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World Without Fish

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  387 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Mark Kurlansky, beloved award-winning and bestselling author, offers a riveting, uniquely illustrated, narrative nonfiction account for kids about what’s happening to fish, the oceans, and our environment, and what kids can do about it.

World Without Fish has been praised as “urgent” (Publishers Weekly) and “a wonderfully fast-paced and engaging primer on the key questions
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Workman Publishing Company
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Erin Reilly-Sanders
I think that Kurlansky has some really important information here to get across and makes important references to several organizations for more information. His balanced perspective between fishermen, environmentalists, and scientists is perhaps the best thing about the book, despite the gendered word "fishermen," and seems to really present an honest portrait of the situation. Unfortunately, the book has many problems with it. It does not include references for Kurlansky's research which is no ...more
Sep 17, 2014 Otto rated it really liked it
This book is about the ocean and it’ ecosystem. It is about how the environment of the ocean is changing due to over fishing and pollution. This is a non- fiction book. The setting of this book is earth’s oceans. The conflict is between the fishing industry and the scientist who study the oceans. The solution could be in sustainable fishing. This would allow the fishing industry to continue without destroying the fish.

The main idea of this book is to let people know how over fishing is effecti
May 27, 2014 Luis rated it liked it
The book a world without fish is about how the world is overfishing to the point of either extinction of some species to putting them in a critical point in survival. Most of the book is information and facts about the places and the main reasons that show why there's a problem. In the every chapter though it does show a small comic about a man named Kram and his daughter Ailat. The comic also chronicles what is predicted to happen to the worlds fish population where most species were gone. Also ...more
Eliza Rayner
May 10, 2016 Eliza Rayner rated it liked it
Shelves: environment
I saw this book and thought I might be able to use it in my classroom- I teach biology and environmental science. I cover many of the topics presented in this book - food webs, evolution, overfishing. Unfortunately, I found the author to perpetuate some of the common misconceptions many people have regarding the processes of evolution. It's fine to say something is more complex than something else sure, but saying something is more evolved leads the reader to believe there is a goal in evolution ...more
Aug 24, 2016 Connorw rated it it was amazing
I recently finished A World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky. This book illustrates the future of the oceans if we do not care for them better. There will be no fish or any lizards either because of the interconnecting ecosystems.

I liked this book because it shows the consequences of our current methods of fishing which are over fishing certain species to extinction and unsustainable methods of fishing. It offered suggestions on which fish to eat and how we should catch them so that we have fish i
Ryan M
Aug 22, 2016 Ryan M rated it did not like it
The Summary of this book will be different, because the genre is part graphic novel and part non- fiction. However, I can discuss the general theme of the book. Our actions such as polluting rivers and oceans, lead to the lack of fish which leads to the lack of natural resources that help us live. If we don't change our behaviors, the book warns us that we will be without natural resources.

I did not particularly enjoy this book, because it did not have much of a plot, sort of just facts. On pag
Apr 02, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book “World Without Fish” by …., …. describes how humans are destroying earth's fish. He states that the way we pollute, fish, and eat fish are wrong. We pollute the earth with oil floods, toxic waste and trash. The way we fish is also very wrong. According to … using our current fishing methods we can destroy an entire ecosystem. From the by-catch to the fact that we fish turtles, sharks, baby fish and things that aren't supposed to fished. The amount of fish on demand is so huge that w ...more
Blythe Penland
Jan 24, 2016 Blythe Penland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a great educational read. Mark Kurlansky is a remarkable author. I loved reading about all of this. I want to help these fish repopulate. One quote from the book that I really thought was motivational was "Saving the planet takes a lot of work. But what could be more worthwhile?" It really sparked something in me that wants to help. However strong that urge may be, I can make no promises. I can be lackadaisical at times. What I do know is that I am better educated about t ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Ellie.w rated it liked it
This isn't usually the type of book I read, being non-fiction, but I saw it at the library and it looked interesting. It actually was very informative, telling all about things like the history of fishing, reasons we should stop over-fishing, and how the world would be impacted if we didn't have fish. It talked about some really important topics, and I especially liked that it had a what-you-should-do section at the end, and that it wasn't just "The world is going to end because the human race h ...more
Dec 20, 2014 clare rated it really liked it
I admire the work of Mark Kurlansky. I especially appreciate his books for young people, and this one does a terrific job of explaining the intricate balance of life in the oceans and the various occurrences that result in bad things happening to the creatures that live there. A history of fishing and fishing practices, oil spills and their consequences, and climate change are all covered here.

