World Without  Fish
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World Without Fish

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Mark Kurlansky, beloved author of the award-winning bestseller Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, offers a riveting new book for kids about what’s happening to fish, the oceans, and our environment, and what, armed with knowledge, kids can do about it.

Written by a master storyteller, World Without Fish connects all the dots—biology, economics, evolution,...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Workman Publishing Company
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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
Erin Reilly-Sanders
I think that Kurlansk 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 not...more
Lenore Webb
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
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
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...more
Emilia P
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...more
Warnie B.
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
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
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
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...more
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
Erin Stuhlsatz
Everyone should read this book!!!! (Thank you, Elizabeth) (so when I say "everyone", I mean the one friend I have who is not Elizabeth) (This means you, Katie)

I took away a star because it had two mistakes in it. The first I don't remember the specifics, just that I felt sad, betrayed, and rather disappointed in Mr. Kurlansky's editors. The second one was a little more offensive, because it used "effect" when he really meant "affect". Believe it or not, this colored my entire reading of the book...more
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 just used hours of MY life on a book that was the worst book on this planet. 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...more
I bought this book for my daughter because she's very enthusiastic about being green and saving the planet and decided to read it for myself. While the varying print sizes made me a little crazy, I found this book to be interesting and educational. It's a great first-introduction to the Save Our Planet movement, and the little comic strip at the end of each chapter is a good touch. Issues are explained by the author in a way that everyone can understand without sounding too much like a children'...more
Green Bean
"Most stories about the destruction of the planet involve a villain with an evil plot. But this is the story of how the earth could be destroyed by well-meaning people who fail to solve a problem simply because their calculations are wrong." New York Times best-selling author of the grown-up book COD has created a fascinating, comic-filled fish-primer for budding ecologists! He illuminates human impact on our oceans' ecosystems, and teaches readers how to help prevent the planet from morphing in...more
A beautifully written book that informs with simplicity and well-researched instruction. The oceans have always been an important topic to me and this book really reiterates how desperately we need to take fishing seriously. The illustrations are wonderful and each chapter really flows into the next. The book takes you on a journey and by the end of it, you feel ready to take the next step and start getting involved. I highly recommend this book to everyone because it doesn't matter your backgro...more
I never knew that we humans have been doing this much damage to the oceans. At the rate were keeping up, many animals will be extinct before 2100.
Jenn Estepp
3 1/2, upon reflection. I count myself as a Kurlansky fan, but in general I've found his adult fare much more successful. I learn so very much from his books and this was no exception. He does a great job a showing how multi-faceted the issues are and that there are no simple solutions. But! There are things you - the kid reader, most specifically, but it works for adults too - can do. Which is awesome, especially because the whole situation has the potential to depress utterly. And the unique s...more
A fascinating, and disturbing, look at the death of Earth's oceans due to overfishing, pollution, and global warming. Loved the serial comic that came between the factual stuff. The typography was interesting, too. Occasionally I felt as if I was being "yelled at," with the type increasing in size in statements Kurlansky particularly wanted to emphasize, but I finally realized that was exactly what he wanted to do--yell, that is--for us all to pay attention. The book was a great partner read for...more
This was a terrific look at the problems we've unleashed on our oceans thanks to a combination of overfishing, climate change, and pollution. It's cataloged as a kid's book, so it's incredibly readable. I sort of think it should be required reading for everyone. The solutions are complex, and Kurlansky does a great job of showing all sides of the story. He points out that fishermen and environmentalists are actually on the same side, here. I took off one star because the lack of footnotes and ci...more
Really good book. At first I didn't want to read it because I'm not a big fan of non-fiction and what not, but i had to do a book project an a non-fiction book or biography. The librarian at my school recommended this book and I read it, at first with some doubt. As i progress in the book I found it really interesting. I really liked the small comic story at the end of each chapter. The whole book over all was good and raised many good points. It made me want to change some of the things I do an...more
Kurlansky himself is a former commercial fisherman who has gone on to win a number of awards for his writing. I think his background adds an important element to the book, because he does not simply attack commercial fishing as many environmentally-oriented books do, but takes a more balanced approach. The illustrations and graphic variations in the font not only provide emphasis but keep the reader interested and actively involved in interpreting the text.

Evaluation: A wonderful book for kids a...more
I am a big fan of Kurlansky's book on oysters, written for adults. I understand that he needs a less nuanced approach for books for a younger audience, but I do not think he should stoop to inaccuracies. He says on page "xiix" that "the North American Atlantic salmon is commercially extinct because it has only hundreds rather than hundreds of thousands of surviving fish." The Lake Ontario Salmon restoration project just restocked 3 tributaries with more than 2.5 million fish. There is no way Kur...more
Kurlansky explores the history of fishing, today's problems, and potential solutions to help our oceans recover. Using interspersed passages of large, colorful text and a graphic novel page to end each chapter, Kurlasky breaks up what could be a boring text with a lot of visual interest.

This is a great book to hand to middle grade students with an interest in environmental issues. Recommended for middle school students, science teachers, and for use in classes studying current issues.
The book’s about fishing, and fish populations, and how the one impacts the other, and the evolution of our knowledge about that impact, and how to continue doing the one without completely destroying the other. That’s interesting stuff. It involves biology, economics, geopolitics, and technology, and Mark Kurlansky understands those things well enough to explain them to anyone.

Full review on Pink Me:
Kathy Hiester
This book is geared towards children (ages 9 and up) but it just as touching for adults. It examines what will very likely happen if we continue over fishing and polluting our atmosphere. The writing is appealing and they even use comic strips to keep it light.

Not only does this book inform and keep a child’s attention but it gives direction of what we can do to turn things around and it really lets kids know that they can be the ones that make the most difference.

4 Stars
Kurlansky discusses our oceanic plight with such flair that I sometimes forgot I was reading nonfiction, except when it came time to go to the grocery store or order food at a restaurant. I shared parts of the book with my students, and many of them really enjoyed the parallel universe Kram and Ailat navigate as they move through one potential future for our planet. I would recommend this book over and above Cod for any audience.
Natalie Cheetham
Basically the low-down on what's happening to the fish of the world and what repercussions their disappearance is having/will have on the rest of the world as we know it, written for older kids/teens.

I don't like fish, but this was an interesting read. While it did seem to be repetitive at points, it wasn't super-preachy and did offer readers some good suggestions as to what they can do to help the problem.
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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
More about Mark Kurlansky...
Salt: A World History Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell The Food of a Younger Land: The WPA's Portrait of Food in Pre-World War II America

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