This short, accessible guide offers a quick introduction to minimalism.
Covering the history of minimalist movements, the environmental and human impacts of excess consumption, advice for ways to start living more simply, and basic guidelines for purchases and discards, the author demonstrates a connection between the current vogue for minimalism in the developed world and 20th-century minimalism in music, writing, and art. While her actual advice could easily (and more minimally) be presented in a magazine article, the variety of her approaches allows for repetition in ways that might make the content sink in without becoming boring (at least for those who haven’t encountered these ideas before). The attractive, colorful presentation—large legible type, frequent subheadings, photographs, and mini-essays that offer breaks in the narrative flow—will encourage readers to embrace the content. Mostly young people, of varying races and nationalities, are shown in the images. Unfortunately there is a disconnect between the descriptions of the negative personal toll of consumerism in the developed world and the paternalistic portrayals of eco-friendly ways of life in developing nations. Sadly, the text and backmatter offer no citations for the statistics. As is often the case, when suggestions for re-use involve crafts, the product is likely to produce more waste. But overall, this common-sense guide will be useful.
An invitation for teens and tweens to share in a popular movement. (source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)