This soft-cover volume gives young readers a good overview of the topic, from the basicssuch as soil composition, formation and types of soil layersto environmental concerns such as the prevention of soil erosion through improved farming techniques, or the protection of soil from contamination by fertilizers and pesticides. Kids will also enjoy reading about how a desert becomes a desert, the non-agricultural use of dirt, gravel and sand in the manufacture of building materials and for glass-making; the way worms and other organisms enrich the soil; the fascinating work of "soil scientists," called pedologistsand much more! Although this is a complex subject, all information is presented in lively, easy-to-understand language, and illustrated richly with full color photographs, diagrams and drawings. Even the photo captions offer extra tidbits of information. Includes glossary and subject index at the back of the book. Young readers will enjoy "sifting" through this book again and again for nuggets of information about dirt! This book is part of the "Rocks, Minerals, and Resources" series. 2005, Crabtree Publishing Company, and Ages 8 to 10.