Kids Becoming World Citizens: Recommended Reading

Peace Travelers: Kids Becoming World Citizens
By HF Contributing Writer, Tony(a) Lemos

Up until last year my daughter was in a homeschooling program that I co-wrote with my friend Kate O’Shea called Peace Travelers. The program is presently taking a hiatus, but the organization is still meeting and we are continuing the development of programs and curriculums.


One of our favorite books for exploring global citizenship is One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway. I have read it to my daughter several times and it has sparked many conversations. We have also borrowed If the World Were Village from the library a number of times (based on the quote I have included below) along with One Well, the Story of Water on Earth.

Just this week I realize that these titles are included in the CitizenKid collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

One Hen reminds me a little of Beatrices Goat by Page McBrier, based on the Heiffer International approach: when a new goat arrives in Beatrice’s poor Ugandan village, big changes can be made.

Another element of these stories that I really like is that they can also fit into a geography curriculum as each one is set in a different country: Uganda, Honduras, Ghana, etc.

The Good Garden: How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough, also by Katie Smith Milway, and illustrated by Sylvia Daigneault, is another fabulous book to set kids on the “Peace Traveling” path; helping them understand some of the issues while promoting global connectedness, community, and the concept of world citizens. The Good Garden tells simple stories about big global issues; such as: food security, community and water.  There is also an interactive website connected the The Good Garden full of further activities for children aged 8-12ish:

(The below statistics were derived from Donella Meadows “State of the Village Report” first published in 1990)


In the world today, more than 6 billion people live.
If this world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like?

59 would be Asian
14 would be American (North, Central and South)
14 would be African
12 would be European
1 would be from the South Pacific

50 would be women, 50 would be men
30 would be children, 70 would be adults.
70 would be nonwhite, 30 would be white
90 would be heterosexual, 10 would be homosexual

33 would be Christians
21 would be Moslems
15 would be Hindus
6 would be Buddhists
5 would be Animists
6 would believe in other religions
14 would be without any religion or atheist.

15 would speak Chinese, Mandarin
7 English
6 Hindi
6 Spanish
5 Russian
4 Arabic
3 Bengali
3 Portuguese
The other would speak Indonesian, Japanese,
German, French, or some other language.

In such a village with so many sorts of folks, it would be very important to learn to understand people different from yourself and to accept others as they are. Of the 100 people in this village:

20 are underonurished
1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight.
Of the wealth in this village, 6 people own 59% (all of them from the United States), 74 people own 39%, and 20 people share the remaining 2%.
Of the energy of this village, 20 people consume 80%, and 80 people share the remaining 20%.
20 have no clean, safe water to drink.
56 have access to sanitation
15 adults are illiterate.
1 has an university degree.
7 have computers.

In one year, 1 person in the village will die, but in the same year, 2 babies will be born, so that at the year’s end the number of villagers will be 101.

If you do not live in fear of death by bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.

If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.

If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.

If you can read this message, that means you are probably lucky!

Tony(a) LemosTony(a) Lemos

Tony(a) is the director of Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA, she also maintains an herbal medicine practice in Western Mass. She is a graduate of Natural Therapy at Raworth College in England and has apprenticed with many influential herbalist, including Susun Weed. She has taught at conferences and festivals all over New England, including Green Nations Gathering, Falcon Ridge Folk Fest and the Women’s Herbal Conference.

One Comment on “Kids Becoming World Citizens: Recommended Reading

  1. Tony,
    Thank you for the wonderful book ideas! The kids and I will definitely check those out at the library or in our bookstore. Hope you and Zoe are well!

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