Margaret Mahy's stories, and most of the stories rekindled childhood memories.
Mahy wrote so many fantastic stories: "Bubble trouble", "The Lion in the Meadow", "Down the Back of the Chair", the list could go on and on. and indeed it does, Margaret was prolific writer producing over 120 books for children and young adults. My absolute favourite is the YA collection of short stories "The Door in the Air". I searched everywhere for a copy last month, and as it is sadly out of print I ended my search on eBay buying a used copy from the UK. It was totally worth it. The story's are as beautiful, and fantastical as I remember. I can credit Margret fully for my love of fantasy.
So it was surprise to learn she found recognition in America first, rather serendipitously, after being rejected by Kiwi publishers for not reflecting New Zealand enough in her stories. But eventually Mahy got the acclaim she deserved winning several of the worlds major prizes in childrens literature, including the Carnegie medal and the Hans Christian Anderson award. Despite this Margaret remained humble, friendly and approachable. I remember her visiting our small 80 kid primary school some 20 odd years ago, (ekk I'm getting old) to read to us. Pretty impressive as it was a wee country school that didn't get much in the way of internationally acclaimed visitors!
While Mahy sadly passed away in 2012, she is perfect example if perseverance, creativity and remaining true to yourself and your craft. Which I think makes her a pretty good hero for July.