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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition Hardcover – February 5, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 501 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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

Review

Praise for the Young Readers Edition:

New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing

* "This is a fascinating, well-told account that will intrigue curious minds . . . An inspiring, incredible story."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "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."—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for the original edition of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind:

“William Kamkwamba’s achievements with wind energy should serve as a model of what one person, with an inspired idea, can do to tackle the crisis we face. His book tells a moving and exciting story.”—Al Gore, former Vice President and Nobel Laureate

“This is an amazing, inspiring and heartwarming story! It’s about harnessing the power not just of the wind, but of imagination and ingenuity. Those are the most important forces we have for saving our planet. William Kamkwamba is a hero for our age.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin

“This book is inspirational. What William did took nothing more than initiative and a little learning, yet he changed his village and his life. There’s never been a better time to Do It Yourself, and I love how much we can learn from those who often have no other choice.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of Free and The Long Tail

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
501 customer ratings
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Sara
5.0 out of 5 stars I Got Goosebumps
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for 9 - 11 year old children
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for all - 14 yr and above.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Making a windmill with scraps ...
Reviewed in India on November 14, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beeindruckend
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5.0 out of 5 stars Muy bueno
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Katia M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Leia no original mesmo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great story
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good buy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
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5.0 out of 5 stars A discovery
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