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Children's Nonfiction Marine Life

Orcas Everywhere

The Mystery and History of Killer Whales

by (author) Mark Leiren-Young

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Marine Life, Environmental Conservation & Protection, Endangered
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Orcas are found in every ocean on the planet, but can they survive their relationship with humans?

Orcas Everywhere looks at how humans around the world (Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike) related to orcas in the past, how we relate to them now and what we can do to keep cetacean communities alive and thriving. The book deals with science, philosophy, environmentalism and ethics in a kid-friendly and accessible way. Writer, filmmaker and orca activist Mark Leiren-Young takes us back to when killer whales were considered monsters and examines how humans went from using orcas for target practice to nearly loving them to death. If you know a young person who loves Free Willy or Finding Nemo, they will fall in love with these whales.

About the author

Mark Leiren-Young is a writer, documentary filmmaker, playwright, podcaster and orca activist. His book The Killer Whale Who Changed the World won the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada general audience book award. He wrote, directed and produced an award-winning documentary The Hundred-Year-Old Whale, and his documentary about Moby Doll is being produced by Middle Child Films. Mark hosts Skaana, a podcast about orca and ocean stories and is actively involved in the fight for the survival of the endangered southern residents. Mark has written for other young audiences for ABC, PBS, YTV, Treehouse and BBC Kids. His books for young readers include Big Whale, Small World, Orcas of the Salish Sea and the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize winner, Orcas Everywhere. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

“Mark Leiren-Young is the kind of author who produces trustworthy works of nonfiction that will both entertain and educate children.”–CM: Canadian Review of Materials


Mark Leiren-Young's profile page


  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Book Awards
  • Commended, Green Earth Book Award Honor Book
  • Winner, City of Victoria Children's Book Prize
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Short-listed, Information Book Awards
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Books

Editorial Reviews

“The reader will certainly learn much about these fascinating, intelligent, and beautiful creatures, and hopefully will understand why they need to be protected.”

School Library Connection

"Told in an accessible, conversational style, this is a book for children and adults to enjoy. It opened my eyes to so much I didn't know about orcas. It's also a real page-turner. Leiren-Young never condescends to his readers; he tells it like it is, and 'like it is' is not always pretty. But he gives hope for the future and offers up achievable steps we can take to help. This is, quite simply, an important and beautiful book."

Susin Nielsen, award-winning author of <i>No Fixed Address</i>

“A fascinating subject related with passion.”

Kirkus Reviews

“The subject is important and the text is engaging and appealing, with illustrations and helpful sidebars throughout.”

School Library Journal

“A marvelous overview of orcas and their place in history as well a chronicle of their challenges in the past and into the future."

The Commentary podcast

“A valuable, extensive examination of what we’ve learned about orcas, filling a spot as an up-to-date reference among the many books in publication about this topic. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Leiren-Young provides several stories to support his premises and exploration into this species; the stories add high interest level to the reading…Highly recommended for middle school libraries; supports science curriculum, activism and preservation.”

Must Read Literature: K thru YA

“Pages filled with photographs, impassioned narrative, “Orca Bites” (facts), and further research resources make this title one for all libraries.”


“This inviting book will be treasured by kids—a fun way to discover orcas and the sea.”

Erich Hoyt, author of <i>Orca: The Whale Called Killer</i>

“An amazingly accessible and fun book that explores our relationship with whales over millennia. The reality of their complex and intelligent behavior should give anyone pause in assuming human superiority.”

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada

“This informative non-fiction title will encourage a love of killer whales and all things aquatic. Readers will enjoy uncovering the mysteries of whales while proving they are not the monsters humans once thought them to be.”

Resource Links

Other titles by Mark Leiren-Young

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