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Children's Fiction Multigenerational

The Vegetable Museum

by (author) Michelle Mulder

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
Multigenerational, City & Town Life, Recycling & Green Living
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Thirteen-year-old Chloë left her whole life back in Montreal, including her mom and her best friend.

Now she's stuck in Victoria with her dad and her estranged grandfather, Uli, who recently had a stroke. When Chloë agrees to help Uli look after his garden, she's determined to find out why he and her dad didn't speak to each other for years.

For decades Uli has collected seeds from people in the community, distinct varieties that have been handed down through generations. The result is a garden full of unusual and endangered produce, from pink broccoli to blue kale to purple potatoes. But Chloë learns that the garden will soon be destroyed to make way for a new apartment complex. And the seed collection is missing! Chloë must somehow find a way to save her grandfather's legacy.

About the author

Michelle is the author of several books for children, and she enjoys telling the stories of kids who seize life's opportunities. When growing up in Port Moody, British Columbia, her favourite spot was the library. She loved cracking open the cover of a novel, taking a deep breath, and jumping into another life.

At university, Michelle studied literature, and between courses, she helped dig a water pipeline in the Dominican Republic and flipped burgers for a summer at a McDonald's in Germany. After graduating, she cycled 6000 kilometres across Canada, became a travel writer, taught creative writing in the Arctic, and worked as a simulated patient for medical students to practice on. She also married the pen pal that she'd been writing to since she was fourteen years old, and together they traveled around his home country of Argentina.

Michelle began writing for kids because she's always loved reading children's books. These days, when she's not writing or going on adventures, she enjoys reading, swimming, baking, hiking, and pedaling her bicycle around Victoria, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and daughter. For more information about Michelle and her books, please visit her website at


Michelle Mulder's profile page


  • Nominated, Young Readers' Choice Book Awards of British Columbia (YRCABC) Red Cedar Book Awards
  • Short-listed, The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award
  • Commended, New York Public Library (NYPL) Best Books for Kids
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection
  • Commended, Ontario Library association (OLA) Best Bets

Editorial Reviews

"Scenes of Chlo&euml and her grandfather are poignant and realistic and might even spark some agricultural interest in middle-graders…the characters are warm, and the concept of seed vaults is made wonderfully personal. Families are complicated, but gardening usually isn't."

Kirkus Reviews

&quotAn engaging middle school novel about family relationships…There are powerful lessons about coping with adversity.&quot

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"A science or biology teacher could use this book…[it] does a good job of exploring the joys and importance of gardening."

School Library Connection

"The Vegetable Museum follows a family and its unique heirlooms—vegetable seeds from all over the world 'that all mean something to somebody somewhere.' It is a heartfelt story of family history, memory and food security—as engaging and contemplative as a sun-dappled garden."

Alison Hughes, Governor General's Award–nominated author of <i>Hit the Ground Running</i>

"A deeply satisfying story about family, friendship and the power of community."

The Globe and Mail

"In this story of family, friendship, loss, love, forgiveness, and hope, Mulder also introduces readers to the little-discussed topics of heirloom vegetables, seed banks, and gardening."


“This heartwarming story will engage and entertain young readers. It is well written and tells an honest story about family and relationships, and values.”

Must Read Literature: K thru 12

"The Vegetable Museum is not just a middle-grade novel, it is a testament to the power of a garden to bring generations together. It might even inspire some future gardeners! Mulder has created a love story for families, a tribute to the ability of seeds growing more than just plants. Wishing there had been more than 181 pages."

Resource Links

“A great story about the complicated relationships between parents and children.”

Kiss the Book blog

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