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IF AMERICA WERE A VILLAGE by David J.  Smith

IF AMERICA WERE A VILLAGE

By David J. Smith (Author) , Shelagh Armstrong (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55453-344-2
Publisher: Kids Can

Smith and Armstrong follow up If the World Were a Village (2002) with a similarly eye-opening portrait of the United States as a “village” of 100 people (roughly one per 3,000,000). Paired to impressionistic street and crowd scenes viewed, generally, from a high angle, the simplified statistics encapsulate our ethnic origins, family structures, religions, energy use, occupations, health and wealth in easy-to-understand units: “82 people in our village speak English as their first language. 10 speak Spanish. 1 speaks Chinese, 1 French and 1 German.” Using this methodology, the author tracks historical changes in many categories, shovels data into his narrative in different ways to stave off monotony, often lays out comparisons with other countries or the rest of the world and even offers occasional discussions of what the numbers signify or reveal. A solid source list lends authority to his rounded-off numbers. The premise isn’t new, but it’s never been used to better effect for deepening the understanding that children have about the 306 million (and counting) other people with whom they share this land. (Informational picture book. 8-10)