October 2009 Indie Next List
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is wonderful on so many levels -- an introduction to village life in Malawi, a funny and inspiring memoir and, above all, a shining example of the capacity of books to change lives. I can't stop thinking and talking about it.”
— Mary Gleysteen, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA
November 2010 Indie Next List
“This is the heartwarming story of how one 14-year-old Malawian boy, unable to attend school, educated himself about electricity and learned how to make windmills. His accomplishment ended the cycle of drought and starvation-level poverty experienced by his family and the people in his rural village. I learned so much about the country of Malawi and a culture I knew little about. Great for book groups!”
— Linda, Beagle Books, Park Rapids, MN
When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.
Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, this story will inspire many as it shows how - even in the worst of times - a great idea and a lot of hard work can still rock the world.
About the Author
William Kamkwamba was a 2007 TED Global Fellow and a finalist for the Tech Museum Award. He is a student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Bryan Mealer is the author of All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo. He is a former Associated Press staff correspondent and his work has appeared in several magazines, including Harper's and Esquire. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"[An] inspiring story of curiosity and ingenuity."
"This book will appeal to adults eager to impart an uplifting Third World human-interest story, but it is also sure to resonate with children who will simply love the curiosity, resilience and resourcefulness of this doughty African youth."
-Wall Street Journal
"A powerful, gorgeously illustrated children's picture book."
-The Boston Globe
"This is a dynamic portrait of a young person whose connection to the land, concern for his community, and drive to solve problems offer an inspiring model."
-School Library Journal
"Zunon illustrates handsomely, with contrasting cut-paper-collage details and broad, sere landscapes painted in visibly textured oils."
"This picture book in accessible free verse will draw kids who love to construct their own engineering gadgets."