I'd give this a 4.5 if that were an option. This is not only a great textbook, but it makes a fine coffee table book as well - it's loaded with full color images, maps, etc. and is very accessible. I was so excited when I got it that I ran around to everyone I could find in our department to show-and-tell. It is also a fraction of the cost of most textbooks, making it a great deal for students. I love that there are glossaries at the end of each chapter. I think it's fantastic that the last chapter focuses on careers in soil science. My only criticism so far is that there is no index. what? It really needs an index. Other than that, it's fantastic.