THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND by William Kamkwamba, book review by Cooper

“A windmill means more than just power, it means freedom.”

            The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a fascinating story about a boy who grew up with very little but ended up with a lot due to his strength and determination.

            William Kamkwamba begins the book with stories from his childhood and what it was like for him. He was born in a country called Malawi where magic made more sense than science. It was a poor country, which made hopes and dreams uncommon. This did not stop William from dreaming, however. When he read a book about windmills called Using Energy, his dream of one day building his own windmill began. This dream grew and grew until he actually began to build a windmill out of scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves. People told him that he was crazy, but it did not stop him because one day he started it up and a light flickered in his hand. ““It’s true!” someone said. “Yes,” said another. “The boy has done it.””

            This heartwarming story shows that one person can make a difference, not matter what the challenges are. William’s thirst for knowledge and hope for a better life lead him to where he is today. He not only changed his life, but also those around him. He did not just build the windmill for himself, but for his town and everyone it in so they may all have electricity. I feel that William really looked up to his father due to they way he spoke about him. “My father was strong and feared no magic, but he knew all the stories.” It seemed like his father was a great influence on his life.

The setting of the book can make you appreciate all that William accomplishes in the end. He lived in such a poor country and did not have much to work with. No tools or electricity to help him along. Just his hands and sheer will. It brings up a very good moral. No matter what obstacles you have in life, you can still live out your dreams.

Anyone can appreciate this book, especially people who may think that they can’t go through with a dream because they have too much standing in their way. Publisher’s Weekly stated it very well, “ This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams…”


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