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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
OverDrive Inc.  Ebook
2015
Availability
Syndetics Unbound
OverDrive
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Rating:4.2 stars
Publication date:2015

Description:

Now a Netflix film starring and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, this is a gripping memoir of survival and perseverance about the heroic young inventor who brought electricity to his Malawian village.
When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.
Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William's story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.
Reviews:

DOGO Books
diamondkid - This book was really good. The story is about when a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. After you saw this comment I encourage you to read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition. Really Good Book!!! :)
Kirkus

Starred review from November 15, 2014
The author and his collaborator have condensed the original memoir of the same name, a story of an innovative and compassionate boy coming of age during an era of extreme hardship in Malawi.This newest incarnation of Kamkwamba's tale is as absorbing as its predecessor and still delivers with equanimity facts both disturbing and inspiring. Kamkwamba describes his early life in Masitala, a tiny rural village where, typically, large families of subsistence farmers lived in huts without electricity or running water. Until December 2000, Kamkwamba's life reads like an African parallel to the idyllic, early-20th-century scenes in Sterling North's Rascal: soccer with balls made from plastic bags; juicy mangoes and crunchy grasshoppers; storytelling by the light of a kerosene lamp; experiments with old radio parts; loyal friends and faithful pet. A perfect storm of deforestation, governmental changes, flooding and drought creates a sudden famine. The text does not spare readers the effects of starvation and grinding poverty on humans and animals. However, there are also many descriptions of how and why power-generating inventions work, and the passages about creating tools from almost nothing are reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. Against astounding odds, Kamkwamba's eventual creation of a windmill to bring lighting to his family's home is nothing short of amazing. Compelling and informative for a broad readership and a good addition to STEM collections. (map, prologue, photographs, epilogue, acknowledgments) (Memoir. 11-16)

COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

School Library Journal

Starred review from November 1, 2014

Gr 4-7-This youth edition of the original adult book of the same title has been skillfully adapted for middle grade readers. Kamkwamba recounts a period from his childhood living in a small Malawi village. His family was poor, but they got by working as farmers. Kamkwamba was in elementary school, about to graduate to secondary school, when the drought and famine of the mid-2000s upset the patterns of local life. The author deftly describes the devastating effects upon his family: they ate insects, and rations were reduced to only a single mouthful daily. Many around them suffered even worse. Somehow, the family struggled through until the rains returned to nourish a new crop, but they couldn't afford Kamkwamba's school fees. He farmed with his father but also discovered a local library, where he taught himself to engineer a windmill to draw water to irrigate the fields. Those around him thought he was crazy as he salvaged motor parts, a PVC pipe, his father's broken bicycle, and anything else he could find. Kamkwamba did successfully harness the wind, managing to light his family's house, charge community cell phones for a small income, and pump irrigation water. A school inspection team saw the windmill and brought educators to see the teen engineer, who was invited to speak at the African TED conference and given a scholarship. This is a fascinating, well-told account that will intrigue curious minds, even the somewhat anticlimactic closing chapters describing Kamkwamba's education. There is also a picture book version of this tale (Dial, 2012), making it of interest to all-school reading programs. An inspiring, incredible story.-Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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