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Children's Nonfiction Business & Economics

Pocket Change

Pitching In for a Better World

by (author) Michelle Mulder

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Business & Economics, Environmental Conservation & Protection, Recycling & Green Living
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    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


Around the world, people are questioning consumerism, leaning toward more sustainable lifestyles and creating a whole new concept of wealth.

Until a few hundred years ago, people were embarrassed to buy bread in a store. Families took pride in making almost everything they owned. These days, many people take pride in buying as much as possible! New clothes, a speedier bicycle, the latest phone. If we've got money, someone can sell us a product that will supposedly make our lives better. But each year, humanity uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half Earths, and we're still not meeting everyone's needs.

What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbors and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbor can help you learn to become a bike mechanic—for free!

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, Forest of Reading Silver Birch Express Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection
  • Commended, The Nature Generation Green Earth Book Award - Honor Book
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection

Editorial Reviews

&quotTimely and engaging.&quot

Canadian Children's Book News

"An important and accessible book for growing communities."


"Its important message makes it a solid addition for group debates on social and environmental change."

School Library Journal

"Ambitious in scope and mission...valuable in its illustration of alternative models of commerce."

Kirkus Reviews

"The language is simple enough for younger readers to understand without oversimplifying the topics. Parents and other adult readers will probably be able to learn something new from this book too! The book also presents readers with activities that they can do and organizations that they can learn more about, allowing kids to help solve some of the problems mentioned in this book. Overall, Pocket Change is a surprisingly radical book which encourages kids to question why we live the way that we do, and empowers them to make a difference!"

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