The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-07 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 121 user ratings

"Wow. I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. It's not your typical "read a multi-cultural book" assignment kind of book (although it fits the bill). It's very accessible, with a conversational style and a "maker" spirit that many people can relate to. Especially the hoarding of stuff from the scrapyard to make projects. Who doesn't have a little of that in them? Or, at least a crazy uncle like that. The description of the famine was very difficult to read, so the memoir is not light-hearted, but it's an entertaining ode to geekiness and perseverance around the world." said.

"message 1: by Laurie - added it 2 minutes ago
Laurie Webb This book was very touching for this family. It started one day when the family little village had a drought and the William's family had lost everything they had from crops, food on the farm and their was no electricity. What the brave boy William's decided to do was study science and he created a windmill. He use scrap metal and old bicycle parts. After the windmill was built the family had electricity in their home again, they were able to pump water for their crops, sell food and eat again.
This book could be recommended for 5th graders on up
" said.

"Sweet, detailed nonfiction. The first half of the book is mostly a description of Kamkwamba's life in Malawi. The second half is when he starts learning about electricity and experimenting with windmills (and getting famous, of course).

What sticks with me is the section at the end when he describes what his family and friends are doing, thanks to his inventions and the donations that poured in after his burst of fame. His sisters are in school, his parents business owners, his friends pursuing their just a few years, with a bit of money and some cleverly adapted technology. The inequalities in this world are staggering and, man, did I ever luck out.
" said.

"I didn't intend to get the young readers edition, but I think reading it gave me the info I needed to get the gist of this story.

It is hard to imagine someone in the late 20th century not having electricity, but that is just my limited perspective. With that in mind, I found this story very interesting, and really admired William's perseverance in the face of very limited resources, and little schooling. His village and family were blessed by his dream, and his quality of life increased dramatically after word got out about his accomplishment of building the windmill.

This is a great story of a boy having a dream and fulfilling it to fruition.
" said.

"The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind: Young Readers by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer.

This is the story of a young adult, who out of necessity searches for a way to bring electricity to his family, in the small village of Malawi, Africa.

When young William Kamkwamba discovers a dynamo (dynamoelectric device) on a bicycle, powering a light with the force of the peddler – he wants to learn how to bring that energy home. Energy is everywhere. How can he harness it?

“No one seemed to have the answers, so I set out to find them on my own.”

William becomes fascinated with the dynamo, and his first stop is the Library. A small library that he and his friends must organize each time the use it. There’s no order. And translating the English takes time. William’s learning a lot of new terms and ideas, but his curiosity holds him to it while he tries to figure out what goes where and the Science behind it.

No one in his village stays up past sunset, once they’re covered in darkness. But what if . . . he could bring light to his home? Then he could study after dark, and make up for the lost years when his family couldn’t afford the payments for his secondary education.

When last year’s harvest never came, the starvation that wrecked his village wouldn’t have to happen again. If he could harness the energy to bring water out of a deep well and water the fields. This would give them a second harvest. And his village could use the spigot, instead of traveling miles for water.

“Someone had to save our women, our trees (used for firewood), and I thought, why not me.”

He learns many things about physics, and so does the reader, in a clearly defined and entertaining way. And even if you know he’s going to build that windmill – the suspense when he struggles and eventually pushes through – you want to cheer him on. Everyone thinks he’s a madman, even his family worries until they see it for themselves. Though the project doesn’t get completed on its own. William’s friends help in very important ways.

This book was published in 2009. I haven’t read that one, so I can’t cross-reference. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for young readers, from the cultural escape to learning about William’s experience. His ingenuity and determination are a great inspiration for all young minds.

" said.

"I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. It is beautifully written about a beautiful boy who had big dreams for himself and his country. This is the story of a poor farmer boy's family who struggled to feed and clothe themselves and maintain a roof over their heads all while surviving storms, poverty, drought and famine. They had faith in God that they would endure and they also believed strongly in the value of an education, despite being poor. William had a dream, he studied hard on his own, used his imagination, and took lots of chances and eventually saw his dream through fruition. The biggest lessons that I hope children learn from this book is "don't be discouraged and give up just because it's hard!" and "whatever you want to do, if you do it with all of your heart, it will happen!". This book brought me so much JOY!! "For Sure!"" said.

"I read this book in one sitting. It begins by helping the reader get to know the characters and care about them before diving into the incredibly difficult to read section on living through famine. The descriptions are just right for upper elementary and middle school students to be able to imagine themselves there. It is so foreign to most of my students to live without their iphones and game consoles, much less without enough food. Eating things you wouldn't feed to animals, standing in long lines for food rations only to have them stolen, stomach pain from eating grass. William is an incredible person for continuing to learn and build even when he's kicked out of school and has nothing to eat. His path in life has been interesting so far and I hope my students can see that they have the ability to change the world too." said.


I was searching for a book on leadership for boys for my nephew's birthday and chanced upon this book. There were other books that popped out like scouts books. But I was particularly intrigued by the title of this book. The story of William Kamkwamba is fascinating. The different aspects of life are interwoven in his experiences... From being teased at as a madman, suffering from intensed poverty, the unconditional love and support of his father and mother to provide and put food on the table especially during the famine, his determination of making living better, lots of recycling, invention, application of what he read from books, self discovery of scientific principles especially in electricity and energy conversions. His dreams of making his hometown and every home, school etc a better place for everyone. Amazing story!
" said.

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