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Fish Out of Water

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Twelve-year-old Fishel (Fish) Rosner doesn't like regular "boy" things. He hates sports and would prefer to read or do crafts instead of climbing trees or riding dirt bikes with his friends. He also loves to dance. But all his interests are considered "girly." Fish doesn't get why that's a bad thing. He's just interested in different things than other boys. When he asks hi ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by Orca Book Publishers
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  46 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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M. Wolkenstein
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fish Out of Water is written with such kindness and compassion - the main character is, as the title suggests, not finding it easy to locate his place in the world. His family expects one thing (you've heard of the man-box? This is the "bar-mitzvah-boy box") but his soul cries out for something else. It's a bumpy ride for him to get there, but with humor and a life-affiming hand, Levy guides Fish to the fish-er...finish line. I loved it and would recommend for 5th-7th graders, esp reluctant read ...more
Adora
A quick, age-appropriate book that covers an issue I don't often see in children's books: gender conformity and stereotyping. The protagonist, Fishel ("Fish") is surrounded by people who try to push him into sports and discourage his interest in activities that are considered "feminine"--knitting and dance.

I appreciated the range of responses to Fish's interests: some simply assumed that he would like sports and needed to be told otherwise, while others actually got angry and seemed to take it
...more
Kim Mento
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all the boys who knit or crochet!
Recommended to Kim Mento by: Maryalice
Fish is working on his bar mitzvah project. His friends are collecting hockey equipment, but he doesn't like sports and doesn't want to do that. He likes to dance and would like to learn to knit like his Bubby. His family doesn't want him to dance or knit because he is a boy and the say that boys don't knit or dance.

I liked Fish Out of Water because I have quite a few boys in my library who check out knitting or crocheting kits when other boys aren't around. It is important to understand that c
...more
Liza Wiemer
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I choked up several times reading this beautiful middle grade book. Perfect for reluctant readers, this novel conveys a very important message on gender bias, taking on social norms for activities that are deemed for girls and for boys. I'd love to see this shared in classrooms, read to students out loud.

FRTC, but definitely put this on your MUST READ list!
...more
Chris breeh
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aw this book was so cute.

I love the cover alot

I love that this book touched down on alot on gender norms and breaking the stereotype it was a really good middle grade/YA book that should be in alot of classrooms.

The ending was so cute and it made me really happy it was a short read i finished it really fast!

Thank you netgalley for this ARC! ❤️
JoAnne Richards
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this amazing book! I felt so bad for Fishel when he was told by others that he should be looking at doing other things that were not girly. I love how he questioned that with...."what, I'm not allowed to knit because I'm a boy?" I love how you did not make this about a young gay person or a LGBTQ situation. That it was simply about being pushed into stereotypical activities and how unproductive or harmful that can be. How the statements often used in our society can be in ...more
Karen Upper
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The title, Fish out of water, is a brilliant play on words that reflects the central theme of this story by Joanne Levy. Twelve year old protagonist Fisher Rosner, who along with his best friend Seth, contemplate the time honoured tradition of “bar mitzvah”. Fishel, aka “Fish” ponders what he should do, as a bar mitzvah is defined as doing a good deed project giving something meaningful to your community by giving of yourself.
Following a chance conversation, Fish gains the self confidence and co
...more
Andrea Pole
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Fish Out of Water by Joanne Levy is part of the Orca Currents series for middle-school students, and it is the first I've had the pleasure to read.

Twelve year old Fish Rosner is not content to have his interests defined by his gender. When his grandmother refuses to teach him how to knit, something he feels very passionate about, he is confused when she instead suggests that he watch sports with his grandfather. When Fish later joins the knitting club at school, it might just cost him the friend
...more
Lisa Pineo
Review by Lisa Pineo

*I received this eARC from NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers in return for an honest review.

My ratings: * I hated it ** It was okay *** I liked it **** Really good ***** Great
TW (trigger warnings): bullying, enforced gender roles

Fish Out of Water by Joanne Levy is a middle grade novel about a boy who isn't interested in “normal” masculine pursuits and just wants to learn to knit without it being a big deal to everyone. 4 stars

Description from Orca Currents:
"Twelve-year-ol
...more
Kathie
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author for sending me an eARC of this book.

I really enjoyed this story about Fishel (aka Fish), and his desire to learn to knit when not everyone around him supports his interest.

Fish's Bubby knits the most wonderful socks; he thinks they feel like a hug. When he decides he wants to learn how to knit socks for his bar mitzvah project to do good deeds, he asks his Bubby to help him, but she says that knitting is not for boys. He starts to think the idea might be too difficult to
...more
Kasey Connors-Beron
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of FISH OUT OF WATER by Joanne Levy thanks to the publisher through NetGalley.