The story is bleak but there is hope. This book is a call to action for young people. He encourages kid
Danielle Fennell
Jul 28, 2016 Danielle Fennell rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-614
World Without Fish is a great book that looks into what our world would look and be like without fish as well as without our oceans as we know them today. This book details what commercial fishing is, how it started, and the problems and threats that it continues to present our world with environmentally. Kurlansky discusses some very important and eye opening issues about our environment in a way that is accessible to people of varying ages. This is a great book for secondary students as it pre ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Elie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-classroom
Why hasn't this book gotten more reviews? I'm surprised that it's not more popular. I mean, it's not the most interesting thing I've read, but it's got cool pictures, the fonts and colors are neat, and it's a scientific book written for kids.

The premise is that humans are messing up the world, namely the oceans and the fish. We're over-fishing, polluting, and generally making a mess out of everything. The author goes into detail about what would happen to our world if we continue to do these thi
Lenore Webb
Apr 03, 2011 Lenore Webb rated it really liked it
Along the lines of social thought and beliefs is the book World Without Fish. Mark Kurlansky feels that this may be where we are headed. He wrote this book to help kids understand they can make a difference in our oceans and world. Talking about how to incorporate sustainable fishing and to improved the oceans. I know we have had to deal more and more with oil spills and water pollution. Many are worried that if fishing practices are not geared toward was to sustain the fish population. But I al ...more
This book popped up on the "New" shelf at the library and I was surprised that I had not heard anything about it. Targeted at young adults, it is a great springboard into biological sciences. Kurlansky writes in a sophisticated style that will be appreciated by teen readers. The book is heavily illustrated with intermittent "comics" following a ocean scientist and his daughter, but there is also quality science writing here. With Kurlansky's own background in commercial fishing, he brings an his ...more
Apr 25, 2012 Helen rated it liked it
Kurlansky gives some great, detailed information about the state of the world's fisheries and the future of our sea life. This is a good one for adults to read, but I think it might be a little intense for young people. I understand the need to emphasize the seriousness of the situation, but I think that Kurlansky might lose a lot of readers after the first few chapters. While the format is engaging (chapters are punctuated by a comics-style story of what happens in the life of a Gulf-Coast fish ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
World Without Fish is a non-fiction book about what we, as humans, are doing to the environment, in particular, what could and is happening to the fish populations. The book describes the problem the fish are facing, how humans are affecting fish, and ways to help stop the problem from getting worse. Overfishing has caused great problems in the evolution of fish and is causing more problems every day.
I thought this book was an easy read and was quite interesting. It was a very informational book
Emilia P
Oct 01, 2012 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Dude, guys. A lot more books should be written in this fast moving, graphically diverse and eye-catching (hello big picture of a jellyfish on the middle of a page of text! Hello randomly oversized pieces of text for emphasis! hello comic book page at the end of a chapter!). It's a real great transitional method from kids stuff to dry adult non-fiction -- adapted from Mark Kurlansky's adult non-fiction "Cod"! He also wrote Salt! What a guy.

Anyways, this is about the horrors of overfishing -- how
So, I started reading this and kind of couldn't put it down, which I wasn't really expecting. I grabbed it off the shelf in the juvenile non-fiction section at the library several weeks ago because the cover caught my eye, but just now opened it up, and...well, it really worked for me, though I'm not entirely sure how well it would work for kids, visually appealing though it is. The presentation is excellent--lots of beautiful illustrations, certain things written very large and bold for emphasi ...more
Jennifer W
Oct 17, 2012 Jennifer W rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This is a pretty inclusive book for a young reader. The author is very thorough in the information presented. Instead of sticking to the basics of food chains and ecosystems, he gets into evolution, DNA, history and chemistry. As an adult, I appreciate that, but I don't know if kids would be bored by it. The illustrations are nice to look at and the mini comics in each chapter I think are the most accessible parts for the younger audience he aims this book towards. I think it's a very balanced v ...more
Mar 31, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
There were many things about this book that I loved, some things that were just okay, and a few errors which undermine the believability of the book as whole. There are a ton of interesting facts, information, history and statistics. For example, "it takes four pounds of ground up wild fish to grow one pound of farmed fish" on page 89. Kurlansky also worded things in ways I hadn't heard before and which made me stop and ponder, an example: "a vegetarian is a human who rejects killing living thin ...more
Debra Daniels-zeller
Another gem from Mark Kurlansky . I actually got this book when it first came out--a signed copy and yet each time I started reading it, I couldn't finish. I was excited to hear his daughter read from the book, but once I got the home I'd stop a few pates into it. For a book meant for readers age 9 and up, the first 3/4 is pretty negative stuff, even with the cartoons of Kram (Mark) and daughter Ailat (Talia). All the horrible ways we're driving fish to extinction. But what really got me excited ...more
May 30, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
Pros: Quick, easy read. Gives an idea of how complex the issue is and how the entire ecosystem is dependent on each of its components. Good resource guide. Made me think more about the reasons for making sustainable fish choices. Interesting history of fishing and the politics of fishing.

