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Children's Nonfiction Social Activists

How to Become an Accidental Entrepreneur

by (author) Elizabeth MacLeod & Frieda Wishinsky

illustrated by Jenn Playford

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Social Activists, Business & Economics, Careers
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Take a risk! Find your niche! Get to work!

How do entrepreneurs get ideas for a new business and how do they make their businesses thrive? What drives some entrepreneurs to use their ability and wealth to help others pursue their dreams and live better lives? Every entrepreneur has a unique story, but many share qualities that have helped them on their road to achievement.

In How to Become an Accidental Entrepreneur readers will meet almost 100 entrepreneurs, such as Stephen Spielberg, Victoria Kisyombe, Oprah Winfrey and Amit Goffer, whose work has made a difference around the world. These entrepreneurs and more used their financial prosperity to help the world by giving donations or setting up charitable organizations. Young readers will discover the fascinating stories of people who turned obstacles into creative actions that allowed them to start new companies and create jobs for others.

Praise for other books in the Accidental series:

★ “Engaging and thought-provoking, this book is a treasure trove of inspirational people and ideas." —Canadian Children's Book News, starred review

"With many geniuses included and a good deal of space devoted to illustrations, each introduction is limited in length but usefully concise. An informative overview with an upbeat look and a lively text." —Booklist

“This volume will ­inspire readers to conduct further investigation into the movements that excite them, and they might be spurred to stand up and make their voices heard.” —School Library Journal

About the authors

Liz is one nosy author, which is why she loves writing non-fiction. She’s very curious about why people do what they do, and likes sharing with kids the amazing facts and secrets that she uncovers.As a kid in Thornhill, Ontario, the idea of being a writer never crossed Liz’s mind—she figured most authors were already dead and they definitely weren’t Canadian. Besides, it was science that interested Liz.But writing was already part of Liz’s life. After dinner on school nights, Liz and her two brothers would trudge up to their rooms, close their doors and start to do their homework—or so their parents thought. A few minutes later, a piece of paper would come sliding under Liz’s door. One of her brothers had drawn a picture, usually of some weird creature.Liz really couldn’t draw (still can’t!), so the only way she could respond was to write a short story, often about a mad scientist or space alien. She would slip the story under her brother’s door and—well, not a lot of homework got done.At university, Liz studied sciences—there was hardly any writing involved at all. But after university, she was hired as an editor at OWL magazine, where she could combine writing and her love of science. But it wasn’t long before Liz had a goal: to write a book. Her first one was about lions and since then she’s written more than fifty others.Royal Murder: The Deadly Intrigue of Ten Sovereigns (2008) is one of her favourite books because royalty has always fascinated Liz. She loved going behind the scenes with monarchs from Cleopatra to Dracula to find out just what they would do to hold onto power or protect their families.Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries (2013) was the winner of numerous awards, including the Crime Writers of Canada 2014 Arthur Ellis Award in the Juvenile/YA category. Liz’s latest book with Annick Press, Galloping Through History: Incredible True Horse Stories (Spring 2015), combines, once again, her outstanding storytelling skills with her passion for history. This time her love of animals also shines through as she recounts the stories of six horses that changed the way humans live, travel, fight, work, and play.Liz lives in Toronto with her husband, Paul, and their cat Cosimo. While she writes, he is usually sprawled across her desk—often right on the book she needs for research!

Elizabeth MacLeod's profile page


Frieda Wishinsky
est l'auteure de plus de 40 livres pour enfants. Parmi les ouvrages déjà
parus, on peut citer, entre autres,

Ounga Bounga, Tu es méchante Lily-Ange!, Le sac à main de la reine,
Canada en vedette

et les romans de la série Catastrophe! Elle vit à Toronto, en


FRIEDA WISHINSKY has written over seventy books for children, including Oonga Boonga; You're Mean, Lily Jean; the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award winner Please, Louise!; the middle-grade series Survival, and the non-fiction books Explorers Who Made It . . . or died trying; Everything but the Kitchen Sink and Colossal Canada. Frieda lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband. Visit her online at

Frieda Wishinsky's profile page

Jenn Playford has over 20 years' experience illustrating creative solutions in the field of editorial, publishing, advertising and product design, and her work has been showcased in Communication Arts and How magazine. Some of her clients include Zoomer magazine, Food Illustrated (UK), the LA Times, Delta Airlines, United Way, Running Press, Klutz Publishing and Galison/Mudpuppy. Recently her illustrations have been animated into videos for the Royal Bank of Canada and Jenn grew up in Europe and Toronto, and her international experiences have greatly influenced her, along with a passion for design, fashion and books. She now lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her two children.


Jenn Playford's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection

Editorial Reviews

“Concise, intriguing...The text moves along at a good pace, and, illustrated with digital art and well-chosen color photos, the book has a lively look. An informative, potentially inspiring guide for kids with big dreams.”


“A must-add resource to any middle school classroom library. The ideas for project-based learning from this book are abundant. It is also a fun and informative read for any individual, child or adult who has an entrepreneurial spirit.”

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