Mega Dose
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$12.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Local Warehouse Africa- Southern Africa

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

by and

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope Cover

ISBN13: 9780061730320
ISBN10: 0061730327
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $12.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to find. But William had read about windmills in a book called Using Energy, and he dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his life and the lives of those around him. His neighbors may have mocked him and called him misala — crazy — but William was determined to show them what a little grit and ingenuity could do.

Enchanted by the workings of electricity as a boy, William had a goal to study science in Malawi's top boarding schools. But in 2002, his country was stricken with a famine that left his family's farm devastated and his parents destitute. Unable to pay the eighty-dollar-a-year tuition for his education, William was 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. With nothing more than a fistful of cornmeal in his stomach, a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford and what the West considers a necessity — electricity and running water. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and 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.

Soon, news of William's magetsi a mphepo — his electric wind — spread beyond the borders of his home, and the boy who was once called crazy became an inspiration to those around the world.

Here is the remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.

Review:

"American readers will have their imaginations challenged by 14-year-old Kamkwamba's description of life in Malawi, a famine-stricken, land-locked nation in southern Africa: math is taught in school with the aid of bottle tops ('three Coca-Cola plus ten Carlsberg equal thirteen'), people are slaughtered by enemy warriors 'disguised... as green grass' and a ferocious black rhino; and everyday trading is 'replaced by the business of survival' after famine hits the country. After starving for five months on his family's small farm, the corn harvest slowly brings Kamkwamba back to life. Witnessing his family's struggle, Kamkwamba's supercharged curiosity leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using 'electric wind'(they have no word for windmills) to harness energy for the farm. Kamkwamba's efforts were of course derided; salvaging a motley collection of materials, from his father's broken bike to his mother's clothes line, he was often greeted to the tune of 'Ah, look, the madman has come with his garbage.' This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

This immensely engaging tale relates how an enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity — and a future — to his family.

Synopsis:

An exciting new voice offers a fresh portrait of Africans thriving in the face of adversity, showing the way forward for development on the continent and beyond.

Synopsis:

An account of child genius Taylor Wilsonand#8217;s successful quest to build his own nuclear reactor at the age of fourteen, and an exploration of how gifted children can be nurtured to do extraordinary things.

Synopsis:

How an American teenager became the youngest person ever to build a working nuclear fusion reactorand#160;

By the age of nine, Taylor Wilson had mastered the science of rocket propulsion. At eleven, his grandmotherandrsquo;s cancer diagnosis drove him to investigate new ways to produce medical isotopes. And by fourteen, Wilson had built a 500-million-degree reactor and become the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion. How could someone so young achieve so much, and what can Wilsonandrsquo;s story teach parents and teachers about how to support high-achieving kids?

In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, science journalist Tom Clynes narrates Taylor Wilsonandrsquo;s extraordinary journeyandmdash;from his Arkansas home where his parents fully supported his intellectual passions, to a unique Reno, Nevada, public high school just for academic superstars, to the present, when now nineteen-year-old Wilson is winning international science competitions with devices designed to prevent terrorists from shipping radioactive material into the country. Along the way, Clynes reveals how our education system shortchanges gifted students, and what we can do to fix it.

Synopsis:

The path to progress in Africa lies in the surprising and innovative solutions Africans are finding for themselves

Africa is a continent on the move. Itandrsquo;s often hard to notice, thoughandmdash;the Western focus on governance and foreign aid obscures the individual dynamism and informal social adaptation driving the past decade of African development. Dayo Olopade set out across sub-Saharan Africa to find out how ordinary people are dealing with the challenges they face every day. She discovered an unexpected Africa: resilient, joyful, and innovative, a continent of DIY changemakers and impassioned community leaders.

Everywhere Olopade went, she witnessed the specific creativity born from African difficultyandmdash;a trait she began calling kanju. Itandrsquo;s embodied by bootstrapping innovators like Kenneth Nnebue, who turned his low-budget, straight-to-VHS movies into a multimillion-dollar film industry known as Nollywood. Or Soyapi Mumba, who helped transform cast-off American computers into touchscreen databases that allow hospitals across Malawi to process patients in seconds. Or Ushahidi, the Kenyan technology collective that crowdsources citizen activism and disaster relief.

The Bright Continent calls for a necessary shift in our thinking about Africa. Olopade shows us that the increasingly globalized challenges Africa faces can and must be addressed with the tools Africans are already using to solve these problems themselves. Africaandrsquo;s ability to do more with lessandmdash;to transform bad government and bad aid into an opportunity to innovateandmdash;is a clear ray of hope amidst the dire headlines and a powerful model for the rest of the world.

