Hanni and Beth in Braille

September 21, 2007 • Posted in book tour, Braille, Uncategorized by

S & SSeedlings Logo  The Braille version of “Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound” is here! I received my advance copy in the mail today! That means the “real deal” should be available to blind readers on October 15th, the same day the print edition will officially be released. This is very, very unusual.

Braille is so expensive to publish that “braile presses” usually wait until a book becomes a best-seller before putting it out in Braille. But here it is, already in my dirty little hands.

Okay, that’s a joke. I washed my hands before touching the new book.

The book is in a Print-and-Braille format. The contracted braille and print match line for line, with the print just above the Braille (no pictures).
I can tell you first hand, so to speak, that it’s “good Braille” = the dots are stiff, they stand up straight, They’re easy to read.

A little known fact about Braille: less than 20% of the 50,000 blind children in the United States are proficient in Braille. All too often, the “written word” has been inaccessible to kids who are blind, far easier for them to listen to books on audio or hear words on a computer screen equipped with a screen reader. Technology is cool, but how will these children ever learn to spell correctly? How will they know where to put commas, quotation marks, paragraph breaks and so on?

My children’s book publisher, Blue Marlin Publications, teamed up with Seedlings Braille Books for Children, a non-profit organization in Michigan that creates Braille books for kids who can’t see. Blue Marlin didn’t charge Seedlings a penny for the rights to publish the book in Braille.

Not only that, but Blue Marlin Publications is donating a portion of the sales of Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound to Seedlings so they can continue creating books in Braille for kids who need them. By producing Braille books for children, Seedlings helps promote “literacy for the blind,” providing visually impaired children equal opportunity to develop a love of reading.

With Safe & Sound available in Braille, I’ll be able to read it aloud at my presentations, too.

To find out how to order a copy of Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound in Braille, or to donate to Seedlings to help them create more books in Braille for kids, link to www.seedlings.org.

Laurie On September 22, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Thank you for the insight about children and Braille. I’m glad you provided Seedlings’ information. Now I’m anxiously awaiting my copies of “Safe & Sound.”
Give Hanni a hug for me.

Beth On September 22, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Thanks, Laurie – I’m eager for the print version to get here, too. Last I heard they are on a “slow boat from China.” I’m not kidding, the print copies actually were printed in China and are on their way now. Cross your fingers there are no typhoons…
And of course I’ll hug Hanni for you – that’ll be easy!

Eve On September 24, 2007 at 3:00 am

Hi Beth,

That’s great news about the braille edition! And I’ve been enjoying catching up on your blog stories — sounds like it’s been a busy month for you. I look foward to more wine and cheese stories from your European book tour!


P.S. cute photo of Hanni for the blog!

Beth On September 24, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for the compliments on Hanni’s photos, Eve – I have Joanna to thank for that. Joanna is an intern at Blue Marlin Publications, sh’es the one who makes my blog llook so snazzy. I’ll pass on the complimetns to her!
Am planning on blogging this week about my upcoming trip to Europe, so will hold all comments on that until I post. Since our trip is mostly to Poland, though, I have a feeling we’ll be drinking more Vodka than wine?!

Katie On September 25, 2007 at 1:22 pm

I’m calling my favorite independent bookseller RIGHT NOW to order a copy! You have opened my eyes to a new aspect of literacy….

Francine On September 25, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Thank you for advertising Seedlings Braille Books for Children through your blog this week. I run Blue Marlin Publications, and we are very proud to be working with such a worthwhile organization. I have not seen the Braille version of Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound, but I’m thrilled that it is ready for distribution. Have a terrific time in Poland and in vodka.

Beth On September 25, 2007 at 7:30 pm

Katie, I don’t think you’ll be able to order the Braille version at an independent bookstore, but, hmmm. Who knows?! give it a try, I’d like to hear the results. If you can’t get the Braille version at a local bookstore, though, they’re easy to come by at http://www.seedlings.org
Thanks for your interest in Braille.
Oh, and Francine: I sure hope I don’t end up “in” Vodka during my trip!

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