" Such an inspirational book. A testament to the power of the human spirit, research, ingenuity, and plain hard work. " Judy said.
" This was a fascinating look into a life very different than my own and a perfect book to share with young readers and budding inventors ready to change the world, or at least improve it in some way. Based on fourteen year old William Kamkwamba and his desire to continue learning and improve life for his family and his drought plagued village of Wimbe, in central Malawi. The afterward was a nice addition and I look forward to watching Kamkwamba's TedTalk. " Shelli said.
"The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is a true story about a boy, William, who persevered through hard times. Besides being a well written and wonderful illustrated children’s book, this story also allows for the reader to gain a new perspective. We as readers are transported into the life of young man who lives in a small village in Malawi. We quickly discover through the descriptive text, that this is a place where farmers did not have a lot of money. The drawings in the book allows us to visualize what it was actually like to go up in this poor small farming village. Because darkest fell quickly over our main characters home, he was able to dream, and dream he did. He had a curios mind that allowed him to wonder and question the world he lived in. William spent his days working in the hot maze fields; that is until the ruthless sun turned them all to dust, and without maze fields there was no food and there was no money. William finds out the he will have to stop attending school to help aid his family. William quickly found himself in very dire times. He remembered in those trying moments how the Americans had donated a library nearby, and he got to work finding answers to all the questions he had about the world he lived in. Where does music come from? How do trucks move? He even saw something that looked like it could catch magic. This of course he later learned was a windmill that could provide the kind of water and energy his family desperately needed. Learning about this magical machine was all the motivation William needed, he was off to find away to bring tall, green, and healthy maze back into his families lives along with his entire village.
This is a wonderfully inspiring story, which is well laid out in a way that is very easy to follow. It is important for children who do not grow up in these same circumstances to be able to broaden their horizons by reading about them. Through books we are able to explore all kinds of different cultures and that is exactly what happens when reading Williams story. Williams was really a young man that was faced with hardships many of us wouldn’t dream of. At the end of the book, the author has provided more information about William and his life. This nonfictional children’s book is a lot of things, but at the very top of the list it is inspirational.
" Angela said.
" What a great story,a very inspiring young man. Don't forget to read the afterward as well! " Keri said.
" Fascinating tale of a young man who helped his family using the power of the wind. " Dolly said.
"William’s story takes place in Malawi at a time of drought and famine. He comes up with an idea that could help his village but his neighbors think he is crazy. Will his plan work? Will he give up? This is a truly inspirational story of how one boy’s desire for an education led him to take action in order to help his family and his village
This non-fiction book wonderfully tells the real life story of how William Kamkwamba helped bring water and electricity to his village by erecting a windmill. The illustrations are colorful, textured, and enhance William’s story. The reader learns about people and cultures as well as the power of determination and hard work. This is a feel-good story and will leave the reader inspired.
" Sarah Jane said.
"This picture book version of the nonfiction book manages to translate the story of William Kamkwamba with clarity and inspiration. When a drought hit his village in Malawi in 2001 and 2002, 14-year-old William and his family were in real danger of starving. William had always through about machines and even after he was forced to leave school due to the drought, he kept reading books about them. He thought about what could be done with a windmill in his village, bringing light and water. So he hunted through the junk yard and found pieces to use. Built entirely out of scraps, his first windmill and its electric wind brought electricity to the valley. The afterword gives more details about William’s story and how it took him longer years to bring his dream of pumping water to fruition. This inspirational story speaks to the inventor, the doer, and the dreamer in all of us.
Read the rest of my review on my blog, Waking Brain Cells." Tasha said.
"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a true story about a teenage boy with a little education and a lot of heart who becomes a self-taught engineer. With his family on the verge of starvation during a famine in Malawi, William checks out a book from the local library that inspires him to experiment with creating energy from wind. Since there is no translation for ‘windmill’ in the Malawian language, he calls it "electric wind". The entire village, including his own friends and family think he's insane, but once they see he is able to listen to the radio, or read by the windmill-powered light bulb at night they all quickly support him. Eventually the boy gets "discovered" at a TED talk and is able to return to school.
This story is written as a narrative nonfiction since it is a factual story and written in a narrative style. The visuals in the story help to give the reader a visual sense of what they are reading. The pictures of the windmill and the expression of the faces of the characters throughout the story help to bring the story together without too many open ended questions. " Marie Hatheway said.