Children’s book by UW–Madison alumna Gruener brings to life story of unsung hero

UW–Madison alumna Barbara Gruener is the author of a new children’s book, titled “Mr. Quigley’s Keys.”

Mr. Quigley's Keys book coverGruener earned her bachelor of science in education from the School of Education in 1984.

The book, which was written by Gruener and illustrated by Audrye Williams, brings to life the heartwarming story of an unsung hero.

“Adapted from the real-life story,” explains a description of the book, “’Mr. Quigley’s Keys’ invites you to walk in the work shoes of a beloved handyman as he quietly jingles through the hallways, listening for ways to serve and connecting by heart. Bask in the admiration and pride that the students feel for their Navy veteran, whose war injury left him deaf, and watch as his every move models the school’s keys to connection: love, perseverance, work ethic, empathy, goodness, and peace. Spend a birthday in the cafeteria and experience the joy of receiving a Quigley creation, then savor the sweetness as the can-doer classmates turn the tables to thank their faithful fix-it friend. Turn the final page for a key twist that’ll wrap you up in a huge hug of gratitude and love.”

The book has received praise for its inspiring message and for featuring a leading character who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Learn more and purchase the book at

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