MsBrie's Reviews > The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
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Nov 18, 09

bookshelves: adventure, economics, environmental, memoir, truth
Recommended to MsBrie by: BetterWorldBooks and Jon Stewart
Recommended for: those interested in Africa, renewable energy and/or inspiring personal stories
Read in November, 2009

William Kamkwamba offers a revealing glimpse into the lives of the citizens of Malawi, while also providing inspiration for all those who dare to dream.

Though the first half of the book appears to be an expose on the devastating problem of famine in Malawi, I realize this part of William's history was necessary to set the scene. The famine not only led to the need for the windmill but also played a contributing factor in William's absence from school. It was this absence of formal education that led William to discover the book featuring windmills.

Overall, though I was deeply disturbed by the events unfolding in Malawi I appreciate that William was forthright with his readers regarding the reality of the situation. William included in his story how politics (namely the Malawian presidents), greed and macrolending institutions can lead to the death and disheartment of a people. However William also made note of the ingenuity of the Malawian people both in their every day lives and throughout the famine.

I found the second half of the book, the part focusing on William's endeavor to create the windmill, to be most engaging. After the satisfying conclusion, the reader can not help but feel uplifted by William's success, the aid provided to William by the international community and the assistance William's renewable energy endeavors are providing to the impoverished people of Malawi.

A big thank you for Bryan Mealer for assisting William in sharing his story with the public

Note: This would make an excellent book club book!
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message 1: by William (new) - added it

William Hayes You are one of many people who, in their reviews, describe this book as inspiring or inspirational.

For me, inspiration is not only a rich internal experience that we desire and enjoy for its own sake. Much more than that, inspiration is also a spur to our acting in the world in a way that helps bring about a good result.

We both know, in part as a result of having read this book, that people living in rural Malawi without electricity and water can benefit from wind-powered equipment.

I am hoping that, having used the word "inspiring" or "inspirational" in your review of this book, you desire to support the construction and installation of windmills in rural Malawi.

One way you can do that is by contributing financially to The Moving Windmills Project , which supports Malawian-run rural economic development and education projects in Malawi, with the goals of community economic independence and self-sustainability; food, water and health security; and educational success.


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