Wednesday, August 5, 2009

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

I always enjoy reading about the culture and country in areas I have never visited. We are all so different and yet so very much the same.

This story is set in Malawi, which is at the southeastern tip of Africa. It's a memoir that catches your heart and touches your soul.

William's father would like to see his son go to school and live a better life than he had been able to do. They live in a small house, have some farmland, raise maize and coffee and hope to harvest enough to fill their storage shed to feed themselves and have some left to sell to give them money for other things, like clothes, school expenses or medicine. It's pretty much hand to mouth and a lot of hard work, but it keeps them alive. Then the dry season comes and a new dictator takes over, and there is no more maize, no more seed.

Famine sets in. William has to give up school because there is no money. They can't raise any crops because they can't afford to buy the seed. They are starving because they can't afford the flour. It's bad. There are beggers everywhere - no one has anything left to give.

But William finds a library. And, since he's not going to school otherwise, he decides to take up his lessons himself. He's fascinated by electricity - after all, there's none in the village.

So he starts reading books on the subject and trying some experiments.

He's very determined. He uses whatever parts he can find, People refer to him as being crazy, his family isn't really sure one way or the other.

But the real story here is the fact that he had a dream and he refused to give it up.

As that saying goes: Necessity is the mother of invention. He used whatever he found free, tried different things to find one that would function, and he kept on, despite the rude comments and laughter.

Learn how he helped improve his village and just what that did for him and for his country. It's a very good read!

If you'd like my advance readers copy, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info NOSPAM (take out the spaces and no spam) with your name and address and why you'd like to have this book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.


Anonymous said...

I love memoirs and I just read a review on this book yesterday. Please do count me in. I'll send you a mail when I reach home. Thanks so much.

Djfshop said...

Oh, this one sounds good. I do love an inspirational read. Once Again, I've posted about you on my blog.

Journey of a Bookseller said...

Thanks, Deb. The more exposure for the books I review, the better it works for promoting the author's work!

Unknown said...

Dear Jo Ann,

Thank you for writing about my book

Unknown said...


William Kamkwamba

Sorry, I hit send too fast!

Journey of a Bookseller said...

It's a great story, William. I enjoyed reading it, and it's on its way to India right now for another reader to "taste" and blog about it.

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