The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Author: William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Call Number: TJ820 .K36 2009
From The Publisher: William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual’s ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
About the Authors: William Kamkwamba was born August 5, 1987 in Dowa, Malawi, and grew up on his family farm in Masitala Village, Wimbe, two and half hours northeast of Malawi’s capital city. The second eldest of Trywell and Agnes Kamkwamba’s seven children, William has six sisters. William was educated at Wimbe Primary School, completing 8th grade and was then accepted to Kanchokolo secondary school. Due to severe famine in 2001-2002, his family lacked the funds to pay the $80 in annual school fees and William was forced to drop out of school midway through his freshman year. For five years he was unable to go to school. Starting at 14, rather than accept his fate, William started borrowing books from a small community lending library located at his former primary school.
Bryan Mealer is the author of “All Things Must Fight to Live,” which details his experience reporting the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2003-2007 for the Associated Press and Harper’s magazine. He’s also co-author of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” with William Kamkwamba. In 2003, Mealer left his job as an assistant editor at Esquire to become a freelance correspondent in Nairobi, Kenya. He sold his first story to the Chicago Tribune about a massacre in the hills of northeastern Congo, one of the many flashpoints in a war that’s killed over 5 million people. After serving as AP’s staff correspondent based in the capital Kinshasa, Mealer traveled the vast country by barge, bicycle, train, and foot, to chronicle the conflict’s lasting devastation.
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