Ohioana Book Festival

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Lessons learned


“At my very core I’m just a Mom who wanted to lead by example and show my two children what it means to live, to truly live…”

What you didn’t see of this interview on WTVG for the incredible and humbling honor of receiving a YWCA Milestones award was what I said prior.

When asked what it meant to me to be recognized in the Education category, I replied that I was very humbled.

For although I’m not by title an educator (and have the utmost respect for those who are, including my daughter Kyle!), I feel as though I’ve been able to teach others through all that I am blessed to do. In my role as Claire’s Day Founder, Maumee City Councilwoman, and children’s book author, I’ve been able to share my wisdom.

The wisdom that came from reading books by bereaved parents, by listening to my peers on Council, becoming involved in the world of children’s literature, and learning what it takes to get published.

Most of all, the lessons I learned from all of you along the way.

Thank you for your guidance, your knowledge, your support.

You’ve helped me truly live.



Great review from School Library Journal!

School Library Journal

Gr 5–8—Rubini explores the life of Mildred “Millie” Benson, better known as Carolyn Keene, author of the “Nancy Drew” books. Readers will learn how Benson earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and wrote for the Stratemeyer Syndicate as a ghost writer under the pen name Carolyn Keene. She was tasked with writing a mystery series about an amateur sleuth and wrote 23 of the first 30 “Nancy Drew” titles. Benson also wrote more than 100 novels for young people under the name Keene and other pseudonyms. Rubini frames the story as a mystery, asking why, despite Nancy Drew’s fame, most people have never heard of Benson and tracking down clues and evidence to uncover more information about the life of this little-known author. Chapters are referred to as clues and given appropriate names (“Ghostwriter Appears: The Case of the Missing Ghostwriter”). Included are some of the “Nancy Drew” book covers, Benson’s awards and recognitions, and a chronological list of works she wrote. VERDICT A solid option for those interested in the “Nancy Drew” mysteries.—Minerva Alaniz, Texas Tech University Library


Great reviews for Millie!

My biography of Millie Benson is picking up some great press!

Check out these excerpts from reviews of Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist:

“Here is a biography intended for young people that may find its true audience among children’s literature history aficionados and—of course—adult readers who grew up on Nancy Drew. Rubini opens with the dramatic trial that established Mildred Benson as the author behind the pseudonym Carolyn Keene: “Millie” wrote twenty-three of the first thirty original Nancy Drew titles… The biography is eminently readable and well organized…Appended with an impressive wealth of back matter (“Extra Clues”) including a timeline, a chronological list of Millie’s books, a glossary, source notes, and an extensive bibliography.”

Horn Book Magazine, November/December issue. wwwhbook.com

“Digging into archives and the memories of surviving acquaintances as well as published histories, Rubini spins an account of Benson’s long and active life that throws a strong light on the source of Nancy Drew’s own admirably intrepid and independent spirit.…An enlightening peek behind the curtain for Nancy Drew fans.”

Kirkus Reviews

Missing Millie Benson is as lively and compelling as a Nancy Drew Mystery Story. For anyone who loves Nancy, getting to know the woman who first brought her to life in this wonderful biography is not just a treat but a necessity—an inspiration to young writers and sleuths alike!”

Melanie Rehak, author of Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

Hope to see you at my first book signing!

Julie Rubini book signing