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Children's Fiction General

Up for Grabs

by (author) Michelle Mulder

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
May 2023
General, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Art & Architecture
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Frida wasn’t expecting to find much while digging through relics at her late grandmother’s house. But when she comes across a mysterious painting, family secrets, and a nosy auctioneer, she knows the real digging has just begun.

Frida and her brother, Zac, have lived in seven countries in ten years. In fact, they’ve been traveling for so long that Frida has never considered herself from anywhere — until they inherit their grandmother’s house in Victoria, British Columbia. Now they’re up to their ears in family heirlooms, paintings of dead relatives, vintage paper clips, and ceramic animals.

Then a nosy antique dealer takes an interest in her grandmother’s stuff. A big, sneaking-around-trying-to-break-in-to-the-house kind of interest. Is this strange neighbor looking for something specific? And will Frida and Hazeem figure it out before it’s too late?

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


  • Moonbeam Children's Book Award, Pre-Teen Fiction – General, Gold

Editorial Reviews

“This satisfying tale winds its way through art history and neighborhood intrigue with a reflective, relatable protagonist at its core …. A subtle page-turner that captures the youthful search for a tangible concept of home.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A satisfying mystery that explores friendship and family, art and home.”

Canadian Children’s Book News Magazine

“Michelle Mulder has a delightful writing style with a humorous voice, immediately letting you get to know Frida’s personality. The humor sets up a lighthearted tone while also striking balance in the story which focuses on the concept of family .… A great foray into a mystery for children, Up for Grabs blends a lighthearted tone and charming humor with family history, loss, and the concept of home.”

Readers’ Favorite

“Michelle Mulder has written a fun and very compelling story that young readers will relate to on many levels. It is filled with mystery and excitement and showcases problems kids of Frida’s age face with fractured families, an all-too-common occurrence. The writing is excellent and the dialogue is snappy and true to the ages of the characters. It’s nice to see a good, platonic friendship between a boy and girl this age. Don’t miss this sweet story.”

Seattle Review of Books

“Michelle Mulder has created a fun mystery that readers will be quickly turning the pages to find out the answers. Scattered with interesting art facts and beautiful scenery from the Canadian west coast, Mulder shares some of the history of Victoria, British Columbia, through local art history and twentieth-century photography.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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