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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (P.S.)
by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer

Published: 2010-07-27
Paperback : 320 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members

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. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 ...

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Introduction

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. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Discarded motor parts, PVC pipe, and an old bicycle wheel may be junk to most people, but in the inspired hands of William Kamkwamba, they are instruments of opportunity. Growing up amid famine and poverty in rural Malawi, wind was one of the few abundant resources available, and the inventive fourteen-year-old saw its energy as a way to power his dreams. "With a windmill, we'd finally release ourselves from the troubles of darkness and hunger," he realized. "A windmill meant more than just power, it was freedom." Despite the biting jeers of village skeptics, young William devoted himself to borrowed textbooks and salvage yards in pursuit of a device that could produce an "electric wind." The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is an inspiring story of an indomitable will that refused to bend to doubt or circumstance. When the world seemed to be against him, William Kamkwamba set out to change it. --Dave Callanan

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Hopes & Dreams
Determination
Public Education
by MarlaTapper (see profile) 03/21/15

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

We served homemade windmill cookies.
by clobaza (see profile) 10/21/15
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by MarlaTapper (see profile) 03/21/15
Food: Fish, potatoes

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "An inspiring read"by Patsye (see profile) 06/29/17

Great discussion points about the power of curiosity and perseverance, and fascinating cultural talking points. What an amazing young man.

 
  "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"by clobaza (see profile) 10/21/15

Thank goodness there is a "prologue" or you could easily lose heart in the opening chapters of this title. The struggle to exist let alone flourish under the outrageous conditions of William's life make... (read more)

 
  "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"by MarlaTapper (see profile) 03/21/15

Overcoming obstacles!

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