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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
1,8731346,657 (4.11)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.
  1. 21
    Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: A different, but equally positive, story of growing up in Africa

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» See also 232 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story about a boy growing up in Malawi, and his perseverance in building a windmill to harness the wind. Reading about how he strives to better himself as well as those around him with very little resources is truly uplifting. He describes in matter of fact and heartbreaking detail about surviving the Famine, his family, and his quest to improve himself. ( )
  lonetree1972 | Jun 1, 2021 |
This book is about a 13-year-old boy who was thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford it. He sneaks into the library and learns how to build a windmill to save his village from a famine. This book is perfect for science classes who are learning about energy. ( )
  Rmg052 | Apr 26, 2021 |
Very readable book. I learned a lot about the country of Malawi (and Africa in general). I also was super impressed by the main character. I must admit I skimmed over some of the more scientific information because I didn't work that hard to understand how he built the windmill and the other inventions. ( )
  KamGeb | Apr 25, 2021 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (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

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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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