Video

About the Author

Bryan Mealer is the coauthor of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind with William Kamkwamba, and author of All Things Must Fight to Live, which details his experience reporting the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2003-07 for the Associated Press and Harper's. In 2008, he began working with William Kamkwamba, a 20-year-old inventor in Malawi, who, after dropping out of high school due to a crippling famine, began building windmills from tree branches, tractor and bicycle parts to bring electricity and irrigation to his home and village. Mealer was born in Odessa, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

William Kamkwamba was born in Dowa, Malawi, in 1987 and raised in Masitala village along the central plains. One of seven children born to sustenance farmers who grew maize and tobacco, his childhood was often interrupted by drought and hunger. After seeing windmills on the cover of an 8th-grade science book, he set out to build his own machine using scavenged parts from a scrap yard. His first windmill was made from PVC pipe, a tractor fan, an old bicycle frame, and tree branches, and powered four light bulbs and charge mobile phones. A second windmill pumped water for a family garden. He’s now a student at African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, and recently completed a biography: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope with coauthor Bryan Mealer.

Table of Contents

1.and#160;Orientationand#8194;1

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Why the world needs a new map of Africa

2.and#160;Kanjuand#8194;16

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Walking the fine line between genius and crime

3.and#160;Fail Statesand#8194;34

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;How bad borders made bad neighbors

4.and#160;Stuff We Donand#8217;t Wantand#8194;52

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;The mistakes that make do-gooding worse

5.and#160;The Family Mapand#8194;67

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;How Africans rely on the original social network

6.and#160;The Technology Mapand#8194;91

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Leapfrogs and lessons from Africaand#8217;s digital moment

7.and#160;The Commercial Mapand#8194;121

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;How to buyand#8212;and selland#8212;a better future in Africa

8.and#160;The Natural Mapand#8194;157

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Why Africa will feed, fuel, and shape the world

9.and#160;The Youth Mapand#8194;191

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Harvesting Africaand#8217;s demographic dividend

10.and#160;Two Publicsand#8194;217

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Whoand#8217;s in charge, anyway?

and#160;and#160;and#160; Acknowledgmentsand#8194;237

and#160;and#160;and#160; Notesand#8194;239

and#160;and#160;and#160; Indexand#8194;264

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Keito_U, October 20, 2013 (view all comments by Keito_U)
“I try, and I made it!” These are the words of William Kamkwamba, the misala (crazy) boy from the scrapyard. William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was a mystery. When famine hit his village, he was forced to drop out of school and eat only one meal a day. Although I go to a private school, I had always taken education for granted. This memoir gave me the realization of the importance having the privilege of having an education everyday.

The only thing the people in Malawi could think was “I have to eat”. Although I feel like that all of the time, it was nothing compared to the suffering in Malawi at the time. William was restricted to one meal a day, about five handfuls each time. When I go home, my happy family awaits and there would be enough food to feed the entire family. I was appalled as I read the description of the people William encountered; bellies, feet, and faces swelled with fluid like ticks filling with blood. Living on the opposite side of the world as Malawi, the news of these famines had only been news until I read this.

In the midst of the famine, William Kamkwamba was still yearning for an education; he started to go to the small local library, where he first read about windmills. He had the brilliant idea that using the magic of the windmill, he would be able to bring to his small village something only 2 percent of the population could enjoy: running water and electricity. William Kamkwamba only had a limited amount of resources, so he repeatedly searched the scrapyard for his materials. Not only did neighbors think he’s crazy, but even his own family start to doubt the “madman”. He continued to persevere and he ended up creating a windmill, bringing pride and joy to his village.

In this memoir, William Kamkwamba proved to us the strong will to never give up and to continue chasing dreams.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
KellyB, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by KellyB)
If you like memoirs, learning about growing up in Africa, and want to be inspired, read this book! It's fabulous- great for teens and adults.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Lynne Perednia, July 27, 2010 (view all comments by Lynne Perednia)
Growing up in Malawai, William Kamkwamba listened to his grandfather's tales of men with magic who cursed people and leopards who ate them. He listened well, because he knows how to weave a tale himself in relating his own journey from farming to creating his own technology.

The early part of young Kamkwamba's story portrays a carefree existence with friends. School wasn't taken seriously, even if he wanted to do well, and family are good people who clearly love and like each other. Famine slowly but inevitably strangles their dreams and claims its victims. There is a particularly difficult passage regarding an animal who adopts Kamkwamba that is very hard to read. But he does not spare himself in relating it.

The famine goes for years; survival is hardly guaranteed. It affects reader interest -- writing about the famine appears to be the author's main point for pages and pages instead of the contraption he created -- and also affects diffident student Kamkwamba's chances of being able to stay at school. But a sympathetic librarian lets him read about electricity and engineering. And that makes all the difference.

