“Whatever you want to do, if you do it with all your heart, it will happen.”
This is the true story of William Kamkwamba who was born in Malawi, Africa. He and his family lived on a farm where they grew corn, a staple of every meal. As a boy he believed in magic, and even spent money on a potion that would make him stronger than the kids who were teasing him. Unfortunately, he found out too late that it didn’t take care of his problems. William loved school and is proud after he is accepted to secondary school. He wanted to continue his education and hoped to learn more about his favorite subject, science. When the grounds are flooded and then no more rain comes there is a terrible drought that leaves his family with only a few bags of food for the next year. No food to eat and none to sell. All around him people in his village are withering away like the crops that didn’t grow. The cost of school can no longer be afforded and eating less than a meal a day barely keeps William alive. When the next corn husks grow and can finally be eaten he begins to get his energy back. Hoping to one day go back to school, William spends much of his time in the local library, amazed at the three shelves of books he can borrow from. Through these books he learned about windmills, energy, and a dream of bringing electricity to his farm and village takes root. Finding the materials he needs isn’t easy and everyone who sees him working thinks he is crazy. Other kids make fun of him for collecting garbage, but still he dreams. Will William be able to make electricity from his creation? Are the obstacles in his way too much? Is his family strong enough to wait it out while he works on his plan? Read this remarkable story of a boy whose curiosities lead him down a path that would change his life forever.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is a true story that will inspire you to ask questions about the world around you. So often we make judgments about what is going on, but we don’t work on solving the problem ourselves. William’s love of learning is an inspiration! I enjoyed discovering how kids in his village are just like kids in other parts of the world. It was also fascinating to hear about the way our lives are different. William is definitely someone I would like to know, because I loved the way he didn’t let people dash his dreams. He believed in himself. Sometimes you're the only one who knows you can do it, but that can be enough. Reading this book will help kids and adults see that each of us can make a difference. Sometimes we may fail along the way, but we all have the possibility to make the world a better place. I would recommend this book to people of all ages. There are three versions- so you can find the one that is just right for you. This is a great book for families to read together and who knows, you may be inspired to start creating!
Has anyone else read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind? There are three versions- adult, young adult, and picture book. If you’ve read any of them, please let us know which edition! We’d love to hear your thoughts.