Cod's Tale (The Cod's Tale) A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World


Book Information

Reader Personality Type
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers September 2001
Social Studies Curriculum

Mark Kurlansky loves to turn his inquiring mind to large ideas and in this child's eye view, he has chosen to trace the impact of the all-important cod fish on world civilization and history. Yes, I said the cod fish has had an impact on western civilization and history. For kids who need a big picture to hold onto this is absolutely perfect. For adults who need a big picture to hold onto this is absolutely perfect.

We begin back with the Vikings and their explorations led by a father and son both of whom had been convicted of murder. Erik the Red and son Leif, sailed off in search of new lands and were able to travel great distances thanks to the edible dried cod they packed in the boat. Finding new fishing grounds motivated many of the European countries and led to all kinds of battles and wars as selling cod fish back on the Continent made great fortunes. Even the Pilgrims chose the land of Cape Cod as their geographic mecca and when asked how they would support themselves, replied cod fishing.

This is a fascinating slant on history which connects exploration, colonization, war and modern frozen food. The book was a stepping stone for Kurlansky who went on to write World Without Fish, a very important book for children on the crisis we face with our fish populations and the call to our children to join in the move to turn things around for the better.

45 pages 978-0399234767 Ages 9-13 (and adults of course)

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,

Keywords: history, fish, exploration, food, fishing, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, Social Studies Curriculum

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