Mr. Quigley’s Keys

About Mr. Quigley’s Keys

Adapted from the real-life story of an unsung hero, 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, gentleness, 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.

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. ~Jackie Robinson

Kudos for Mr. Quigley’s Keys


This beautifully-illustrated story is both cleverly written and full of life lessons that speak to heart, humanity, and empathy. It is an inspiring message and reminder that the “keys to connection” live within each of us, when we can step out of our shoes only to walk for another. ~Dr. Jodi Duron, Superintendent of Schools, Elgin ISD, Elgin, Texas

Mr. Quigley’s Keys is a powerful story about empathy, the glorious virtue that’s key to raising our children today. Every child craves connections like the one that these can-doer classmates share with their dear Mr. Quigley. I could feel the joy jingling through the halls as Mr. Quigley lives and models the twelve keys to connection, the greatest legacy we can leave in and for our children. ~Michele Borba, Ed.D., Educational Psychologist, Author of UnSelfie and Thrivers

This is a much-needed and beautiful book. A touching story of empathy, compassion, love, and gratitude. There is a multitude of ways that this book can be used as a story and learning tool. I appreciate honoring the memory of an incredible man, of a job that often goes unnoticed and of celebrating differences that make every person unique. Gratitude found in everyday moments is important and makes a greater impact when seen through the eyes and heart of a child. An incredible gift for kids, parents, and educators. ~Roman Nowak, HS ELA Teacher, Agent of Transformation, Author of Building H.O.P.E.

Mr. Quigley’s Keys is a heartwarming account of the beautiful relationship between one group of students and their unforgettable school handyman. The story depicts so clearly and simply the power of thoughtfulness and empathy to create extraordinary impact in the lives of others. Mr. Quigley, as described through the eyes of the children who adore him, is a memorable character to be cherished, respected, and modeled. The students in Ms. Pittman’s class serve as a wonderful example to children everywhere of how to appreciate caring relationships and how to replicate the kindness of others. I am thrilled to be able to share this dynamic and delightful story with eager students for many years to come. ~Toni Mullins, Primary Teacher, Content Creator (a.k.a. Teacher Toni)

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL in so many ways: School helpers, working together, being considerate, communicating in sign language, being loving, celebrating in a special way . . . I could go on and on! Mr. Quigley’s Keys has touched my heart on so many levels; every child in America needs and deserves to have this book! ~Dr. Jean Feldman, Veteran Educator, Speaker, Author

Mr. Quigley’s Keys will leave you listening for the sweet “jingle” of kindness and empathy in your own story. Barbara Gruener has captured the real sacrifice of an American veteran and hero, while gently giving us both roots and wings. Amazing. ~Dennis Lee, Ventriloquist Educator, Entrepreneur

Mr. Quigley’s Keys brings a certain level of both comfort and inspiration. Certainly we have all felt the anticipation of surprising someone and the joy that comes along with showing kindness toward others. Reading about Mr. Quigley reminded me of the Mr. Quigleys in my own life and the times that kindness has been shown to me. This book is a great reminder that while we can’t fix everything, we can still be there to feel things with people. That human connection is what life is all about. ~Cebrina Ramirez, Middle School Counselor, former Elementary Teacher

A rare find, Mr. Quigley’s Keys is loosely based on the life of my uncle Don, a man who was beloved because of his humor, his empathy, his kindness and his impeccable work ethic. He will be a wonderful example for any child, but especially for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As a deaf educator, I am thrilled with this book because children who are deaf or hard of hearing rarely see a leading character in children’s literature who is also deaf or hard of hearing. If a child grows up never seeing anyone like themselves featured in literature, it leaves them without a sense of self-affirmation, identity and self-confidence. When a deaf child sees a deaf adult as a main character in a book, it simply validates who they are and shows them that they can be a person who impacts the lives of others, just by being a kind, thoughtful, hard-working person. It also makes books more interesting to a deaf child and makes literature more appealing overall, creating a more motivated reader. ~Paula Pittman, PhD., Deaf Educator/Early Intervention Specialist


Can you hear Mr. Quigley’s Keys coming?