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World without Fishby Mark Kurlansky
Synopses & 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, politics, climate, history, culture, food, and nutrition — in a way that kids can really understand. It describes how the fish we most commonly eat, including tuna, salmon, cod, and swordfish, could disappear within 50 years, and the domino effect it would have — oceans teeming with jellyfish and turning pinkish orange from algal blooms; seabirds disappearing, then reptiles, then mammals. It describes the back-and-forth dynamic of fishermen and scientists. It covers the effects of industrialized fishing, and how bottom-dragging nets are turning the ocean floor into a desert.
The answer? Support sustainable fishing. World Without Fish tells kids exactly what they can do:
Interwoven with the book is a 12-page full-color graphic novel. Each beautifully illustrated chapter opener links to form a larger fictional story that complements the text. Hand in hand, they create a Silent Spring for a new generation.
"Kurlansky (The Cod's Tale) offers an urgent account of the problems that threaten the world's oceans and could result in the commercial extinction of key species of fish in the next 50 years. It's an alarming statement, underscored by the book's design: on most pages, key sentences (and sometimes not-so-key ones) appear in an enormous, all-caps font, the typographical equivalent of a fire alarm ('THIS IS CALLED A SUSTAINABLE FISHERY. THIS IS THE REAL ANSWER TO OVERFISHING'). Kurlansky opens by outlining the problem — overfishing is resulting in 'a massive shifting in the natural order of the planet' — before discussing the cultural, political, and industrial factors that have led to current conditions. Sidebars profile various fish as well as key historical moments, and the narrative is further broken up by comic book panels that tell the earnest story of Kram, a fictional scientist, and his daughter, Ailat, who witness the very destruction Kurlansky describes, as species vanish and the oceans turn slimy and orange with the resurgence of algae and krill. It's a dire vision, and Kurlansky's few suggestions (support sustainable fishing, become an activist) may not be much comfort. Ages 10 — up. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Mark Kurlansky is a former commercial fisherman and New York Times bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Big Oyster.
Frank Stockton is an artist and illustrator whose work has appeared in Esquire, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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