Nonfiction – If the World Were a Village

If the World were a Village coverWith more than 6 billion people living on the Earth – and the number rising all the time – it can be difficult to really visualize exactly what the “rest of the world” is like. This is particularly true for children, who, like adults, are prone to assuming that everyone lives just the way that they do. Enter If the World Were a Village by David J. Smith. The central concept of the book is to visualize the world as a village of 100 people, and then discuss the inhabitants of that village. Another way to look at this is percentages – possibly providing a teachable math moment – so that if 9 people in the village speak English, then 9% of the world speaks English. By choosing to use “people” instead of percentages, however, the author is able to provoke a more immediate reaction from the reader. Some of the information may be familiar but gain new perspectives. Many of the sections will provoke meaningful conversations, such as the information that 50 people in the village are hungry some or all of the time, or that 20 people in the village earn less than $1 a day. This is a great book for statistically minded or internationally interested children to ponder on their own, and is excellent for sharing with an adult as a jumping off point for many different discussions about life in our country and other countries.

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