Zandra'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
Jan 26, 2012

really liked it

When William Kamkwamba was fourteen he had to leave school after his parents could no longer afford to pay his tuition. To help his family earn money, he assisted with the planting and harvesting of their crops of corn and tobacco. All the while, Kamkwamba remained hopeful that he would return to school and took it upon himself to visit the his local library every day so that he could continue to study. During one visit he discovered a book on electricity and became inspired to learn all that he could. In no time he was building and repairing radios for his neighbors. With this success, he was encouraged to build a windmill, something that would be of great help to his family. He envisioned having light and being able to listen to the radio after dark. He also was eager to set up a pump that would bring clean water to his family from a nearby river. Although many in his village thought him to be a mad man and he faced many obstacles, Kamkwamba never gave up.

One of the strengths of this book for me is the description of the flood, drought and famine that plagued Malawi in 2002 and how desperate everyone felt as their food supply dwindled. I was also fascinated with Kamkwamba’s description of Malawian social life and customs. This book was about so much more than windmills and I loved it.

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