- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 and up
- Lexile Measure: 0860 (What's this?)
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (January 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0147510422
- ISBN-13: 978-0147510426
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader's Edition Paperback – January 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—This youth edition of the original adult book of the same title has been skillfully adapted for middle grade readers. Kamkwamba recounts a period from his childhood living in a small Malawi village. His family was poor, but they got by working as farmers. Kamkwamba was in elementary school, about to graduate to secondary school, when the drought and famine of the mid-2000s upset the patterns of local life. The author deftly describes the devastating effects upon his family: they ate insects, and rations were reduced to only a single mouthful daily. Many around them suffered even worse. Somehow, the family struggled through until the rains returned to nourish a new crop, but they couldn't afford Kamkwamba's school fees. He farmed with his father but also discovered a local library, where he taught himself to engineer a windmill to draw water to irrigate the fields. Those around him thought he was crazy as he salvaged motor parts, a PVC pipe, his father's broken bicycle, and anything else he could find. Kamkwamba did successfully harness the wind, managing to light his family's house, charge community cell phones for a small income, and pump irrigation water. A school inspection team saw the windmill and brought educators to see the teen engineer, who was invited to speak at the African TED conference and given a scholarship. This is a fascinating, well-told account that will intrigue curious minds, even the somewhat anticlimactic closing chapters describing Kamkwamba's education. There is also a picture book version of this tale (Dial, 2012), making it of interest to all-school reading programs. An inspiring, incredible story.—Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"[An] inspiring story of curiosity and ingenuity." — Publishers Weekly
"This book will appeal to adults eager to impart an uplifting Third World human-interest story, but it is also sure to resonate with children who will simply love the curiosity, resilience and resourcefulness of this doughty African youth." — Wall Street Journal
"A powerful, gorgeously illustrated children's picture book." — The Boston Globe
"This is a dynamic portrait of a young person whose connection to the land, concern for his community, and drive to solve problems offer an inspiring model." — School Library Journal
"Zunon illustrates handsomely, with contrasting cut-paper-collage details and broad, sere landscapes painted in visibly textured oils." — Kirkus
"This picture book in accessible free verse will draw kids who love to construct their own engineering gadgets." — Booklist
Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s 2013 Best-of-the-year list. — CCBC
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Top Customer Reviews
He also tells the true story of a famine that strikes his neighborhood, village and country. It is difficult to read and may be hard for children younger than.. 12 or so to process.
My son and I struggled partway through some incredibly boring books on the middle school reading list. When it became apparent that he wouldn't finish on time, I desperately looked for something else on the list, knowing that whatever we picked would have to be read morning, noon, and night for him to finish on time. Thank goodness for this book! The story is fascinating and well told, and we thoroughly enjoyed a weekend of binge-reading it.
Even little brother read and enjoyed it with us - voluntarily.
This a great read for young and old, which I plan to pass on to their older sister and my parents.
He is an amazingly inspiring young man I will always remember and will try to contact him to help me solve the same problems facing my school; on which I have already started working.
I would recommend this work to the community of Ras Bitwoded Mengesha Atikem High school in Bure, West Gojjam, Ethiopia. Also I would invite to read this book Dr. Ralph R. Wolf, Orthopedic Surgeon of Nashua, N.H. who is my teacher and friend; the Best Donor of financial aid to rebuild this school, helping in the feeding program of 80 poor students, Laura World Fund, also which assisted me in realizing my school project. It is one of the board's member who gave me William's book to read in 2011. She said 'there something common between you two'. I would also recommend my other teacher and friend, Dr Paul S. Baxt, Orthopedic Surgeon in Denver who is very much interested to assist in transforming my old school.
My 12 year old daughter just read this, was clearly so lit up and inspired. She found a non profit organization that raises money to help families in Africa build rain water tanks.
Sadly every 21 seconds someone dies of a water contaminated illness and some have to walk 14 miles every single day for water. We can help.
I'm so grateful to the author for the work he is doing and that he shared his story.