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If America Were a Village

Startling Statistics About the USA for Little People

Regular contributor Debbie Glade reviews this terrific book from the Citizen Kid series published by Kids Can Press:

2046_cv2David J. Smith is the author of If the World Were a Village, which sold more than 400,000 copies in 16 languages. In If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States, Smith takes facts and figures about the 306 million people of America and reduces them down to a village of 100 people, to give children vital information they can easily understand in the simplest terms. Essentially, this is a book of statistics for little people, and I for one think it’s a brilliant idea.

Did you know that in 1900, 40 people out of 100 in the US lived in towns and cities, and 60 lived in the country? And today, 80 out of 100 live in cities and 20 live in the country? Well, you will learn many more fascinating facts like these when you read this beautiful book. Statistics regarding where we come from, our religions, what we do for a living, how wealthy we are, how many products we consume (this will astound you), how healthy we are and more are all covered. There’s a helpful section in the back of the book with tips to help children understand more about America. And like all books with facts and figures, there’s a list of sources of information.

I love the unique, slightly hazy yet colorful illustrations done by Shelagh Armstrong, depicting Americans in every day life situations. Her cover design, an aerial view of a village is more defined and is also incredibly appealing. The talented Ms. Armstrong has had a lot of experience designing packages for international products, some of which you can see on her Web site by clicking here.

As a geography literacy advocate myself, I am so pleased when I find creative books like this that teach kids (and their parents and teachers) about the world in unusual ways. And what better way to start teaching children about the world than helping them understand their own country first? I highly recommend all children in the USA read If America Were a Village. It certainly would be a welcome addition to any classroom.

Now why didn’t I think of this idea for a book myself?

debbiegladeDebbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for She blogs daily at

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