If the World Were 100 People: A Visual Guide to Our Global Village

Crown. Jul. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593310700.
Gr 2-5–Using clear, colorful, and inviting infographics and short, interesting text, this book asks “big questions” about life on Earth. McCann opens by asking, “How many people are there in the world?” Since there are approximately eight billion, the author suggests that instead of dealing with such a big number, readers should imagine instead that the world consists of only 100 people. That way, each person represents 80 million people. This approach pares the statistics down to a small, manageable size so we see that 50 of the 100 people are female, 50 are males, 25 are children under 14 years old, and 8 are people more than 65 years old. Using the more easily understandable number of 100 people, the author raises 10 big questions such as: “Where does everyone live?” “Is there enough food to go around?” The final question is, “What are the big questions?” Here the author raises important queries like: “How can we reduce waste and improve the way we share the food we have?” While other books and educational materials have dealt with thinking about the world population as 100 people, this is an up-to-date invitation to think about important issues we are facing right now. Using the text and infographics, readers can discuss the questions raised, do some additional research, and ultimately take informed action.
VERDICT This is a terrific find for social studies teachers who want to promote inquiry and active citizenship.

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