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The boy who harnessed the wind [Young Readers edition] (2015)

by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0305417,122 (4.4)None
Now a Netflix film starring and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, this is a gripping memoir of survival and perseverance about the heroic young inventor who brought electricity to his Malawian village. When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could 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. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William's story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.… (more)
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The story follows young William after a severe drought destroyed his family's crops in Malawi. Readers get to follow along as William takes his family's future into his own hands and teaches himself how to make a windmill. With the windmill his family is able to get electricity on their farm and are able to pump water to the crops. This exciting story show that no matter your age, you can do great things! All you need is a little imagination and determination! ( )
  KarisWood98 | Nov 18, 2022 |
William, a young boy who lives in a poor Masitala Village, outside of Kasungu, Malawi. In December of 2000, a large flood devastates Malawi. It is followed by a prolonged drought. Widespread famine makes everyone desperate. After finding out he will not be able to attend any of the boarding schools that he wanted to attend and his family will not be able to pay for another school, he drops out of school. William finds a new hobby and eventually builds an . electric windmill that can power lights and a water pump to irrigate the family farm.
This book demonstrates that no matter what situation a person finds themself, with sheer will and determination, they can accomplish anything. ( )
  DanRosas | Nov 17, 2022 |
My 10 year old loved this book. He said it was a very easy read and thought his 8 year old brother could easily read it. He found the story fascinating and inspiring. The main character and their community go through many hardships. It was eye opening to my son, reading about a life so different from his own, yet it was also much the same. Inspiring because a kid was able to take spare bike parts and make a windmill. It was a very “kids can do big things” message for my son. He loved retelling the story over dinner. At the end, my son declared this to be his new favorite book.
  KLauterbach | Jun 12, 2022 |
Goodreads Review:
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to find. But William had read about windmills in a book called Using Energy, and he dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his life and the lives of those around him. His neighbors may have mocked him and called him misala—crazy—but William was determined to show them what a little grit and ingenuity could do.

Enchanted by the workings of electricity as a boy, William had a goal to study science in Malawi's top boarding schools. But in 2002, his country was stricken with a famine that left his family's farm devastated and his parents destitute. Unable to pay the eighty-dollar-a-year tuition for his education, William was forced to drop out and help his family forage for food as thousands across the country starved and died.

Yet William refused to let go of his dreams. With nothing more than a fistful of cornmeal in his stomach, a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford and what the West considers a necessity—electricity and running water. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves, William forged a crude yet operable windmill, an unlikely contraption and small miracle that eventually powered four lights, complete with homemade switches and a circuit breaker made from nails and wire. A second machine turned a water pump that could battle the drought and famine that loomed with every season.

Soon, news of William's magetsi a mphepo—his "electric wind"—spread beyond the borders of his home, and the boy who was once called crazy became an inspiration to those around the world.

Here is the remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
  NativityPeaceLibrary | May 28, 2022 |
This is the amazing and inspiring true story of a boy who overcame incredible obstacles to improve life for everyone in his village in Malawi. He shows so much endurance and persistence on the journey to build a wind tower that will make electricity and pump water so that his family will never be hungry again.

SPOILER WARNING: I read the Young Readers Edition and found it excellent. Sensitive readers may be challenged by the sad story of William's dog and the great hardship during the famine. ( )
  Ldecher | Dec 16, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Kamkwambaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mealer, BryanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, LindseyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hymas, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jackson, KoreyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubero, JasmineDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiggins, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zunon, ElizabethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my family
-- W.K.
First words
The machine was ready. (Prologue)
My name is William Kamkwamba, and to understand the story that I am about to tell, you must first understand the country that raised me.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the Young Reader's Edition of this title. Please do not combine with the original, which has the subtitle : Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, or the Picture Book Edition, as they are separate works.
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Now a Netflix film starring and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, this is a gripping memoir of survival and perseverance about the heroic young inventor who brought electricity to his Malawian village. When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could 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. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William's story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

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