Cons: Simultaneously heavy-handed and not scientifically robust enough. Too simplified in parts. Varying text sizes were used to emphasize points... but I just found them distracting. Comics were over the top in
Dec 19, 2014 Karen rated it did not like it
A major disappointment into the nonfiction side of literature. This book tends to sensationalize his non referenced information. The large colorful text screams at the reader. I was hoping to get a general education into the world's oceans, fish and the impact of the human race. Rather, I felt mentally exhausted and lectured rather than informed. Perhaps when an author has such a skewed opinion his non fiction work should be examined carefully.
Feb 15, 2016 Fernleaf rated it really liked it
This is a book for a younger audience, middle or high school, and a good introduction into current fisheries issues. The style is more similar to a graphic novel, with illustrations, varying text styles, and a comic at the end of each chapter. I covers the major problems facing today's oceans: overfishing, pollution, and global warming, with a focus on overfishing and potential strategies to bring the oceans back. A great book for a younger, environmentally-conscious person.
Sep 12, 2015 James rated it really liked it
Excellent for young readers and those just learning about environmental issues, the book is entertaining and informative. It does play a little fast and loose with scientific concepts (referring to extinction of species as "evolution going backwards," for example), but this book, alongside someone informed to discuss it with, would be a good primer on issues of fishing, the environment, and eco-social change.
Jul 17, 2015 Chelsey rated it really liked it
Visually, this is a really appealing book. The layout and art are eye-catching. And the argument is solid - we are destroying the oceans in a catastrophic way. I like the call to action at the end of the book. Some parts of it, however, are fairly slow, and I think a book aimed at kids could use more photos, maps, any kind of visuals. I'm not sure how many kids will really stick with this, but I will be recommending it and see what they report back.
Jun 04, 2013 Jonny rated it it was amazing
My book is about the ocean and the fish and other creatures that live in the sea. It is also about over fishing and how people fish. The book is called World without Fish. The parts of the book I liked were the facts and statistics about how many different kinds of fish there are and how they are decreasing ever year. I liked the facts because they are interesting and mind blowing. I am a hard core fishermen and seeing these statistics are crazy. The type of reader that would like this is a pers ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Dakota rated it really liked it
Kurlansky does an excellent job of detailing the issues with overfishing and our oceans in general. This book was written in a very kid-friendly style. I could see using this text anywhere from 5th grade all the way through 10th grade. Would be an excellent book for a science teacher to have her students read on the side, or for an English teacher to teach his students using interdisciplinary texts.
Eric Jackson
Jul 11, 2016 Eric Jackson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, ya, science
This book is moving, well researched and contains not only a sad projection of our oceans, but a list of actions to take to prevent it. It respects Science and fishing industry enough to recognize their faults as well as their strengths. The book is written on a level for most 9th graders to fully comprehend. I will be using this book in my Marine Biology class this year.
Whitney Schranz
A world without fish, probably the most BORING book I have ever read, and I almost never hate a book as much as I hated this one. There was really nothing I thought that was the slightest bit pleasant. I would not recommend this book to anyone! To be honest I felt like I Mark Kurlansky owes me hours of my life because of this book. I would stop this book and not read it at all if it was not for class. The only thing I kind of enjoyed was the comics (and I am not that graphic novel kind of person ...more
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Mark Kurlansky (born 7 December 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut) is a highly-acclaimed American journalist and writer of general interest non-fiction. He is especially known for titles on eclectic topics, such as cod or salt.

Kurlansky attended Butler University, where he harbored an early interest in theatre and earned a BA in 1970. However, his interest faded and he began to work as a journalist in
More about Mark Kurlansky...

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