Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The

Kamkwamba, William

  11 Reviews

This is an inspiring memoir from Malawi, one of the least developed and most densely populated countries in the world. William Kamkwamba came from an impoverished village affected by the severe famine of the 2000s with hunger a constant companion and no money available for him to be able to attend secondary school. Undaunted by these trials, William built a windmill from scrap materials generating electricity for his village and thus changing their lives forever. An uplifting story of contemporary Africa that is testimony to an amazing teenager's determination to overcome adversity and never give up. [Small font] What's Hot - March 2013

Comments from Groups was so well written describing life in the Malawi village and particularly descriptive writing around the famine Waiheke 001

We found this to be an inspiring book...This was an easy read with so many messages in the story, an insight into a different world and culture. Tauranga 018

The book stimulated much discussion about aid to developing countries and the importance of using local skills and knowledge...would love to know what happens in his [William's] life after the book. Matamata 001

This book was universally applauded and we all enjoyed it immensely. Liked the first person writing, the intelligence, tenacity and ability to 'make do'...Hamilton 010



CHCH 527
Fascinating story of life in an impoverished country and yet a story full of curiosity and innovation . We did feel it had a slightly documentary feel in its writing style .. and some of our readers wondered why Williams innovation hadnt been picked up and spread around Malawi - you were almost expecting hundreds of windmills to be sprouting up - so the ending was somewhat inconclusive .
DARF 004
The cultural exploration of growing up in Malawi and the hardships faced were very interesting, as was learning about his personal drive to keep learning (for example his awe at seeing the internet for the first time, was a definite perspective eye opener). Most thought the book was a good easy read, but could have finished a bit earlier than it did.
AUCK 412
We were all in awe of this boy William, for creating this amazing windmill. He was highly intelligent, worked against all the odds to help his family and good on him for getting the recognition he so deserved. We all agreed a beautiful storyline.. although the storyline started a bit slow.
Majority of our Group really enjoyed this book. Some thought the beginning was a bit slow. It was decided that anyone who thought New Zealand was a 3rd World Country should read about life in Malawi . It was informative and William was inspirational.
AUCK 301
We loved the book. It made us ashamed of our lack of resourcefulness, when William was so resourceful, and so driven in adversity. The book was an insider's view to environmental management.
AUCK 389
Wonderful story of courage and enterprise. Some members thought the engineering information too detailed. There were also loose ends eg/ what happened to his sister etc
Sympathetic and insightful account, not only about the astonishing William, but also the life of the village. We thoroughly enjoyed it and all were pleased to have had the opportunity to read the book.
Everyone loved this. An amazing story really well told, which gave rise to lively discussion. The issues for Malawi apply to many other countries with authoritarian regimes.
Small print. A fine example of the resourcefulness that results from need in a corrupt country with no social welfare. A very good discussion on many levels.
We all loved the book although some took a while to get started. It was so well written - personalised William effortlessly. Questions provoked good discussion.
CHCH 449
An inspiring story of a remarkable boy and young man. Although we all gained insight and knowledge from reading this book, most of us struggled with sections of it - some thought the narration regarding drought was too lengthy and several thought the descriptions regarding the construction of the windmills was too detailed. We learned about the hardship of growing up in Malawi in a time when we would never imagine these things still possible, ie if the events occurred 50 years ago it would be more "acceptable".