not a chance

Orca Book Publishers (Spring 2013)

* shortlisted for a Chocolate Lily Book Award 2015, and selected for Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2013 and Ontario Library Association Best Bets 2013

Dian has been coming to the Dominican Republic with her doctor parents for years. Now that she’s thirteen, she had wanted to stay home in Canada, but instead she is helping her parents set up their clinic and looking forward to hanging out with her Dominican friend Aracely. When fourteen-year-old Aracely makes a shocking announcement – she is engaged to be married – Dian struggles to accept that Aracely has the right to choose her own destiny, even if it is very different from what Dian would choose for her.

Fiction for ages 10+

ISBN: 9781459802162



[starred review] “Mulder’s spare prose neither makes light of a delicate issue nor paints it with a broad brush. Quietly perceptive and provocative.”

- Kirkus Reviews

“A fine novel about clashing cultures. Dian’s direct narration clearly establishes the complexity of life in Cucubano, and underlines the double-edged choices every character faces … ‘It would do us all good to quit trying to fix the world and actually enjoy it for once,’ Dian tells her parents at one point. Mulder’s thoughtful, engaging novel manages to do both.”

- The National Post

“Readers will feel for Dian as she tries to establish her identity, engage her overbearingly politically correct parents, and begin a friendship with a Haitian boy that provokes a racist response from the community. It’s a lot of growing up for one summer, but this engaging story intelligently takes on the matter of haves and have-nots.”

- Booklist

“What sets this novel apart are the unique setting and the cross-cultural themes. The Dominican village in which the novel is rooted is well realized … Not a Chance is a well-written and engaging novel.”

- CM Magazine

“Readers will be challenged to look beyond truths born of cultural conditioning, as both Dian and Aracely struggle to understand one another … Mulder demonstrates her knowledge of remote village life in her depictions of poverty, spirituality, and conformity … Because the issues are so contemporary, it is the perfect multicultural novel.”


“There is an authenticity to Dian, caught in a web of moral dilemmas and attempting to navigate between the rigid cultural dictates of the village and the equally rigid viewpoints of her parents … Readers will empathize with Dian as she struggles to find her own voice and her own path towards social justice … Dian claims a different course than her parents and her actions may encourage readers to make change in the world themselves … Mulder has delivered a provocative book which will challenge young readers at home or in the classroom, giving vivid insight into complex cultural challenges we all must face in a global world.”

- Canadian Children's Book News