Bucket's Reviews > The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
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's review
Apr 26, 2010

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bookshelves: bildungsroman, diversity, bio-auto-bio, food, culture, non-fiction, politics, race, reviewed, science, technology, world-lit
Read from April 26 to 28, 2010

William is growing up in Malawi, the son of a poor farmer. After living through a horrible drought and subsequent famine (killed tons of people in Malawi) William's parents can no longer afford to send him to school. He starts reading in the tiny local library instead and discovers an aptitude and passion for science. He dreams of having electricity and making it so his family will never go hungry again. William teaches himself to build a windmill, using random broken machinery from a local junkyard and other materials he finds. People think he is crazy, but the windmill works! Suddenly the world is watching William and he is able to share his story at conferences, on the radio, etc... He gets funding to build a bigger windmill, get solar panels for his village, build a water pump so his family will be able to irrigate (and never starve again) and to go back to school (after five years not being able to go). All this before the age of 22!

This is the very interesting life story of a brilliant and unique young man. The writing here is typical (and the editing leaves something to be desired) but the story itself is fascinating. I love to read about everyday heroes like William - he is living proof that there really is still a place in the world for people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. His ingenuity and dedication to learning are inspirational and his accomplishments impressive!

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04/26/2010 page 53
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