BOOK REVIEWS

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Picture Book Edition Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-16 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 172 user ratings
ISBN:0803735111
LANGUAGE:English

" Biography about a young boy who devised a way to make a windmill out of mere scraps to bring life back to his community in Africa during a drought and famine. Amazing to see what human ingenuity and perseverance can do! " said.

" While William's 'invention' and contribution to Malawi may not seem like much to those of us living in the modern world, he had many obstacles to overcome in order to bring his dream to life. Although he was poor and resources were limited, he was able to construct a windmill that not only improved his life but went on to improve the entire village. Perseverance at its finest! " said.

" This picture book biography be a good secondary purchase for our elementary library collections. It expands our knowledge of persons from other countries and cultures who have made significant contributions to their communities. An extensive note at the end of the book retells in more detail the story of William Kamkwamba, an inventor from Malawi. Use with other picture book biographies of Africans: One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul, and Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter. " 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. " 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.
" said.

" What a great story,a very inspiring young man. Don't forget to read the afterward as well! " said.

" Fascinating tale of a young man who helped his family using the power of the wind. " 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.
" said.

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