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World Without Fish

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  805 ratings  ·  147 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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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  805 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Good book! I learned a lot and my daughter is angrier than ever about the way we treat the planet.
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great nonfiction read for middle school, full of pictures and accessible information about how fishing has such a huge impact on the environment.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up because it combines a few of my interests - fisheries management and comic books! - without realizing it was written specifically for middle school / high school students. I'm not sure it really succeeds as a comic book - the illustrations didn't always feel very well integrated into what felt much more like a text book - but it was in informative explanation of the magnitude and complexity of global fisheries challenges. Reading a book like this makes me so sad, though, ...more
Maggie Dunlap
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Fish, despite often being small and underwhelming, are vital to Earth successfully existing. World Without Fish, written by Mark Kurlansky, tells just why fish are so important to the Earth, and what it would be like without them. Using simple language and colorful pictures, Kurlansky gives the reader a glimpse into a what a world without fish would really be like. He uses choice facts and descriptions to give the reader an in-depth understanding of over-fishing, how it came to be, the effects

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 ...more
I largely agree with the most liked comment, the illustrations tend to take away rather than add. Also not really enough illustration to be considered a graphic novel. Ok written content, I learned a bit but the book is more aimed at this with little knowledge on the subject. It would be best in the hands of an adolescent, contains some basic info on mainstream activism as well. I've read "Salt" and "Basque History" before, this made me want to check out "Cod."
Kasey Farren
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
My students and I read this book for our environmental studies unit, but I'm counting it towards my reading goal because honestly, I probably read this thing four or five times while creating lesson plans.
You’ve heard, haven’t you, that the world will be without salt-water fish by the year 2050. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Start believing, this book calmly, and very nerdily, walks you through exactly how it will happen. Or, you might ask yourself, ‘how could we let this happen?’

World Without Fish, by former commercial fisherman Mark Kurlansky, is a lovingly-illustrated book for ages nine and up. The drawings inside were done by Frank Stockton. The book is only 170 pages and it reads like a
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) I just (this week) included this book as a nonfiction book club option in my summer Children's Literature class. I'd read Kurlansky's Cod a number of years ago and thought this might be science/environment option that would appeal to some of my students. As a turned out, only one student chose to read it, but she and I had a GREAT conversation while everyone else in class talked about other texts.

We both felt that the information in the book was interesting, well-argued, and rich
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
There is a lot of great information in the book, and it's quite accessible (though it's recommended for ages 9+, and I can't imagine my 10-year-old being able to follow it).

The topics in this book deserve more attention. Fisheries and fish populations are largely ignored in conversations about biodiversity and climate change (as the author states, humans tend to focus on species that are members of their own mammalian class), and land operations tend to be the focus in discussions of food
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating overview of the oceans, and the far-reaching consequences of our actions. I did not find the visual formatting distracting, instead the chunks of larger font broke up otherwise unending text. I thought the comic within the text was a little heavy-handed, but certainly got its message across in a way that might not be so easy just in text.

Bits of interest:
"The government, unfortunately, never acted, but it is clear that the ensuing tragedy of the next hundred years was plainly
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Informative, easy-to-read, and just a great book for tweens. World Without Fish looks at the history, the present, and the future reality of our waters and the creatures that live within them. It explores the various reasons they are in their present dilemma, and what it would mean if they were to be depleted further. The author uses a conversational style to make the book accessible, and different fonts, colours, and sizes within the text to give it a voice, and impart the urgent nature of this ...more
This was a very informative read for nearly all ages that should be shared and discussed in each and every school and home. Our very existence is tied with the oceans but little by little humans are killing off another piece of it; while the seas maybe vast they are slowly but surely all being poisoned and their inhabitants are becoming extinct. A World Without Fish is brutally honest, and at times hard to read, but realistic in showing how truly complex this problem is for our planet, not only ...more
A very interesting non-fiction book we read for 6th grade to accompany Flush in the classroom. This non-fiction is the best! In this non-fiction book, the author Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod, discusses how fish are literally disappearing from the Earth due to over-fishing, climate change and pollution. People are causing the problems! This book aimed at both children and adults, discusses the problem in depth, how it happens and then possible ways to stop the die off of so many animal species. ...more
Phương Đỗ Trần
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is just not a book, it is like a huge research, with so much important, unbelieveable and useful information about you-thought-you-knew oceans and its under life. People knew that the enviroment has been destroyed, but we are so hesitant. The book shows us what really are the problem, the point of the pollution, and recommend us what we can do, and it is just so simple.
And I just love the artwork, it is so lively.

