Richard'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
Mar 31, 2011

really liked it
Recommended to Richard by: It's our library's book club choice for March.
Recommended for: Anyone who wants to read a positive story about a enterprising young person.
Read from March 15 to 31, 2011 , read count: 1

Very easy to read biography starting when William was 6 years old and accepted stolen gumballs from nearby boys and ending when he had been given several scholarships to complete a very sketchy education in South Africa. He is mostly self taught from school library books and is able to translate what he reads to create realistic models. Naturally, the book is mostly about the windmill he makes that eventually powers his parents home in Malawi and leads to incredible opportunities for him.

His father's story of changing from drunk to respectable Presbyterian family man and farmer is also quite interesting.

William's early tales from his parents reminded me of my grandfather's stories.

I appreciated his frankness of the problems his African continent faces: political corruption, greed and huge theft; ignorance and superstition; poor health care with enormous problems with malaria, cholera, and HIV/AIDS; crushing poverty and lack of infrastructure. He makes a point in the epilogue to mention other bright, young Africans he is meeting who also dream of a new kind of Africa.

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