If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People, 2nd Edition (CitizenKid)

by David J. Smith

Other authorsShelagh Armstrong (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2011


Checked out
Due 30 Jul 2020



Kids Can Press (2011), Edition: 2, 32 pages


Comparing the world population to a village of 100 persons, the author reveals such facts as the languages of the village, how much each earns, if the person is literate, has a television and has enough to eat.

User reviews

LibraryThing member VaterOlsen
David Smith condenses the world population into a village of 100 people to make a meaningful summary of the world's 6.6 billion people (in 2007). Did you realize if you lived in this village and only spoke English that you would only be able to communicate using language with eight other people? Is it alright for only 30 of the village members to always have enough to eat? These and other facts are conveyed in simple terms and displayed with vibrant illustrations by Shelagh Armstrong. The book also contains tips on how to teach children about the global village and a listing of data sources.… (more)
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
6.2 billion - the world's population at the time that this book was published - is a very large number. So large, in fact, that many children (not to mention adults!) might have difficulty really conceptualizing it. Author David J. Smith, in an effort to make this number, and all the many confusing facts and figures about the world's population - where we come from, what languages we speak, how our resources are distributed - more comprehensible, imagines the world as a village of one hundred people in this fascinating picture-book. The result is a title that makes certain statistics - like the fact that only 24 out of 100 villagers always have enough to eat - far easier to understand, and far more "real" to readers, than they would otherwise have been.

If the World Were a Village is an engaging and most informative book, one that takes some difficult concepts and information, and presents it in a clear and easily comprehended format. No small achievement! I think it would make an excellent title for an (upper) elementary school social studies unit - in fact, I recall doing an exercise just like this, when I was a girl, in which the "world" was the size of our class - and appreciated it on that level. I don't know that my response was quite as enthusiastic as some of my fellow reviewers (I see quite a few five and four-star reviews), but I did like it very much, and think it makes for an educational reading experience, regardless of age.
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LibraryThing member manich01
A member of a noteworthy series of books that shrink the world to a village of a hundred, thereby helping readers understand their position in the world as compared to the other 99 percent. Provocative and earnest, the book may be used personal or educationally to stimulate discourse regarding series issues, such as access to resources and population growth.… (more)
LibraryThing member shelf-employed
First published in 2002, If the World Were a Village, received a much-needed update this year. The colorfully-painted, folk-art illustrations haven't changed, but the statistics have been updated. As with the original book, the numbers are fascinating to contemplate, and offer Western children a look at the world from a much larger vantage point than the one with which they are familiar.

The premise of the book is simple. Proportionately reduce the world's population to 100 people and examine the demographics. Here are just a few of the many facts in If the World Were a Village:

"How many people in the village of 100 have electricity?

76 have electricity
24 do not

Of the 100 people in the global village

61 are from Asia
14 are from Africa
11 are from Europe
8 are from South America, Central America (including Mexico), and the Caribbean
5 are from Canada and the United States
1 is from Oceania

How much money do people in the global village have?

If all the money in the village were divided equally, each person would have about $10,300 US dollars per year. But in the global village, money isn't divided equally.

The richest 10 people have nearly 85 percent of the world's wealth. Each has more than $87 500 a year.

The poorest 10 people have less than $2 a day."

Language, age, religion, food, environment, school, money, energy and health are also featured, along with extensive source notes.

I'm so glad that it's been updated. In today's world, politics, society, environment and economics are all global issues. This is a must read.
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LibraryThing member alcrivello
Statistics of the world that put everything into the prespective as if the world were the size of a village.
LibraryThing member Omrythea
Imagine if all of the people of the world could be represented by just 100 people living in a village. Each villager would represent about 62 million people from the real world. Using this scenario, the book explores the villagers and what language they would speak, how much money they would have, what kind of schooling they would receive, how much they would have to eat, and so on. An amazing book!… (more)
LibraryThing member gundulabaehre
Although I am a bit overwhelmed with and by the seemingly vast amount of information presented, especially the numerical data (and would likely divide the same into smaller, more manageable chunks if reading this book with or to children), David J. Smith's If the World Were a Village is, I believe, one of the best books I have encountered to teach global awareness to children. Exponential numbers, tragedies of epic proportions, the fact that many of the world's people do not have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, educational opportunities etc. are often hard for children to comprehend, to grasp (even adults have trouble with this). By imagining the world's population as one hundred people living in one single village, the numbers not only become more manageable and understandable, the world's problems, the discrepancy between rich and poor, the fact that out of a village of 100 people, only 24 always have enough to eat, become much more present and immediate.

