Wednesday, September 30, 2009

If America Were a Village review

What a cool and informative book this is! If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States, written by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong is part of the "Citizen Kid" series put out by Kids Can Press. These books are put out to "inform children about the world and inspire them to be better citizens," which is an awesome message to send and this particular book does a great job of bringing this huge country to a bit smaller of a level for better understanding as to just what our impact is.

Jacket description:
" Today there are 306 million people living in America. This enormous number can be difficult to grasp, especially for a child. But what if we imagine America as a village of just 100 people?

In this village:
  • 75 are white, 12 are black, 1 is Native America and 4 are Asian. The remaining 8 consider themselves members of some other race or of mixed race.
  • 82 consider themselves Christian, 2 are Buddhists, 1 is Jewish, 1 is Muslim, 4 practice other world religions and 10 consider themselves non-religious.
  • 5 people have more than half of all the wealth, while the 60 poorest people share only 4 percent of the wealth.
If America Were a Village uses a simple metaphor to create a snapshot of America - past, present and future. Exploring the lives of the 100 villagers will help children - and readers of all ages - to discover a whole new vision of America and to better understand their own place in the global village."

Each page breaks down all types of subjects, from religion to employment to age to stuff we own and energy we consume. It's a really neat way of educating ourselves (children AND adults) as to how the United States compares to other countries on all of these different topics.

This would make an excellent classroom resource, especially if you were to use the previous title If the World Were a Village, as a companion. A great way to get your kids to start asking important questions and to open their eyes to discussions we all need to have.

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States
David J. Smith
32 pages
Kids Can Press
August 2009

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