I cannot wait to share this story with you! I love Alice and hope you will, too.

Friends and family will be quick to point out the from-life aspects, as I, too, grew up in a paper mill town and, while not visually impaired myself, I know quite a bit about visual impairments.

Here’s a bit more about the upcoming middle-grade book:



Life in Sinkville stinks.


Even worse than the putrid stench pouring from the town paper mill is newcomer Alice’s life since moving to the little South Carolina town. Here, Alice’s blindness and albinism stand out so much that her ancient Shih Tzu, Tooter, is mistaken for a Seeing Eye Dog.


Before Stinkville, Alice, age 12, didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life.  And life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville.


At home, Mom’s depression clouds everything, and Dad is barely around. Big brother James plots to make Alice and her blindness the ticket back out of town. As soon as he can show Mom and Dad that Alice can’t cut it on her own in sunny South Carolina, the sooner they’ll be back in Seattle.


But when her parents check into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Sinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself.


The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time.


A Blind Guide to Stinkville is a contemporary middle grade novel.