Award Winning / Biography / Nonfiction

The Boy Who Harnesssed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

6419887Here is an inspirational story set in a continent that is beset with devastation and despair.  William Kamkwamba is the only son in a large farming family in Malawi, Africa.  While his village of Wimbe is at the mercy of the elements, corrupt government and rampant superstition, William has a vision to bring electricity to his home and village.  The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind tells how he brought his vision to life by building a windmill with spare parts using tools he made himself.  The book is inspirational on many levels, and everyone will find something to cheer about.  Christians will admire William and his family for their faith in the midst of famine and death.  (The family is Presbyterian, thanks to the efforts of early missionaries.)  Scientists will applaud William for his Yankee ingenuity in building his own windmill and other inventions.  Conservatives and civil rights activists will marvel that William didn’t accept the oppressive government tactics but instead decided to take matters into his own hands.  Environmentalists will laud his use of renewable energy to generate electricity.  Finally, librarians will cheer William for using his school library to educate himself on the tenets of physics and electricity. (He even spoke at the recent ALA convention.)  This inspirational book proves that there is hope for the people of Africa.

If you enjoy this book, you will like Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.

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