The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers’ Edition)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers’ Edition)The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers' Edition) by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer
Published by: Puffin
Release Date: 5 January 2016
Pages: 305
Genres: Diversity, Non-fiction
Recommended For: Graddes 5-8
Submitted by: Renata Sancken


Have you ever learned how to do something from a book? I’ve learned how to cook different recipes from books, and how to make a wallet out of duct tape. William Kamkwamba learned how to make a windmill that gave electricity to his whole house from a book.

William is from Malawi, a small country in southern Africa. Only about 8% of houses in Malawi have electricity, so most people use lanterns for light when they need it. William says most people just go to bed as soon as it gets dark instead of dealing with lanterns. But one day William read about windmills in a book, and he was inspired to try to build one himself. He understood that if he could get it right, he could have free electricity for his family’s house. But it wasn’t easy–his family was very poor, just recovering from a year of famine when crops were ruined by a flood, so they didn’t have the money to buy tools or parts. THey also didn’t have the money to pay for William’s school, so he didn’t have a science teacher or anyone to ask. He was just figuring it out using the book.

People in his village teased him. They didn’t understand why he was looking through the garbage all the time, and they didn’t understand when he first started to build a strange tower in his yard. But when he finally finished his windmill and connected a lightbulb to it, they understood that it worked.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a really amazing story of one boy who brought power to his village.

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