Customer Reviews for

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

Average Rating 4.5
( 174 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Beautifully written, powerful story, and amazing young boy! Loved this book!

Even if you don't usually read nonfiction or memoirs, I still think that you'll love this book for the writing, the story, and because of William Kamkwamba.

William tells the story of his childhood in the small agricultural village in Malawi. From the the general bia...
Even if you don't usually read nonfiction or memoirs, I still think that you'll love this book for the writing, the story, and because of William Kamkwamba.

William tells the story of his childhood in the small agricultural village in Malawi. From the the general bias towards magic and superstition over science, the crippling impact of the drought, and the isolation and difficulties that William, his village, and Malawi, the obstacles that they face are huge and clear. Reading the book, I first thought that my experiences in the "Third World" helped me understand the William's life from the superstition to the the impact of the drought and the opportunistic price gouging during the famine. But that interpretation fails to give enough credit to William and his book. The power of his story and the clarity of the writing surely guarantee that The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will speak to people regardless of their experience and their home country. I cannot recommend this book more! I look forward to more news from William Kamkwamba and to meeting him during his book tour stop in NYC.

Publisher: William Morrow (September 29, 2009), 288 pages.
Courtesy of the Harper Collins and the author.

posted by gl on August 31, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

An inspiration

William Kamkwamba¿s memoir tells the story of his life growing up in a poor African farming village in Malawi. Without running water or electricity, William and his family live a life of subsistence dependent upon the success of their annual maize crop. Raised in a cult...
William Kamkwamba¿s memoir tells the story of his life growing up in a poor African farming village in Malawi. Without running water or electricity, William and his family live a life of subsistence dependent upon the success of their annual maize crop. Raised in a culture entrenched in mysticism and superstition, William¿who must repeatedly drop out of school because his family is too poor to pay for his tuition and fees¿becomes curious about science. A chance encounter with a bicycle dynamo sparks his interest in electricity, and soon he is scavenging his village for any available resource that will help him build his inventions. While exiled from school, William spends a great deal of time in a village library, where he devours books on physics and mechanics, and¿with the help of his friends¿he builds a working windmill that supplies him and his family with electricity. This book, however, tells more than just the story of how William ¿harnessed the wind¿; it also tells of the abject poverty that is rampant throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa, the sickness its people endure (malaria chief among them), and the corrupt politics that dominate many African governments. Through all these hardships, William endures, persists, never abandons his goals. His story is, quite simply, an inspiration.

posted by JimRGill2012 on December 22, 2011

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  • Posted December 22, 2011

    An inspiration

    William Kamkwamba¿s memoir tells the story of his life growing up in a poor African farming village in Malawi. Without running water or electricity, William and his family live a life of subsistence dependent upon the success of their annual maize crop. Raised in a culture entrenched in mysticism and superstition, William¿who must repeatedly drop out of school because his family is too poor to pay for his tuition and fees¿becomes curious about science. A chance encounter with a bicycle dynamo sparks his interest in electricity, and soon he is scavenging his village for any available resource that will help him build his inventions. While exiled from school, William spends a great deal of time in a village library, where he devours books on physics and mechanics, and¿with the help of his friends¿he builds a working windmill that supplies him and his family with electricity. This book, however, tells more than just the story of how William ¿harnessed the wind¿; it also tells of the abject poverty that is rampant throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa, the sickness its people endure (malaria chief among them), and the corrupt politics that dominate many African governments. Through all these hardships, William endures, persists, never abandons his goals. His story is, quite simply, an inspiration.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    Scourge

    He sighs and eats a chicken wing with hot sause.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2009

    What's on for dinner tonight

    Read about how have nothing to eat buy crushed corn if you re lucky. Read a great story about what one person using his mind did to survive and finally be recognized not as a mad man but a real thinker with nothing but scrap iron to build his windmill. Read on, you will enjoy this book and put your current position in life in line with the reality in Africa.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 23, 2010

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