Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Heidi Schulz

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-nine authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Heidi Schulz

Heidi Schulz lies to children for fun and profit. She is the author of the New York Times Bestselling Hook’s Revenge, and a sequel, Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code, published by Disney-Hyperion. Bloomsbury Kids will publish her picture book debut, Giraffes Ruin Everything, in August. It was inspired by a childhood run-in with a rude giraffe.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

I was a voracious childhood reader, gobbling up everything on my local library children’s shelves from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to Little Women, but no books were quite as beloved to me as Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series.

A short list of reasons why Ramona Quimby’s life wasn’t fair:
● Ramona threw up at school in front of everyone.
● Ramona had to spend her afternoons being babysat by the dreaded Mrs. Kemp, who let Willa Jean get away with everything and Ramona get away with nothing.
● Ramona was caught in the middle between an older sister and a baby sister, and she never quite felt like she got enough love and attention.
● Ramona was ruled by her passions, no matter how hard she tried to be otherwise.
● Ramona was a pest, a show off, and a nuisance.

A short list of reasons why my life wasn’t fair:
● I threw up at school in front of everyone — in the class drinking fountain — and got scolded by my teacher for it.
● I had to spend my afternoons with Amy, whom my mom babysat each weekday from after school until after dinner. Amy was every bit as bad as Willa Jean (if not worse), but I always had to do what she wanted. Otherwise my mom would say, “Keep her happy, Heidi. We need the money I earn from watching her.”
● I was caught in the middle between an older brother and a baby brother and I never quite felt like I got enough love and attention — even when I was sure I needed it more than anyone.
● I was ruled by my passions, no matter how hard I tried to be otherwise.
● I was a pest, a show off, and a nuisance.

We certainly had a lot in common, Ramona and me, but most of all, we both were filled with a hungry, insatiable want. We wanted to be loved – adored even — and understood by those around us. We wanted our families to be happy and to not have to worry so much about things like “stretching a budget.” We wanted to go to Whopperburger, or some such place, and never — never, ever — be served beef tongue for dinner.

A medium-sized list of more things I wanted:
● I wanted my dad to remodel our house so I could jump from a hole in the wall out into the backyard.
● I wanted my mom to pay more attention to me.
● I wanted my last name to start with Q so I could turn it into a cat, with its tail hanging down, instead of an H, which just stood there and did nothing.
● I wanted my older brother to see me as more than a pest, a show off, a nuisance, and a tag-a-long — even if I often was all those things.
● I wanted new red rubber boots.
● I wanted a crown, not a headful of burrs.
● I wanted my teachers to see how hard I was working, and to tell me that I was doing a good job. No, a great job. No, THE BEST JOB.
● I wanted my own personal Yard Ape to stop teasing me on the bus. But to not stop noticing me.
● I wanted my family to stop fighting so much.
● I wanted…
● I wanted.
● I wanted —
● I wanted someone to understand me.

As one pest to another, I felt certain that even if no one else could Ramona would understand, and that made all the difference. Our young lives weren’t fair, but we would come out on top in the end.

And you know what? We did.

Three cheers for Ramona Quimby and show-off nuisances everywhere!

Title Giraffes Ruin Everything
Author Heidi Schulz
Pages 40 Pages
Intended Target Audience Preschool/Kindergarten (3 – 6)
Genre & Keywords Picture Book, Humour
To Be Published August 16th, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

An incomplete list of things giraffes ruin:
● Birthday parties
● Going to the movies
● Playing at the park
● Hide and Seek
● Everything else

But when our narrator finds himself in a ruinous situation, perhaps he’ll find giraffes aren’t so bad after all.

7 Responses

  1. I love your books, Heidi, and I loved the Ramona Quimby books SO much as a kid. It is the first series I remember reading and I read the first four books voraciously, over and over again. I wish I could remember how and why I related to Ramona, but all I know is that I loved those books and her. There’s a picture of me reading one of them at the beach 🙂 Ramona, Nancy Drew, and Junie B. were my childhood.

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Hi! I’m Jen! I’m a thirty-something introvert who loves nothing more than the cozy comfort of home and snuggling my two rescue cats, Pepper and Pancakes. I also enjoy running, jigsaw puzzles, baking and everything Disney. Few things bring me more joy than helping a reader find the right book for them!