Touring In: Manitoba

Craft: Author

Genre: Non-Fiction, Middle Grade

Ideal Audience Size: 30-100

Maximum Audience Size: 90-120

Grades: Grades 4 – 6

Special Equipment: A small table for props and books, a chair, a projector and screen if the school would like the presentation to include PowerPoint. (For workshops only: a whiteboard, blackboard or flipchart, as well as pencils and paper for participants.)



Winner of the 2015 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature


Presentation Information

Who? What? Where? (Grades K – 2)

With props, a silly storyteller’s hat and a set of hand actions, Michelle introduces the children to the three main ingredients for a story: character (“Who?”), plot (“What?”) and setting (“Where?”). Then it’s story time, and children huddle in close to hear one of her picture books about the popular Halifax tugboat, Theodore Too. Students get to point out the story ingredients, and Michelle shares how she came up with the story and just how many people worked together to turn her idea into a book. This presentation is about half an hour and is ideal for groups of forty or fewer.


Hidden Riches (Grades 4-5 or 6-7)

Can you change the world with a bicycle, a shovel, or a dozen muffins? You might be surprised!

Michelle’s nonfiction celebrates creative ways that people look after the planet and each other. Her novels and chapter books feature kids who fight for what they believe in. In this session, students will steer the discussion in the “Hidden Riches” game, where simple tools (like those bicycles, shovels and muffins) can help create big change. We’ll talk about how stories are central to activism, and how we can make our stories grip our readers. In a fun, interactive way, we’ll cover: developing an idea, research, writing, narrative voice, and revision.


Beyond the Book Covers (Grades 4-5 or 6-7)

Where do writers get their ideas? How does a story become a book? Do writers make lots of money? In this session, Michelle takes students behind-the-scenes in the world of publishing.

We’ll travel from story idea to published book, stopping in many places along the way, including research, writing, rejection letters, editing, covers, and foreign language editions. Michelle will share some of her early drafts, red ink and all, and we’ll play the “Truth or Lies” game, which shows how a story can be written in many different ways—not only from different points of view but also as fiction or nonfiction. (Michelle herself hated reading nonfiction as a kid, but she now enjoys reading and writing both.) Sure, a story starts with an idea, but courage, determination, and believing in yourself are equally important ingredients as you prepare to release your story to the world.


Writing Workshop (Grades 5-6, adults)

Michelle comes to her workshops with games, ideas to brainstorm, a handful of writing exercises, and plenty of flexibility. Led and fed by the experiences and interests of the students, this session explores: inspiration, where to find it, and how to keep it; how to develop characters, plot and setting; and revisions. It’s all about having fun, the power of stories, and getting excited about telling them!


Book List

The Vegetable Museum (Orca Book Publishers, 2019)

Home Sweet Neighborhood: Transforming Cities One Block at a Time (Orca Book Publisher, 2019)

Going Wild: Helping Nature Thrive in Cities (Orca Book Publishers, 2018)

Pocket Change: Pitching In for a Better World (Orca Book Publishers, 2016)

Trash Talk! Moving Toward a Zero-Waste World (Orca Book Publishers, 2015)

Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home (Orca Book Publishers, 2014)

Brilliant! Shining a Light on Sustainable Energy (Orca Book Publishers, 2013)

Pedal It! How Bicycles Are Changing the World (Orca Book Publishers, 2013)

Not a Chance (Orca Book Publishers, 2013)

Out of the Box (Orca Book Publishers, 2011)

After Peaches (Orca Book Publishers, 2009)

Yeny and the Children for Peace (Second Story Press, 2008)

Maggie and the Chocolate War (Second Story Press, 2007)

Theodore Too and the Excuse Me Monster (Nimbus Publishing, 2011)

Theodore Too and the Mystery Guest (Nimbus Publishing, 2008)

Theodore Too and the Shipwreck School (Nimbus Publishing, 2007)

Theodore Too and the Too-Long Nap (Nimbus Publishing, 2006)



When Michelle was a kid, children’s authors were her superheroes. Imagine being able to write stories so vivid that they can transport readers to another time and place! Not surprisingly, Michelle studied literature in university. Between courses, she helped dig a water pipeline in the Dominican Republic and flipped burgers for a summer in Germany. After graduating, she set off on a 6000-kilometre bicycle trip across Canada, mostly on her own, camping along the way. Her first published writing was travel journalism, and she enjoyed many adventures in Peru, Bolivia, Australia, and Argentina.

Michelle’s first children’s book came out in 2006, and since then, she’s written books for kids about migrant farm workers, child marriage, bicycles, activism, water, garbage, guerrilla gardening, and more. She loves sharing the inspiring stories of people around the world who are doing simple things to make a difference in their communities. (She likes to experiment with their ideas in her hometown, too. After writing Trash Talk, she helped start Repair Café Victoria where volunteers help people fix broken household items. While writing Home Sweet Neighborhood, she got a few new ideas for her own neighbourhood, which now includes a book exchange box, a public garden, and the city’s first traffic-calming road mural.)

When not writing, Michelle can be found speaking at schools and libraries, riding her bicycle, foraging wild foods with her nine-year-old, or walking along the beach near their home in Victoria, BC.



Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World

  • Honor Book Winner for the 2017 Green Earth Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 Silver Birch Award

Trash Talk: Moving Toward a Zero-waste World

  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Red Cedar Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Silver Birch Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Green Earth Book Award

Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home

  • Winner of the 2015 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Green Earth Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Red Cedar Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Silver Birch Award

Pedal It! How Bicycles Are Changing the World

  • Winner of the 2014 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award
    Shortlisted for the 2015 Rocky Mountain Book Award

Not a Chance

  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Chocolate Lily Award

Out of the Box

  • Shortlisted for the 2013 Rocky Mountain Book Award

After Peaches

  • Shortlisted for the 2011 Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2011 Chocolate Lily Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2010 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize



“Thank you, Michelle! You were fantastic with the students. They were literally hanging on the edge of their seats the whole time. It was a wonderful experience for all.”

Barbara Scott, Waldron Mercy Academy, Merion Station, Pennsylvania


“Michelle delivered a varied and interactive presentation that had a challenging class of grade 4 and 5 students mesmerized.”

Kathy Inglis, teacher-librarian, South Park Elementary, Victoria, BC


“Michelle Mulder has been our guest the past two years and the children love her visits… She shares her manuscripts with the students, which demonstrates that the writing process isn’t linear. The students are immediately engaged … My group is an active class with a short attention span. Michelle captures the students’ imaginations, inspiring them to start writing themselves!”

Grade 4/5 teacher, VSIE, Victoria, BC