Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Up for Grabs by Michelle Mulder is a charming story about two siblings that embark on an epic mystery when they inherit their grandmother’s house. Frida and Zac have lived quite the adventure, traveling the world with no real place to call home or any family besides each other. Everything changes when the two siblings receive an inheritance from a grandmother they barely knew. Frida isn’t sure how to feel about the sudden family history presented before her, but her brother sees an opportunity to finance their plans. Frida explores the town that her grandmother called home and, in doing so, Frida begins to learn more about her while befriending Hazeem. The agenda of a sneaky antique dealer draws the siblings into a mystery their grandmother kept hidden.
Delving into their family history, the mystery deepens as Frida discovers a hidden painting and is drawn into shocking secrets. 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. Mulder explores the theme of family through various instances in the plot from the bond between the siblings to Pierre (who has watched out for them) to the relatives they’ve never met. At the core of Frida’s journey is her discovery of learning more about herself through the incredible history she discovers about her family. The town is a great base for this mystery to come to life, but it also gives Frida a place to call home. An important character in her journey is Hazeem who is a connection that grounds her to this town and gives her someone that understands what she’s experiencing. They make a fun team that investigates her family’s history and gives her the friendship that she needed in her life. 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.