Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Picture Book Adaptation),The

by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, and Elizabeth Zunon

In 2001, a drought hit the country of Malawi in sub-Saharan African. “Without... read more

In 2001, a drought hit the country of Malawi in sub-Saharan African. “Without water, the sun rose angry each morning and scorched the fields, turning the maize into dust. Without food, Malawi began to starve.” William Kamkwamba was fourteen at the time, living in the village of Wimbe. Fascinated by machines, William was inspired by a diagram of a windmill in a library book to scavenge parts from the junkyard: “a broken bicycle, rusted bottle caps, and plastic pipe, even a small generator that powered a headlight on a bike.” He made them into a windmill, mounted it on a tower, and turned on a light with the wind. William and coauthor Bryan Mealer recount his efforts in this rich, expressive telling that concludes, “Light could not fill empty bellies, but another windmill could soak the dry ground, creating food where once there was none …” An essay at story’s end provides additional information on how William built another windmill in 2007 that he used to power a pump that watered his family’s garden year-round. Elizabeth Zunon’s oil paint and cut-paper illustrations are a distinctive and appealing accompaniment to an inspiring account. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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