The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Book - 2015
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In this memoir adapted for young readers, William Kamkwamba describes the drought that struck his tiny village in Malawi, his subsequent interest in science, and his idea to build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.--
Publisher: New York :, Dial Books for Young Readers,, [2015]
Edition: Young readers edition.
ISBN: 9780803740808
0803740808
Characteristics: 293 pages, [8] pages of plates : color illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Mealer, Bryan

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l
Liber_vermis
Nov 05, 2017

This autobiography (with assistance of a 'ghost' writer) is mainly about the series of droughts in the late 90s and early 00s that plunged the author's subsistence farming family into debt and forced the author to quit school. The memoir also touches on the scourge of HIV/AIDS on the population of Malawi and its impact on children. Almost 50 years after 'independence', this sad tale of misgovernment, personal aggrandizement by politicians, and misallocation of resources have crushed much of the population of Malawi with poverty, disease, illiteracy, and hopelessness. The crude machines built by the author simply illustrate how little technology would be needed to turnaround the lives of rural Malawians to sustainable development. This book should have had a glossary of Malawian words to aid readers. A mix of metric and imperial units may create misunderstanding for some readers.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Oct 13, 2017

William Kamkwamba tells his life story in a vivid and engaging way. While the book is ultimately hopeful, it is incredibly sad at times. William describes the famine in Malawi and everything that his family had to do in order to survive, while many people in his community didn’t survive. While he has to drop out of school during the famine, he decides to continue learning on his own by visiting the library. There he is inspired to create a windmill that will help his family and community. The descriptions of the gadgets that he used to construct the windmill are fascinating. It’s an important book to read, and it is a very inspirational book in the end.

AL_MARCIA Apr 24, 2017

This is an amazing story! William (a teenage boy) struggles with his family and other villagers through drought and subsequent famine. Once he survives, he uses resources from a local library to educate himself in complicated scientific concepts. His ingenuity and persistence leads to remarkable changes. His story is truly inspirational.

r
rationallady
Mar 31, 2017

Besides the inspiring story of a poor African overcoming adversity, this true story shows the day to day life of poverty, including living through a famine-yet it is never depressing.

m
MadeinAK
Sep 30, 2016

This is an amazing story about a boy who isn't able to go to school but teaches himself from a book how to power his village. Incredible and inspiring!

c
CL70
Nov 19, 2015

outstanding

a
amywitherow
Oct 03, 2015

I listened to the audio version of this book and really liked it. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the teenager towards science and to the solution of his problems, in particular providing light at home so he could read more!

b
berthajeanj
Apr 19, 2015

Even children can make a difference.

b
BWilsoned
Aug 25, 2014

This is a most inspiring book! What William does with his time and curiosity is flabbergasting. Readers are introduced to Malawian culture and politics and a topic many people won't identify with: famine.
William follows his dreams, even when his hopes of secondary school falter for lack of money. His determination and perseverance pay big rewards for him, his family, his village, and his country.

IPL_Mandy Jun 04, 2014

Inspiring story of a teenager who brought stable electricity access to his small Malawi village by building a windmill. In doing so he changed not only his village, but the course of his life. Don't miss Kamkwamba's Ted Talk from 2009. Serving suggestion: chambo (fish) with cassava

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orange_dolphin_185 May 27, 2014

orange_dolphin_185 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

violet_butterfly_4094 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

i
imaginethat
Mar 31, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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b
BWilsoned
Aug 25, 2014

"Using a flathead screwdriver we'd hammered out of a bicycle spoke. . . ."

"'Where did you get such an idea?' 'The library.'"

"Really, how can you drive a truck and not know how it works?"

orange_dolphin_185 May 27, 2014

He closed his eyes and saw a windmill outside his home pulling electricity from the breeze and bringing light to the dark valley

Summary

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orange_dolphin_185 May 27, 2014

This is about a boy even though he was poor and because of problems with crops did not even have food to eat ,he used his mind to create something which would help his entire village .With his invention he was trying to bring light to the village with light they were able to work later so their families would be provided for.

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