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my bookshelf: material world

Material World: A Global Family Portrait
by Peter Menzel

What an interesting concept! Thirty families from thirty countries were photographed outside their home with all their worldly possessions laid out in front. I was fascinated with the full page photos and stories of each family.

Countries were chosen from the 183 United Nations membership (in 1993-1994) to reflect a cross-section of the world. A common method of choosing the families was to knock on neighborhood doors looking for typical families that fit the statistics the author was looking for.

Material World gave me, and the children in my life, a visual understanding of my fellow world citizens that few books or even some movies are able to do. Even though Material World was published in 1995, it still has a permanent place on my bookshelf!

Interesting link: NOVA PBS Science Programming

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