Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nonfiction Book Review: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind Book CoverWilliam Kamkwamba's story, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind , shows the power of books to influence lives.

Kamkwamba grew up in Malawi, a country where magic, instead of science, ruled people and their behavior. Poverty, disease and starvation were common among villagers.

He dreamed of gaining entrance into one of Malawi's top boarding schools and studying science. Tragically, he could not attend because a famine left his country in trouble. The family farm was left impoverished and his people were left destitute.

Kamkwamba's determination led him to accomplish his dream. He studied independently now that he could no longer attend school. He spent time studying books on geography, social studies and basic spelling. He began with curiosity, an idea, science books, creativity, as well as a strong drive to do something for his family. Kamkwamba desperately wanted to find a way to bring electricity and water to his village because of droughts. He writes that one book in particular, Malawi Junior Integrated Science book, caught his attention. He found this book in the public library. At the age of 14, he used scraps of metal, tractor parts and bicycle parts to build a windmill that would bring electricity and running water to his village. Later, he even built a second windmill that brings water to the village from a deep well.

His story is truly inspiring. I enjoyed reading about the culture and customs common to the people of Malawi. I admire his determination and strength of spirit in such tragic circumstances. Kamkwamba's words tell a beautiful story of courage and strength in the face of adversity.

The theme of this book reminds us of the power of books and words to change lives. Thanks to public libraries, we have access to vast collections of books, as well as other materials. We can learn, and are influenced by the thoughts and ideas written by individuals from generations past. Librarians preserve these thoughts and ideas so that we may access their valuable information. Please take advantage of BPL's collection of materials by visiting your local library today. You will learn, grow and be truly inspired by a diversity of materials.

Kamkwamba shows us that our dreams are within reach if we are determined to accomplish them.

If you check out Kamkwamba's website, he is currently working on a project to rebuild primary schools.

Link of interest:


Check out this interview:

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