By David J. Smith, Kids Can Press, $18.95, 32 pages

10It’s 2010 and author David J. Smith asks the reader to view the entire population of the world as represented by a village of just 100 people. What would the make-up of this global village be? How many villagers would hail from Asia or Europe? How many would speak Spanish, Hindi, English, or a Chinese dialect? How many would own a TV or ride a bicycle? Math teachers and social science teachers, get your graph paper, pie charts, and bar graphs ready!

If The World Were A Village is a book that is alive with rich statistics and endless points for discussion. Do you want a great way to develop the concept of percentages? Every statistic is presented as a number “one of one hundred.” Are you looking for the perfect multi-cultural, multi-ethnic material to capture the hearts and minds of your students? With Smith’s book, they cannot help but understand the differences of developed vs. underdeveloped countries.

Beautifully illustrated, If The World Were A Village provides carefully researched facts and comparisons and even includes a basic outline for parents, teachers, and group leaders looking to introduce “world-mindedness” to young people. Have a world map handy for this book and get ready for some serious student interaction.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin