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2019 Finalist: Young Adult Science Book

Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures, by Roma Agrawal. Bloomsbury, 2018.

In Built, star structural engineer Roma Agrawal explores how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach into the sky. She unearths how humans have tunneled through solid mountains, bridged the widest of rivers, and tamed nature’s precious and elusive water resources. She tells vivid tales of the visionaries who created the groundbreaking materials used in the Pantheon’s record-holding dome and the Eiffel Tower’s giant wind-resisting frame. Through the lens of an engineer, Agrawal examines tragedies like the collapse of the Quebec Bridge, highlighting the precarious task of ensuring people’s safety, which engineers hold at every step.