The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

51X-kOQpRsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

William Kamkwamba was born in 1987 and grew up in a rural village in Malawi. His family were farmers, generally making a little extra money with their crops of corn and tobacco, but often doing without. William had to drop out of elementary school because the family couldn’t afford the school fees.   He missed going to school but was happier when he found the tiny local library (6 shelves of books, all donated from other countries.) The books Explaining Physics and Using Energy changed his world. With help from a friend and a dictionary he learned about science and invention. .He learned about wind mills and how they could generate electricity. He thought about how much electricity would help his family: his mother wouldn’t have to go two hours away for firewood if they had a way to heat water with electricity; his father could grow two crops using irrigation by pumping water with an electric pump and they could have lights in the house. He started experimenting–he built a small wind mill first. He started scrounging for materials in an abandoned lot. He often didn’t have money; sometimes his friends helped out, other times he had to work several days to be able to buy a certain parts. He finally built his first windmill at the age of 15 in 2002. Much of his village had doubts about his sanity, until he lit a car light bulb with the electricity from his windmill. Word spread quickly about his accomplishment. An article was written about him in 2006 in a Malawi newspaper and word spread quickly In 2009 he went to Ghana to talk about his windmill. He was then invited to go

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About WCPLtn

The Williamson County Public Library System seeks to meet the recreational, educational, and information needs of county patrons through: a significant collection of digital and print materials housed at a network of countywide locations headquartered in Franklin; extensive personal computer and related technology; and diverse and interesting programs targeted to various age groups.

Posted on September 19, 2014, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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