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

This book tells the inspiring story of a young man in Africa who used the only resource available to him to build a windmill and elevate the lives and spirits of those in his community. William Kamkwamba’s achievement with wind energy should serve as a model of what one person, with an inspired idea, can do to tackle the crisis we face.

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was a mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to find.

Enchanted by the workings of electricity as a boy, William had a goal to study science in Malawi’s top boarding schools. He was, however, forced to drop out and help his family forage for food as thousands across the country starved and died.

Yet William refused to let go of his dreams. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, bicycle halves, William forged a crude yet operable windmill, an unlikely contraption and small miracle that eventually powered four lights, complete with homemade switches and a circuit breaker made from nails and wire. A second machine turned a water pump that could battle the drought and famine that loomed with every season.

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