“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…. VERDICT A solid option for those interested in the ’Nancy Drew’ mysteries.”
School Library Journal
“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.”
“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
“Though this biography is written for young adults, there’s plenty to interest adult readers, especially the successful, albeit formulaic, system Edward Stratemeyer used to create so many young adult series. Rubini brings Millie’s world to life.”
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Growing up in Ladora, Iowa, Mildred “Millie” Benson had ample time to develop her imagination and sense of adventure. While still a journalism graduate student at the University of Iowa, Millie began writing for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which published the phenomenally popular Hardy Boys series, among others. Soon, Millie was tapped for a new series starring amateur sleuth Nancy Drew, a young, independent woman not unlike Millie herself. Under the pen name Carolyn Keene, Millie wrote the first book, The Secret of the Old Clock, and twenty-two other Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. In all, Millie wrote more than a hundred novels for young people.
Millie was also a journalist for the Toledo Times and the Toledo Blade. At sixty-two, she obtained her pilot’s license. Follow the clues throughout Missing Millie to discover the story of this ghostwriter, journalist, and adventurer.
Julie K. Rubini is the founder of Claire’s Day, a children’s book festival in honor of her late daughter. She is the author of Hidden Ohio, Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist, and Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller. But most of all, she cherishes her roles as wife to Brad and mother to daughter Kyle and son Ian. More info →
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Dorothy Mary Kamenshek was born to immigrant parents in Norwood, Ohio. As a young girl, she played pickup games of sandlot baseball with neighborhood children; no one, however, would have suspected that at the age of seventeen she would become a star athlete at the national level. The outbreak of World War II and the ensuing draft of able-bodied young men severely depleted the ranks of professional baseball players.
The author of the Hardy Boys Mysteries was, as millions of readers know, Franklin W. Dixon. Except there never was a Franklin W. Dixon. He was the creation of Edward Stratemeyer, the savvy founder of a children's book empire that also published the Tom Swift, Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew series.
In the third installment of our series Biographies for Young Readers, Nancy Roe Pimm gives us the life of Jerrie Mock, who in 1964 became the first woman to fly solo around the world. Mock, born in Newark, Ohio, received little attention for her feat, despite accomplishing what her childhood heroine Amelia Earhart died trying. Meticulously researched, Mock’s story as presented by Pimm is engaging, accessible, and packed with inspiration for middle-grade readers aspiring to adventure.
Long before she wrote The House of Dies Drear, M. C. Higgins, the Great, and many other children’s classics, Virginia Hamilton grew up among her extended family near Yellow Springs, Ohio, where her grandfather had been brought as a baby through the Underground Railroad. The family stories she heard as a child fueled her imagination, and the freedom to roam the farms and woods nearby trained her to be a great observer.