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Oh, that magical world of childhood literature—just you and your favorite characters, in a world all your own. A world full of adventure! Possibility! Hope, dreams, and cutthroat PR instincts!

Okay, maybe not that last one. But here at Sheepquarters, we wanted to celebrate National Read A Book Day with a rundown of some of our favorite childhood books and the lessons we learned from them. These are the lessons that made us who and what we are today—a badass PR and marketing agency that’s LITERALLY at the top of their game.

Miss Nelson is Missing by Henry Allard and James Marshall
Miss Nelson is a lovely elementary school teacher with nothing but her pupils’ best intentions at heart. (It must be her first year of teaching.) Unfortunately, her class doesn’t realize how good they’ve got it, and they make poor Miss Nelson’s life a living H-E-Double-Hockeysticks. (These are children’s books we’re talking about.) However, when Miss Nelson is replaced for a week by the horrible substitute, Viola Swamp (who bears a VERY STRANGE RESEMBLANCE to Miss Nelson,) they realize how much they want good ol’ Miss Nelson back.

PR Lesson:
Whether you’re on the way up or looking down from Boss Mountain, appreciate those around you—the ones who help you get things done every day. Nobody likes to toil away without being appreciated, so you better RECOGNIZE. Or don’t be surprised if your contacts and coworkers turn into real Viola Swamps.

Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet. Oh, Harriet. She’s that rare child who knows exactly what she wants out of life—to become a spy. Each day after leaving private school, she travels her “spy route,” collecting stories and information about the people who live in her neighborhood, noting it all in her precious notebook. However, when her friends get a load of what she’s written about them, it’s a serious black mark on her social life.

PR Lesson:
The first lesson should be a no-brainer—take good notes. But beyond just recording what she sees, Harriet has a no-apologies approach to being herself, and to expressing it through her writing. The next time you’re pitching, don’t be afraid to inject a little personality! See things your own way! Develop a unique perspective! Be a spy. (But don’t go climbing into any dumbwaiters.)

The Monster At The End of This Book by Jon Stone
We’re ending with a beginner book because this one has the most important lesson. Lovable, furry Grover spends the entire book begging the reader not to turn the pages—because there is A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK. Children are basically masochists, and so the pages, as you can image, get turned. When you get to the end (spoiler alert!) it turns out that the monster is Grover himself! Whew!

PR Lesson:
Be fearless! Go forth! Identify people you’re afraid to talk to, and do it. Nobody is “out of your league.” Who do you really want to work with? Contact them today. We’re not saying you’ll never be scared when you break new career ground—we’re saying that if you’re not just a little bit scared, it’s probably not worth doing. Whatever you do, keep turning new pages. Trust us. If you’re brave, you can handle whatever is coming.

These are just a few of our favorites, and just a few of the lessons we learned from them. What were your favorite books—and how did they shape who you are and what you do today? Let us know in the comments! 

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