Neither gloom-and-doom nor artificially optimistic in its outlook, If the World Were a Village shows both positives and negatives, always striving for balance, making this lushly illustrated, informative picture book a perfect teaching/learning tool for either at-home or in-class use. As an added bonus, the author has also included a detailed list of teaching suggestions, as well as the bibliographical sources for the data utilised, turning If the World Were a Village into an essential and informative resource for both teachers and parents (while some of the teaching suggestions are rather standard, many of them, such as the concept of partnering schools, of fostering sister/brother communities around the world are truly innovative).

Although I would not necessarily call Shelagh Armstrong's boldly colourful illustrations personal favourites, they work very well with David J. Smith's narrative, providing a fitting complement, a wonderful and richly evocative mirror to and of the information presented. Highly recommended for older children interested in world geography, If the World Were a Village would be a perfect teaching/learning tool in both elementary and middle school social studies classes (perhaps even in high school classes, as the information presented would be of interest to and for older students and adults as well).
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LibraryThing member annabelle5585
This informational read describes what a world village would be like if it were condensed down to 100 people, each representing a specific country/culture. I thought it was a neat idea and provided lots of information on various foods, religions, and languages around the globe.

However, I might have presented the information in a more appealing way for a child. The book threw lots of numbers at the reader instead of presenting it visually. I would have maybe used a pie chart or some type of graph to really emphasize how big or small the numbers are. To me that would have made more of an impact on a child than a number figure.

This book gives lots of useful information and students would learn a lot about the various cultures across the globe. They would also be able to connect with their own heritage and share their experiences with the class.
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LibraryThing member WindyB
This book is a bit heavy in content and may be hard to follow for some students, but it speaks to all cultures. The book does break down the worlds population into 100 people, which represents 71 million people from the real world. The truth about education, money, electricity, clean air and water is quite eye opening.
LibraryThing member lbblackwell
Do you know how many people live in Asia? How many people on Earth are under 30 years old? How many have electricity? David J. Smith simplifies these numbers as he turns the world of 6 billion people to a small village of just 100. Smith explains how many out of those 100 are of different nationalities, ages, religions, and more giving the reader an sense of the percentages that represent each group.
Gorgeous, vibrant images portray the world's village!
Fun Fact: Did you know that there are twice as many chickens in the world than there are humans?
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LibraryThing member SuPendleton
This book helps breakdown the global population on a smaller, easily understood scale. The author makes it easier for students to understand the diversity of our planet and the daily struggles many people around the world face. By adding information about world hunger in a way students can understand, they will become more aware of this issue: "If all the food were divided equally, everyone would have enough to eat. But the food isn't divided equally. . . Only 24 people (out of a 100) always have enough to eat." I think elementary students could learn a lot from this simply written book. There are also pages at the end of the book with ideas to help students become more global or world-minded. Students may find a cause to support or may be encouraged to try to make a difference in the world after reading the book.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kate_Schulte078
This book would be good to use when talking about diversity or as introduction geography. I think students will like this book because it is eye opening to see how most of the world lives.
LibraryThing member engpunk77
The most interesting page demonstrated our unequal distribution. It said that there is enough food to feed the entire village, but only 30 people have enough to eat all of the time (most "Westerners", I presume), while 20 people are completely malnourished, and the rest don't really have the resources to sustain themselves and are hungry some or all of the time. Wow! When you think of a village of 100 people, this seems completely ridiculous and unacceptable, but this is supposedly the actual proportions in the world...

It's still WRONG. I'd like to see a simple picture book that actually helps us all know what exactly to do about this.... Can't the answer be simplified, too?

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LibraryThing member kami.hodgins
Content: “If the World Were a Village” takes the world down to a small scale village of 100 people so that children (and adults) can better comprehend the demographics of our planet. The book goes through such important topics as religion, language and location to give the reader an idea of what this “village” would look like.

My reaction: Pure genius! The brain can better handle a number like 100 and I love how it illustrates just what a small percentage of the world tapestry people with our culture make. A must have in ever Social Studies class!!!

Recommended Age Level: 7-adult

Series information: This book is NOT a series, however there have been two editions published as well as a fabulous video that is great for use in younger grades where the amount of information in text form might be off-putting.
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Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 9.25 inches


1554535956 / 9781554535958




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