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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  558 ratings  ·  141 reviews
When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the lo ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Dial Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,190)
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Barbara
When his family slowly begins to starve due to the severe drought in Malawi in Africa, fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba decides to do something about it. Although despair over the family's situation could have overwhelmed him once he was forced to stop attending school, William used an English dictionary to help him comb through science books at the library that might help him solve the villagers' need for water and for electricity. The mechanically-inclined young man was inspired by the pict ...more
Sidik Fofana
SIX WORD REVIEW: Best kid tales are true ones.
Tasha
This picture book version of the nonfiction book manages to translate the story of William Kamkwamba with clarity and inspiration. When a drought hit his village in Malawi in 2001 and 2002, 14-year-old William and his family were in real danger of starving. William had always through about machines and even after he was forced to leave school due to the drought, he kept reading books about them. He thought about what could be done with a windmill in his village, bringing light and water. So he h ...more
Kelly
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a nominee for the 2013-2014 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

This wonderful nonfiction book, written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, tells young William's story of life in drought-ravaged Malawi. Instead of accepting things as they were, William visited the village library, learned more about renewable energy, and proceeded to build a windmill that would bring electricity to his village. Although many people called him
...more
Yamaly Perez
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 determi ...more
Ibrahim Imam
كتاب جميل وملهم لكل مخترع ولكل شخص يتوق الى التحفيز مهما بلغت الصعوبات والعوائق امامه، ويليام مؤلف الكتاب يحكي قصته منذ نشأته في قرية صغيرة في ملاوي. نشأ مزارعاً فقيراً ولكن كانت لديه امنيات عظيمة تجاه تطوير وتحسين من قريته.

على الرغم من طول القصة الا انها كانت مشوقة الى ابعد حد، تحدث فيه البطل عن وضع قريته من الفقر والمجاعة والسحر، وكيف وصل بتلك القرية الى التطور والترف.

كتاب محفز بشكل كبير جداً
Jan Prucnal
My rating 3.5 stars A simply-written story of perseverance and resourcefulness. It's a "Young Readers Edition of the Times Bestseller."
Set in an extremely poor village in Africa, young William dreams of ways to make life better for his family & villagers.
His story is based on true events with adventures, failures, successes mixed in.
His family couldn't afford school fees, so, young William taught himself physics, via a textbook. Against all odds, ridicule, and lack of
encouragement, he slowl
...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Nov 26, 2014 Vernon Area Public Library KIDS rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children 2nd grade and up and younger listeners
Shelves: nonfiction
William Kamkwamba, a 14-year-old boy, lives in a small village in Malawi, Africa. Due to a drought and a poor maize crop, his family no longer is able to afford the school fees to send him to school. That didn't stop William from learning. He visited a local library and found science books that eventually led him to create a windmill to power a well, providing water for his village. The art for this book is made with beautiful cut paper collage. This non-fiction book is a good example of how a p ...more
Dolly
Jan 16, 2015 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Fascinating tale of a young man who helped his family using the power of the wind.
Jordan Williams
Books that tell an amazing story of triumph and courage are books that I really want in my classroom. "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" is most certainly going to be one of those books. 14 year old William Kamkwamba's village is stuck with famine and a drought. No money for school, and no food for the village. William stays in the library reading books determined to help his village. He has a dream of bringing electric to his village. I love the story told in this book. Its such a powerful messag ...more
Ariana
SUCH a great story!
Gema Ramirez
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a children's picture book about the author's, William Kamkwamba's life. Born and raised in Wimbe, Malawi, William Kamkwamba was just 14 when he was forced to drop out of high school for lack of school fees, because his family needed every kwacha (Malawian money) for food to survive a deadly famine.

He decides to build a windmill after reading some science books at a local library. He found that, "Windmills can produce electricity and pump water." More than just
...more
Amy
This book is based on the true story of William Kamkwamba who was born in Malawi. During his childhood, the people of Malawi suffered through a terrible drought. William's family didn't have enough money to send William to school (which costs money in that country) nor to feed the entire family more than one meal a day. William mourned not being able to go to school and eventually found his way to the public library in his town where he checked out science books. In one of these books, William l ...more
Holly
This is the picture book version of the story of William Kamkwamba, a 14-year-old boy living in Malawi. In his small village, he dreamed of building things and taking them apart. He wondered about how an engine made a truck go while he worked in the fields of maize. When his village began to starve due to a severe drought, he began to search the American library for answers. He had to translate the English science books into his language. Slowly, hope began to grow. Could he build a windmill to ...more
Heather
William does a fantastic job of making this autobiography flow. It was easy to read. William grew up in Africa and almost starved to death during a famine. He had to drop out of school so the family would have enough to eat, but he still loved to learn and found a book on physics at the library captivating. He began devouring the book, as well as others about electricity. He found he had a knack for this applied science and decided he would build a windmill in order to have electricity in his ho ...more
Pamela Kramer
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is the touching, inspirational story of a drought-ridden land and a fourteen-year-old boy who worked to change things in his poverty-stricken village.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, and in many illustrations she seems to use cutouts to create strikingly unusual images. Her drawings remind the reader of primitive paintings.

