- Hardcover: 273 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (September 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061730327
- ISBN-13: 978-0061730320
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 656 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 29, 2009
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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
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. American readers will have their imaginations challenged by 14-year-old Kamkwamba's description of life in Malawi, a famine-stricken, land-locked nation in southern Africa: math is taught in school with the aid of bottle tops ("three Coca-Cola plus ten Carlsberg equal thirteen"), people are slaughtered by enemy warriors "disguised... as green grass" and a ferocious black rhino; and everyday trading is "replaced by the business of survival" after famine hits the country. After starving for five months on his family's small farm, the corn harvest slowly brings Kamkwamba back to life. Witnessing his family's struggle, Kamkwamba's supercharged curiosity leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using "electric wind"(they have no word for windmills) to harness energy for the farm. Kamkwamba's efforts were of course derided; salvaging a motley collection of materials, from his father's broken bike to his mother's clothes line, he was often greeted to the tune of "Ah, look, the madman has come with his garbage." 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.
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This is a story of a young man’s thirst for knowledge and an indomitable spirit. Among the hardships of his local village, poverty, and devastating famine, William Kamkwamba endured and succeeded.
The author’s spirit and determination carries him through all of these challenges. Along the way we get a picture of the crushing poverty of this region in Africa. There is a picture here that points the way for the promise of new technology.
Implementing these new technologies in the creation of wind driven electricity, creative means in the pumping of fresh water and the utilization of biogas production for fuel points the way for a brighter future for the impoverished people in Africa and elsewhere
I would like to point out that, perhaps, the donor nations should reconsider some of their project requirements. It may be that small scale projects down at the village level might bring promising results without all of the waste and corruption of large scale development projects that promise so much and often deliver so little.
This book is an inspiring read.
While reading this book, I thought to myself over and over "how spoiled am I?". This young man was poor, and wanted to go to school so bad, but had to give it up because his family couldn't pay for it. Again, I thought, "man how lucky! I HATED school". Well, after reading this book, I am ever so grateful for the opportunity that I had to attend school.
William was an amazing young man. He worked hard, and did things he had to to make things better for himself and his family. He studied books in the library that he was interested in, and learned things on his own. Sometimes by trial and error, but isn't that how we all learn things?
This reference may offend some, but this young man made me think a lot about some people in the scriptures. He built something, and all the while people made fun of him. It wasn't until they saw the result of his windmill, that people started to respect the work William was doing. It made me think of Noah, and Nephi. Why is it so hard for people to accept that others may have more inspiration than others? Anyway, just a thought.
I love the story in this book about how his parents met. It is so sweet and so innocent. Then when William meets his wife it's kind of the same thing. It's sweet, and super cute.
This young man was such a great example of not giving up. He wanted to learn, he wanted to build, and he wanted to make things better for his people.
To me it doesn't seem like all that long ago that this book took place. So, I was just a little blown away, at how different Williams life was compared to mine. While his country was in a famine I was comfortably sitting in my house with plenty of food to eat, and water to drink. It really made me reflect on all the blessing I have.
While William, was building his windmill and having so many problems with it, all I could think is "man, this young man should see Palm Springs, CA". Well, in the book he gets invited to Palm Springs, to see the windmill farms. While he was struggling to build ONE, we in America had thousands. It was so eye opening to me on so many levels.
This young man went through a lot of hardships in his life, yet he always worked hard, and never gave up. I love William. I think he is the kind of man, that I would like my son to become. He is intelligent, kind, inventive, loving, and a hard worker. All great qualities.
I really enjoy reading, and learning from this book. It was enlightening, and so what I needed to read right now. I will have to remember this book, and many others I have read, when I start to feel "down" about what I have and what I don't have. After reading this book, I have absolutely no room to complain. I am blessed beyond measure. I am so thankful for all the good things that happen to William because of his hard work. I am sure even today he is an amazing man. He is the perfect example of "you can do anything, if you put your mind to it"!
Source: I purchased this book from Amazon for myself. I am not affiliated with Amazon, and was not compensated for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.