It is in the telling of how he creates an electricity-producing generator, using such items as pipeline, a seriously broken down bicycle and paper clips, that Kamkwamba shines in telling his story. His success, and how his village reacts to what he's done, are delightful, even though they also are the parts most consciously written for a Western audience. His subsequent international acclaim isn't half as exciting.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a story for anyone who needs to see that anything is still possible these days, regardless of how little a person has or how unconnected to a network of people who make things happen. Kamkwamba explicitly states he hopes others who struggle will hear of what he has done and know they are not alone. Kamkwamba's philosophy is simple: "If you want to make it, all you have to do is try."

Although such an idea may seem naive, its ability to help a determined young man is amply demonstrated.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061730320
Subtitle:
Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star
Author:
Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba
Author:
Mealer, Bryan
Author:
Postrel, Virginia
Author:
Kamkwamba, William
Author:
Olopade, Dayo
Author:
Kamkwamba, Willia
Author:
Clynes, Tom
Author:
M
Publisher:
Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Kamkwamba, William
Subject:
Inventors - Malawi
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Biography-Scientists
Subject:
Nuclear Physics
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20150609
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 b/w photos
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

Other books you might like

  1. The Sibley Guide to Trees
    Used Trade Paper $27.50

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Science and Technology
Engineering » Engineering » Power Resources » Alternative and Renewable
History and Social Science » Africa » Southern Africa
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Energy

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780061730320 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "American readers will have their imaginations challenged by 14-year-old Kamkwamba's description of life in Malawi, a famine-stricken, land-locked nation in southern Africa: math is taught in school with the aid of bottle tops ('three Coca-Cola plus ten Carlsberg equal thirteen'), people are slaughtered by enemy warriors 'disguised... as green grass' and a ferocious black rhino; and everyday trading is 'replaced by the business of survival' after famine hits the country. After starving for five months on his family's small farm, the corn harvest slowly brings Kamkwamba back to life. Witnessing his family's struggle, Kamkwamba's supercharged curiosity leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using 'electric wind'(they have no word for windmills) to harness energy for the farm. Kamkwamba's efforts were of course derided; salvaging a motley collection of materials, from his father's broken bike to his mother's clothes line, he was often greeted to the tune of 'Ah, look, the madman has come with his garbage.' This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This immensely engaging tale relates how an enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity — and a future — to his family.
"Synopsis" by , An exciting new voice offers a fresh portrait of Africans thriving in the face of adversity, showing the way forward for development on the continent and beyond.
"Synopsis" by , An account of child genius Taylor Wilsonand#8217;s successful quest to build his own nuclear reactor at the age of fourteen, and an exploration of how gifted children can be nurtured to do extraordinary things.
"Synopsis" by ,
How an American teenager became the youngest person ever to build a working nuclear fusion reactorand#160;

By the age of nine, Taylor Wilson had mastered the science of rocket propulsion. At eleven, his grandmotherandrsquo;s cancer diagnosis drove him to investigate new ways to produce medical isotopes. And by fourteen, Wilson had built a 500-million-degree reactor and become the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion. How could someone so young achieve so much, and what can Wilsonandrsquo;s story teach parents and teachers about how to support high-achieving kids?

In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, science journalist Tom Clynes narrates Taylor Wilsonandrsquo;s extraordinary journeyandmdash;from his Arkansas home where his parents fully supported his intellectual passions, to a unique Reno, Nevada, public high school just for academic superstars, to the present, when now nineteen-year-old Wilson is winning international science competitions with devices designed to prevent terrorists from shipping radioactive material into the country. Along the way, Clynes reveals how our education system shortchanges gifted students, and what we can do to fix it.

"Synopsis" by ,

The path to progress in Africa lies in the surprising and innovative solutions Africans are finding for themselves

Africa is a continent on the move. Itandrsquo;s often hard to notice, thoughandmdash;the Western focus on governance and foreign aid obscures the individual dynamism and informal social adaptation driving the past decade of African development. Dayo Olopade set out across sub-Saharan Africa to find out how ordinary people are dealing with the challenges they face every day. She discovered an unexpected Africa: resilient, joyful, and innovative, a continent of DIY changemakers and impassioned community leaders.

Everywhere Olopade went, she witnessed the specific creativity born from African difficultyandmdash;a trait she began calling kanju. Itandrsquo;s embodied by bootstrapping innovators like Kenneth Nnebue, who turned his low-budget, straight-to-VHS movies into a multimillion-dollar film industry known as Nollywood. Or Soyapi Mumba, who helped transform cast-off American computers into touchscreen databases that allow hospitals across Malawi to process patients in seconds. Or Ushahidi, the Kenyan technology collective that crowdsources citizen activism and disaster relief.

The Bright Continent calls for a necessary shift in our thinking about Africa. Olopade shows us that the increasingly globalized challenges Africa faces can and must be addressed with the tools Africans are already using to solve these problems themselves. Africaandrsquo;s ability to do more with lessandmdash;to transform bad government and bad aid into an opportunity to innovateandmdash;is a clear ray of hope amidst the dire headlines and a powerful model for the rest of the world.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.