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Soil is something we dont just live on, its something we live in. Throughout history, mankind has developed ways of using soil to build dwellings. The ancients built cities out of bricks, the Native Americans of the Southwest used soil to build adobe settlements, and the pioneers on the prairies built sod homes to combat heat and cold. This book examines the properties of different kinds of soil and what makes that soil useful for building a structure.

About the Author

Rebecca Stefoff

Rebecca Stefoff published her first books when she was in college and has been writing ever since. She is the author of more than 150 books, with more on the way. Her writing motto: "Ideas are easy. Pages are hard."

Rebecca has written many nonfiction books for children and young adults, with an emphasis on science and history. Through her books teenage readers can explore topics as varied as ghosts, robots, bacteria, evolution, women pioneers, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, and forensic crime solving.

Over the course of her freelance writing career Rebecca has also published romance novels, celebrity biographies, reference works, and even a self-help book. In addition, she has adapted the works of historian Howard Zinn, biologist Jared Diamond, science writer Charles C. Mann, and ethnic studies pioneer Ronald Takaki for young audiences.

After growing up in Indiana, Rebecca moved to Philadelphia for graduate school. Later she moved to the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

When Rebecca was in the fifth grade she picked up a copy of Robert A. Heinlein's novel Space Cadet in her school library. That got her hooked on speculative fiction: science fiction at first, then fantasy and later horror. As a grad student in English at the University of Pennsylvania, she developed and taught the school's first undergraduate classes in science fiction and fantasy. She still loves speculative fiction and reads a lot of nonfiction as well. Her interests include evolutionary biology, Himalayan travel and polar exploration, and archaeology.

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