Release date: August 18, 2020

Summary from Goodreads:
"Twelve-year-old Fishel (Fish) Rosner doesn't like regular "boy" things. He hates sports and would prefer to read or do crafts instead of climbing trees or riding dirt bikes with his friends. He also loves to dance. But all his interests are considered "girly." Fish doesn't get why that's a bad thing. He's just interested in different things than ot
...more
Karen
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The title, Fish out of water, is a brilliant play on words that reflects the central theme of this story by Joanne Levy. Twelve year old protagonist Fishel Rosner, who along with his best friend Seth, contemplate the time honoured tradition of "bar mitzvah". Fishel, aka "Fish" ponders what he should do, as "a bar mitzvah is where you have to do a good deed project, giving something meaningful to your community by giving of yourself." p. 6

Following a chance conversation, Fish gains the self confi
...more
Sera Taíno
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book that takes on the theme of gender non-conformity, a topic I hope middle school books will take on more often. Fishel – or Fish - isn’t your stereotypical boy. He’d rather knit and dance and is constantly being told that he shouldn’t like these things. He’s told he should play sports and do things more in line with his gender. Some of the people in his life are simply invasive while others are outright hostile to him. However, Fish has the good fortune of finding people who encourag ...more
Miz Lizzie
For his bar mitzvah, Fishel "Fish" Rosner needs to come up with a mitzvah -- good deeds -- project. Fish is coming up empty until he is struck with a brilliant idea. His grandmother makes one-of-a-kind socks and Fish feels that wearing those socks is like getting hugs from his grandmother -- and he wants to learn to knit so he can make socks for kids who could use a sock-hug. Problem is everyone around him, including his grandmother, claims knitting is for girls. Fish struggles to be true to him ...more
Danielle
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
The subject matter of Fish Out of Water is an important one to explore and is probably relatable to many kids. It reiterates the importance of acceptance and instead of trying to change people, we should celebrate everyone’s differences. This book reminded me of the picture book Oliver Button is a Sissy in that it teaches kids that there shouldn’t be only things that are designated for boys or girls even though society often likes to put us in a box especially according to gender. I like that it ...more
Rachel Smith
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fishel (Fish) Rosner is trying to do two things: find an activity he and his grandmother can do together AND an idea for his mitzvah project. He thinks he might’ve found just the thing: knitting! But when his grandmother, best friend, and step dad question his choice, he starts to wonder if there really are certain activities meant only for girls and certain activities meant only for boys.

This is a sweet story about acceptance, gender stereotypes, and courage. Perfect for fans of A Boy Named Qu
...more
Chelsea
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very short middle-grade novel about a boy named Fishel who has different interests and passions than his other male friends. He doesn’t care about hockey; he just wants to knit and do Zumba! Why isn’t it okay for a boy to do “girly” things? This book was cute, and I liked that it had some detail about the main character’s Jewish background. I think many kids will relate to Fish being self-conscious about
...more
Hallie
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a little older than the intended audience for this but it was still an enjoyable read. It had great Jewish representation and a great takedown of toxic masculinity, while still being aimed at a younger audience. This book should go in every middle school classroom! Full review at The More We Read!

***Thank you to NetGalley and Orca Publishers for the eARC in exchange for an honest review***
...more
Tziporah
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
This my first intro to both Joanne Levy's writing and Orca Currents, and I am so impressed with both! Fishel Rosner ("Fish") is a delightful character who refuses to be boxed in by what society says boys should like and not like while he searches for a meaningful mitzvah project to do for his bar mitzvah. I am so impressed with Levy's ability to write a well-fleshed out story in such a short format, and highly recommend this high interest-low reading level book for all middle graders, regardless ...more
Paula Cohen-Martin
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a witty and warm book about a 12-year-old boy confronting gender stereotypes. In having interests that go against the typical gender norms, he encounters backlash from family and friends alike. I wish this book had been there when my children were growing up. While the story is gentle and funny and a joyous read, the protagonist has to difficult decisions and learn to become comfortable with himself. I loved every piece of it.
Linda
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this middle grade book! The cover and title appealed to me but I didn't know what a good story I was about to enjoy. This is the story of a young boy who likes to participate in activities normally thought of as for girls. All in all our author deals with prejudice and expectations of others can be wrong, and can be changed. I look forward to sharing this book with my fourth grade ELA students. Thank you to Netgalley for this free ebook in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Mr. Salerno
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie
Aug 21, 2020 added it
"Fish Out of Water" is a sweet Middle Grade story about a boy who doesn't fit into stereotypical gender norms. Fish wants to learn how to knit, try Zumba classes at the JCC, and avoids sports as much as possible. Along the way he learns how to speak up for himself and proves that stereotypes should be broken. Definitely a must-have for my classroom. ...more
Melissa
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent high-low book about being true to yourself. Down with gender stereotypes!
Miki Hodge
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Boys can knit!
Debbie Tanner
This is a nice story about Fish, who is having some issues with gender identity, mostly how people perceive him. It's a good, quick read with likable characters. ...more
Liv Worthen
rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2020
Soup
rated it it was ok
Aug 04, 2020
Julie Williams
rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2020
Margaret McGuire
rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2021
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Joanne Levy’s love of books began at a very early age. Being the youngest and the only female among four children, and the daughter to voracious readers, she was often left to her own devices and could frequently be found sitting in a quiet corner with her nose in a book.

A survivor of the corporate world, Joanne now works from home, supporting other authors and creating the friends she wishes she
...more

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