Barbara's Reviews > The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
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May 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, families, green-books, literacy, science, ncbla2013
Read in May, 2012

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 picture of a windmill which seemed to offer hope for both of those needs. To the junk yard, he went, sifting through the trash for pieces that might be used in designing the windmill. With the help of friends, he built a windmill whose turning blades produced wind power, which he harnessed in the form of electricity. Back matter includes information about the story behind the story with a photograph of the actual windmill William designed and built. The oil paint and paper collage illustrations are beautiful. My favorite one shows William's imagined windmill bringing water to the earth's surface so the crops are able to grow once again. All those greens and blues herald the usefulness of a sustainable resource such as the wind. Readers can't help but be impressed with William's ingenuity and persistence while others ridiculed him. What an inspiring story!
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Reading Progress

10/18/2016 marked as: read

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