Please check my English and tell me if you see any grammar mistake in my
Kristina Peterson Labadie
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book for its very clear explanation of some of what is happening to our oceans and how it can be addressed. It is written for a young audience, particularly tweens and teens. I really enjoyed the style of writing which combines graphics, various types of text features (including bold, larger, and highlighted text), and more to get across its point. It definitely has a bias, but it is very informative and well documented with resources. I will even use portions of the text for ...more
Brenda Ritter metcalfe fish
This book would get another star from me if I wasn't so dang depressed after reading it. It was incredibly easy to understand, and the graphics emphasize the important points. The intertwined comic-book format of a personal story relating the decline of fish populations' impact on our children and grandchildren made it oh, so relatable. I recently read same author's "Basque history of the world" and can see the evolution of his expertise on fish of the Atlantic. "Cod" is still on my list.
Mrs. Sottiriou
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
While the information is interesting and I did enjoy the pictures as well as the side information, I found the suggestions of what we could do at the end of the book to really fall flat. I also would have appreciated a chapter on what impact having low fish populations would have on the world at large. It really needed this information to make a more compelling case.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
World without fish serves as a clarion call for the planet. It explores the impact people are having on the oceans and the potential fallout. Although a little dry, the subject matter is must-read material for big and small humans as our impact has aff cted the planet. This is no longer an issue we can push onto the "next generation."
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the premise of this book, and the layout. I also appreciate how Kurlansky lays out the interconnection among multiple parties, and their impacts on fish, with resulting impacts on humans. The cycle itself is so complex, I think he does a great job breaking it down into accessible chunks, although I couldn't really tell which age group would benefit most from this book!
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was one of the strongest books I've ever read. By strongest, I mean that this book was written with deep meaning and very impactful information. I highly recommend this book if you want a reading challenge or are interested in fish depletion(populations going extinct) and learning about what is happening to our delicate world.
Heather Soodak
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all ages for a global problem that relies on all of us to help solve NOW and that effects us all and is constantly evolving. Mark points out problems and solutions in an interesting and clear manner with beautiful illustrations by Frank scattered throughout. Highly recommended! Helping our fish friends will save ourselves, we are all connected. ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Despite being written with good intentions, it mixed up cellular respiration and photosynthesis saying that photosynthesis produced carbon dioxide when, in fact, that is just the opposite. With such a massive inaccuracy I couldn't trust the reliability of the source and had to put it down without finishing- a shame for such a vital message.
Olivia Cuthbertson
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful informational text! It captures the reader and makes them want to get out and make a difference in our oceans!!!! The choices in font changes, the Mini graphic novel that is embedded within the text is great for those who struggle to make the picture come to life in their head.
Tara Ethridge
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Middle grade/YA/adult nonfiction about overfishing told in a very relatable, engaging way. A comic told in parts is woven throughout and the information is scary as anything but a great nonfiction book.
Hau Kim
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
An attractive science book. I do believe we are badly ruinning naturally favorable livings of a million&million of fishes. We are also being suffered without notice. Now we can save ourselve as being smart and kind consumers.

And that book tells us how.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vietnamese
An attractive science book. I do believe we are badly ruinning naturally favorable livings of a million&million of fishes. We are also being suffered without notice. Now we can save ourselve as being smart and kind consumers. And that book tells us how.
- KiHa
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best book ever
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A very informational book.
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Mark Kurlansky has written, edited, or contributed to twenty books, which have been translated into twenty-five languages and won numerous prizes. His previous books Cod, Salt, 1968, and The Food of a Younger Land were all New York Times best-sellers.
“One of humankind's most enduring misconceptions is that of nature's bounty... the belief that nature is such a powerful force that it is indestructible.” 0 likes
“And so you have more opportunities and more responsibilities than any other generation in history.” 0 likes
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