'Creativity Conquers All' Book Recommendations!

By: Shanleigh Klassen

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

Creativity! Magic! Adventure!
Individually, these are all awesome. Together though? They create some of the best stories we’ve ever read!

Our July book is an incredible fantasy-adventure based on Indian mythology that will pull readers into a new world of imagination. This story is all about facing challenges, getting creative, and battling anxieties. At its core, our July title celebrates the power of creativity and the strength that can only be found by looking within.

We’re so excited to get your creative juices flowing with our ‘Creativity Conquers All’ theme, we thought we’d put together a list of book recommendations. These reads will not only fit our July theme, but they are the perfect inspiration for all you budding artists and authors out there. Who knows when creativity will strike next, so jump into these amazing stories and don’t be afraid to get inspired!

Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca
Text reads Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca. Image shows a young girl holding a cupcake, framed by desserts, stemmed flowers, leaves, and branches. Background is purple with a light pink cut-out oval.

Mimi Mackson feels invisible in her incredibly successful Indian American family. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming of becoming a celebrity chef. When Mimi befriends a mysterious new boy who helps her discover exotic ingredients for her baking, mayhem starts to creep into her family’s life. Mimi must figure out quickly the cause of all the sudden chaos before it’s too late.

Midsummer’s Mayhem is a contemporary-fantasy reimagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream that is just such a treat to experience. This is an absolutely scrumptious story that blends magic, family, and food together so easily, you’ll be hungry for more.


The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
Text reads The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell. Image shows a group of children in cardboard costumes (dragon, knight, witch, etc) in a cardboard turret. Background is a light blue.

In this neighbourhood, cardboard boxes aren’t just boxesthey’re costumes and castles, swords and shields, robots and monsters. They’re the building blocks for this group of kids to transform their block into a Cardboard Kingdom!

This colourful and imaginative graphic novel is an anthology of interconnected stories that are easy to get lost in. On the surface, you may think the narratives they’re playing out are just fun and games, but there’s an undercurrent of depth and reality that grounds each one. Be sure to also check out the newly-released sequel, Roar of the Beast!


Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
Text reads Inkling by Kenneth Oppel, illustrations by Sydney Smith. Imaged shows an inkblot with a smiley face, mostly black and turning to red, yellow, and blue towards the edges. Background is faded comic book panels.

Although Ethan’s dad is the artist behind a massively successful comic book, Ethan has not seemed to inherit those same artistic talents. And while Ethan is struggling with a graphic novel project at school, his dad has hit a blank wall for inspiration. But then comes Inkling, a colour-blob who simply rolled out of the pages of a sketchbook one day, and suddenly their luck seems to change.

With artwork by Sydney Smith, Inkling is an immersive read that celebrates the artistry and imagination of comics and storytelling. This is a deeply moving story with a lot of humour, heart, and magic that readers of all ages will absolutely love.


The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Text reads The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez, tagline reading Always remember to be yourself.. Image shows a young girl in a Blondie tshirt in mid-jump, holding a microphone in one hand. Background is bright yellow-green, with lightning bolts, skulls, records, a voo doo doll decorating the edges. Book has a silver Pura Belpré Author Honor Book medal printed on the cover.

Starting off at a new middle school is tough. But for punk-loving, zine-making Malú, it’s pretty much impossible to blend in—much to her mother’s disappointment. But if Malú has learned anything from the music scene she loves so much, it’s to be yourself! So Malú does exactly that, putting together a band with the other school misfits to fight for their right to self expression.

If you’re looking for a riotous good time full of fun art and Mexican-American punk rock, then look no further than The First Rule of Punk. Malú is a stellar character, full of life and ferocity, and the book itself is modelled right after the powerhouse zines that inspires her so much.


Story Thieves by James Riley
Text reads Story Thieves by James Riley. Image shows a girl in modern clothes holding onto the wrist of a boy in a cape, leaping into the glowing pages of an open book. Background is deep green, showing a castle and two dragons.

Owen is bored living his normal, ho-hum life where his only adventure comes from the pages of his favourite book series. That is until he witnesses his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. Owen and Bethany make a deal: Bethany will take Owen into his favourite series and in exchange, Owen won’t reveal Bethany’s secret. Only becoming the hero of this story is a lot more dangerous than Owen first believed, and he may now be forced to live through the final adventure himself.

This is the book for those of us who wished we could just jump into a book and join our favourite heroes on their adventures. Story Thieves is the first in a clever, action-packed series with a lot of emotion, and James Riley does a great job blending both the fun of the story with the harsh reality of what being a hero might really mean.


The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
Text reads The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. Image shows a young boy walking on a road made of Legos, city buildings on either side. Text is over a light blue background. A CORETTA SCOTT KING medal is printed on cover.

Lolly loves Legos and follows the instructions exactly. But in the wake of his older brother’s death due to a gang-related shooting, Lolly is gifted two enormous bags filled with Legos but no instructions. As events in Lolly’s life threaten to overwhelm him, just as with his Legos, Lolly must find his own path and his own way forward.

This beautiful story gives us a glimpse into the life of a young boy being forced towards adulthood before he should. Honest, real, and with a glimmer of light in the distance, The Stars Beneath Our Feet is not a story to miss.


Other books to check out:

Inkheart (Inkworld #1) by Cornelia Funke
Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava #1) by Roshani Chokshi
The Bookwanderers (Pages & Co. #1) by Anna James
Nightlights (Nightlights #1) by Lorena Alvarez Gomez


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