William lived in Malawi, and when a drought resulted in famine, his village was sev
...more
Ashley Bell
The book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kankwamba, is a cute story about a little boy. William Kamkwamba was born and raised in Wimbe, Malawi, and was just 14 when he was forced to drop out of high school for lack of school fees, because his family needed every dollar for food to survive a deadly famine that was taking place. William was determined to created a future for himself so he went to a recently-built community lending library and there he saw a picture of a windmill. The b ...more
Ricardo Mora
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 electrici
...more
babyhippoface
This autobiographical picture book tells the story of fourteen-year-old William, growing up in dry Malawi. Drought took a toll on his father's farm, and William was forced to drop out of school because there was no money to pay for it. So he took responsibility for his own education. He walked to the local library (a gift from Americans) and checked out science books of all types. He was interested in them all, but was fascinated by photos and descriptions of a windmill. Determined to build one, ...more
MacK
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind offers a great sense of science through a multicultural lens. The story of William Kamkwamba, a Malawian boy whose family could not afford to send him to school with crops to take in, provides every student with a sense of struggle in learning. But William's perseverance and determination led him study science in his spare time, until he could make windmills to give his village electricity and fresh water.


William's story is a miracle and the inspiration and passion
...more
Jenny Johns
A great story for all ages!

This story will entertained my 5 year old, budding engineer - whom I bought it for. it also challenged my 7 year old advanced reader and inspired me, which I didn't expect at all! in addition, I love the stylistic artwork, the poetic word choice, and the inclusion of native phrases to remind us that people everywhere do not act, talk, and sound like Americans. to top it off, they have included a much more complete narrative at the end. what amazing courage to build som
...more
Shersta
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind is the story of William, a boy from a small village in Malawi. When his village was hit by a famine, the food that he and his family had planted dried up and, without a way to bring water to their fields, they faced the grim reality of starvation. Unable to go to school, William read books from the village library instead, where he learned about windmills that could generate electricity and pump water. Curious and eager to help his people, William decided to build ...more
Amber Bush
Kamkwamba, W. (2012). The Boy who Harnessed the Wind . Dial Books for Young Readers.

Picture Book Soak.

This book follows a young African boy who uses his imagination and engineering to invent a device that could “harness the wind,” and create life easier for his entire community. This book could easily be integrated into teaching content areas such as history and science. The pictures captivate readers and offer a look into a world that is most likely novel to many young students. I thoroughly e
...more
Kris
I was inspired by Kamkwamba's book for adults and so I felt like this picture book was a bit slight, but still it tells such a good story.

Drought comes to William's village in Malawi and crops die. William is so poor he eats only one meal a day, and he has to quit school. The village doesn't have electricity, but it does have a library with donated books. William finds an old science book in English that explains how windmills generate electricity. Windmills can power pumps that draw water up f
...more
Earl
Feb 26, 2012 Earl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, kids
First of all, I read "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" on the We Give Books website- http://www.wegivebooks.org - since for every book I read on their site I'm helping kids worldwide get access to their own books. It's a real cool and simple idea.

"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" is one of those books that was originally written for adults- it was a memoir- rewritten for a younger audience- like "Listen to the Wind" was the kid version of "Three Cups of Tea."

While the story is simplified, the mess
...more
June
Mar 13, 2012 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young students for black history month
A young picture book biography, of a fourteen year old boy in Malawi, who teaches himself to build a windmill to bring electricity to his home, after a drought and famine cause him to drop out of school. William uses the library and deciphers the English science books with a dictionary. In the afterword we discover several years later he built a "Green Machine" which pulled water from a small well and fed his mother's garden. He was discovered by some journalists and invited to speak at the TED ...more
Katie Logonauts
his picture book tells the true story of William Kamkwamba who at age 14 saw the possibilities in junkyard scraps and the knowledge found in his library in Malawi. He eventually taught himself enough engineering skills to create a functioning windmill that brought electricity and pump-irrigation to help his village.
Katie
2015 Nutmeg nominee for grades 2-4. Good science concepts with the windmill and great for geography as well. I'd say for 3rd and 4th graders. Maybe a read aloud. Could do a one school or one town project with this version as well as the middle grade version of this book.
Kim
This is an awe-inspiring story of a young man who goes to the library and discovers a way to harness the wind to help feed his people, and keep them from starving. The illustrations are so amazing. I loved this story, and I would love to include it in my classroom library.
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William Kamkwamba was born August 5, 1987 in Malawi, and grew up on his family farm in Wimbe, two and half hours northeast of Malawi’s capital city. William was educated at Wimbe Primary School, completing 8th grade and was then accepted to secondary school. Due to severe famine in 2001-2002, his family lacked funds to pay $80 in school fees and William was forced to drop out in his freshman year. ...more
More about William Kamkwamba...
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition Garcon qui dompta le vent -le 10 Common Core Essentials: Nonfiction

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