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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (2009)

by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer

Other authors: Mary Schuck (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,8341326,699 (4.1)232
Relates how an enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity, and a future, to his family.
Recently added byDaRuleyman, GreenAmberDawn, AlleghenyCounty, jplumey, private library
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    _Zoe_: A different, but equally positive, story of growing up in Africa

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» See also 232 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba is an inspiring book narrated by William Kamkwamba himself. I was questioning whether to read this book or not because it sounded a bit boring. I was delighted to find, though, that it was far from dull. This book is about Kamkwamba creating a way to generate electricity, but that part in the book is way less than half of it. I learned about a new culture and enjoyed the African folk tales. Kamkwamba also focused on his life in famine. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to my peers. ( )
  KBender.ELA4 | May 27, 2020 |
This cross-cultural, engineering biography, shares the story of a boy named William who lives in the village of Malawi. Starvation became a huge issue in his community and without rain, the village's crops where scorched. It also limited his families income, which lead to William having no other choice but to drop out of school. He found to invention of a windmill pumping water and creating electricity and decided to create! He got his creation to work and produce electricity. Years later, he was also able to pump water from the ground with his "green machine."
How to Use - I would use this an introduction to the process of engineering (Having a problem which leads to developing a product) ( )
  Annalisebradshaw | Nov 1, 2019 |
This is the one book that I think I will force my children to read this year! ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
This book is about a kid named William. He goes to school but has to drop out when a famine hits Malawi. To continue to provide for his family Williams father takes him out of school (you have to pay for it in most African countries). While his family and him are going hungary he continues to try to teach himself. He learns english so that he can read the books that are in a library. He ends up really enjoying the books about science. One day he reads about a wind farm in California. He decides that he can use that to bring electricity to his house. So he builds his family a windmill. At first nobody thinks it would work but then it does. William uses parts of other random items and builds it for himself.

I thought this book was really well done. It was not a type of book that I would normally read but I really enjoyed it and would read it again. It was interesting and I learned a lot about average life for people in Africa specifically the ones who don't always have enough money for food or school. It was definitely a different type of page-turner then other books. Probably because it was not fiction which meant that it would have a different type of outcome then most fiction books that can go any and every way ( )
  SamanthaC.B4 | May 29, 2019 |
A refreshing tale in today’s world of pretensions, a story which comes directly from the author’s heart. This book takes you in a world devoid of basic human necessities, things which are taken for granted by many of us. It gives you a story of survival, of struggle, of victory, of overcoming the boundaries put in place because of ones status at birth.

Apart from being simple and effective in terms of storytelling it also does not let the reader wander away by being cliched or monotonous.

A good read for those who are looking for something different from the regular trope. ( )
  jaeger84 | May 26, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
An autobiography so moving that it is almost impossible to read without tears. In understated and simple prose, Kamkwamba and Mealer offer readers a tour through one Malawian boy’s inspiring life.
With so many tales of bloody hopelessness coming out of Africa, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind reads like a novel with a happy ending, even though it’s just the beginning for this remarkable young man, now 21 years old.
added by lampbane | editGood, Mark Frauenfelder (Sep 29, 2009)
This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy.
added by khuggard | editPublishers Weekly

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kamkwamba, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mealer, Bryanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Schuck, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kerner, Jamie LynnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my family
First words
The preparation was complete, so I waited.
I try, and I made it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the original work, published in 2009, subtitled "Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope." Please do not combine it with the Young Reader's Edition or the Picture Book Edition (published in 2012).
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Relates how an enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity, and a future, to his family.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
A picture book about William Kamkwamba, a 14 year old boy suffering through the drought that occurred in Africa. William's interest in how things work and the ill effects of the drought lead him to a library, where he learns about windmills. He dreams of building a windmill for his family and village. Good for teaching children about hardships and how to overcome them.
Haiku summary
An African boy
Lights his village with the wind,
Earns my great respect

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