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If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People


4.28  ·  Rating details ·  787 ratings  ·  142 reviews
The 2nd Edition of the best-selling book which has sold over 400 000 copies in 17 languages -- updated with new content and insights about the world's people. First published to wide acclaim in 2002, this eye-opening book has since become a classic, promoting "world-mindedness" by imagining the world's population -- all 6.8 billion of us -- as a village of just 100 people. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Kids Can Press
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Tatiana From my own experience, children in grades 4-6 can grasp the magnitude of the information presented. Kids that age (9-12) love to experiment with…moreFrom my own experience, children in grades 4-6 can grasp the magnitude of the information presented. Kids that age (9-12) love to experiment with dimension, and they can understand abstract comparison better than primary grade levels.(less)

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Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults interested in world geography and social studies
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, cl ...more
Lisa Vegan
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children fascinated by statistics and by other cultures/the world
Recommended to Lisa by: Mary
Fascinating! I’m a sucker for information such as this. I’ve gotten emails with this type of data and I’ve seen information in museums with these statistics. (This book was published in 2002; I’d love regular updates.)

I should loathe this book because it made me feel old, very old, and practically ancient, something I rarely feel. However, it also made me feel really wealthy, a feeling I also don’t typically have.

Contents covered for a 100 person village based on world po
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa--thank you!
At the time this book was written in 1999, the world held about six billion people! That number is remarkably difficult to grasp, for adults or children, but this book attempts to make it easier to relate to by imagining that population in a village of only 100 people. We learn, then, that 61 are from Asia, 13 from Africa, 12 from Europe and so on... we learn that 24 do not have electricity, 17 cannot read and 60 people are always hungry. It is much easier to grasp the idea of walking through a ...more
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book was featured as one of the selections for the August 2011 Maps and Geography themed books for the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books group here at Goodreads.

We didn't receive it from our library until now, but we were glad to finally get a chance to read it. It offers an eye-opening look at a cross-section of global society, along with the demographic information behind it.

I've seen news reports similar to this, but never before in a picture-book and this was a good way to show our girls j
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was an eye-opening book for any age. It is very well researched. It points out relative sizes of populations who speak specific languages, get an education, have a stable food supply, etc. The illustrations are beautifully done, and help reinforce the point. I enjoyed the pages where you could count the population of the village's different groups (Asia, Europe, US & Canada, etc.) but it was a challenge to find all of the people in some of the groups! Highly recommended to help give chi ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
This is one of those nonfiction books for children that really have wider appeal for adults.

I read this aloud to my 6 year old daughter, (she just turned 6) and she's not quite at the point where she really understood that 100 people were representing all the people. She enjoyed listening to it anyways.

Parts of the book are a bit dark, but, that's how the world is and it doesn't make too much sense to hide the disparity in circumstances from children.

I hope to revisit the book with her in a c
Megan McDonald
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
"If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People" is a Nonfiction/Informational text that I believe would be appropriate to use with 4th through 6th graders. The book illustrates the demographics of who makes up the world. Using 100 as a base number, the book shows the world population in terms of the following elements: nationalities, languages, ages, religions, food, air and water, schooling and literacy, money and possessions, electricity, the population of the past, and the popu ...more
Laura Anderson
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Close your eyes. Now imagine if the world of over 6 billion people were shrunk down to the size of a small village of 100 people. Are you there yet? What does it look like? What does it sound like? What animals would be there? What would the houses look like? What languages do the people speak? How many old? How many young? What kinds of religions are represented? How many are Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist? How many have power or drinking water? The questions and answers are unend ...more
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity
I think this book is great for any classroom because it helps not only children, but people of all ages to understand the idea of people living differently from themselves. Younger children may not understand all of it, especially the numbers but the idea of a global village is a great lesson to teach our children. At the same time, the book does make it easy for its readers as it takes all the global statistics with big numbers (millions/billions), and puts them in real human terms. By comparin ...more
Ann M.
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am not mathematically inclined, but I can handle 100. Consequently, this book has given me a perspective on the world I would never understand through the real numbers represented. Many of the stats astound me. For example, I am surprised by how many people in this village of 100 speak English. It is sold in the 10,000 Villages store where I volunteer and I point it to anyone who seems interested in the books we carry. It would be great in a math class if ratio, or percentage is being taught t ...more
Interesting concept. If the entire world's population was reduced to just 100 people in one village, what would those 100 people be like? How many would be Christian/Muslim/Buddhist? How many would be adults? How many children? Which languages would they speak?

Too difficult to comprehend for most children below grade 5, at least, I think. Could be an interesting addition to middle school math classes on decimals and ratios.
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent resource to help teach children "world-mindedness", Creative illustrations support this book about what if we looked at the world as a village of 100...who are we, where we live, how fast we are growing, what languages we speak, what religions we practice, etc.

Highly Recommend.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I found this fascinating. I remember portions of the text were circulating via emails and on the internet before I was aware that they came from a book. And now he's written a similar book about the United States. Can't wait to read that! Highly recommended!
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Another must read for any family. Great for kids and grownups. The statistics in here are fun to read about, but more important, they teach you a valuable lesson about what we have in the world, compared to so many others.
Ruby Khan
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It has so many opportunities for cross-curricular and thematic learning. The concept of mathematics and sorting through numbers makes it an excellent resource to use in both KS1 and Ks2 mathematics lessons. Further to this, it highlights the concept of global citizenship, tolerance whilst simultaneously exposing children to information texts.
The information can be used to inspire some creative writing about the issues presented in the text, such as lack of energy, differences
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edu-333
This is a nonfiction illustrated book. It makes ideas about people in the world comprehensible by positing that there are only 100 people in the world. From the perspective of 100, it talks about the demographics of the world in an easy to understand way.

I think this book is fantastic for elementary and up. When we talk about million and billions of people, the ideas are abstract. This book makes it easier to think about the world population as real people.

This is useful in a variety of classr
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book ,If the word were a village is a good book and remember reading it as a kid. Its about a little village of 100 people that represents the hole world and all its problems. It teaches you that some people go to bed hungry and some people don't even eat at all as well as people that don't get fresh water to drink. It's good at tells you the problems of the every day world and to be thank full for what we have and try to save resorsis like food and water for others. As well as schooling ,so ...more
Elizabeth Watkins
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edel-244
This book opened my eyes a lot to the world around me and I know it could do the same for students. There is a lot of text and numbers involved so I would not go into full detail with younger children but with older children you could do a lot with this book. The illustrations had a lot going on in them, filling all of one page usually, but it helped drive home what the text was trying to say. Overall, this book was really insightful and helpful with learning what the world is truly like and not ...more
Ellis Balague
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great read and there are so many learning opportunities for using it in the classroom. For a lot of children it might be hard to imagine the vast amount of people that populate the world. This book scales down this abstract idea for children in a way that can help them understand the diversity of our population. This book would be great for use in mathematics, geography, history, RE, design technology and a lot more!
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book about what a village of 100 people would look like if the world's population were condensed down to 100 people. I used magnets to represent the people so the kids could visualize the numbers we were talking about, and mostly talked about how the resources of the village would be distributed. PYP traits: open-minded, knowledgeable, reflective.
Amy Balaich
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book scales down the world population and talks about it as a village of merely 100 people. It makes it a lot easier to wrap one's head around percentages of the population and offers some fascinating information.
Ben Callaway
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This book is full of facts about the world and is a good way to scale down the numbers for children to understand. These facts are very diverse and could be a good resource to pull from in many situations.
Jadyn Palosaari
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book would be a really great tool to put the world into perspectives for children. The world is huge and scary but kids can comprehend a village. I do think it would have to be for older kids because it all facts. Genre: Information Year:2002
Sharni Benson
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a fantastic book that I think should be regularly updated.

Teaching children about the world and how things are divided.
How people live differently and how fortunate some are to live where they do and have what they have.

A must read.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ryan-s-list
I read this years ago and really enjoyed the perspective.

2018.08.13 Charlie read this to Ryan at bedtime.

2018.08.14 Ryan requested it again today. He liked to know about the languages, clean water and religions.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent information in an easy to understand format for children. This is great for elementary and middle school aged children.
Shahd Rdawi
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I watched the story as a DVD! So great one..
Irina Jackson
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would love to get updates every 10 years with new census information! Otherwise I think it's a great concept. I'm excited to have this one in my classroom.
Maren Faye
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-studies
Talks about the percentages within world population.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book puts so many things into perspective for me! It allowed me to see the world’s problems at a level that felt real.
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A Must-Read for every child. 3 3 Jul 31, 2013 06:42PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

David J. Smith, born in the U.S., is a Canadian writer of children's books.

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