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The Boy Who Harnessed the Windby William Kamkwamba
Synopses & Reviews
When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.
Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, this story will inspire many as it shows how - even in the worst of times - a great idea and a lot of hard work can still rock the world.
"Zunon's (My Hands Sing the Blues) oil paint and cut-paper collages amplify the entwined themes of science and magic in this adaptation of the authors' 2009 adult book. Kamkwamba was born in Malawi in 1987, and when he was 14, drought was ravaging his country. Forced to leave school to save money, Kamkwamba studied science books at the library, learning about windmills — and their potential. 'He closed his eyes and saw a windmill outside his home, pulling electricity from the breeze and bringing light to the dark valley.' Gathering materials from the junkyard, he assembles a windmill that creates 'electric wind' and even lights a light bulb. Tradition and 'tales of magic' combine with the promise of technology in this inspiring story of curiosity and ingenuity. Zunon's artwork combines naturalistic and more whimsical elements; the African sun beats down on Zunon's villagers, ribbony 'ghost dancers' encircle Kamkwamba's bed while he sleeps, and blue cut-paper swirls sweep toward the windmill. While the narrative simplifies Kamkwamba's creative process, an afterword provides additional detail for readers who share his mechanical inclinations. Ages 6 — 8. Agent: ICM. Illustrator's agent: Painted Words." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
William Kamkwamba (williamkamkwamba.typepad.com) currently attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Bryan Mealer (www.bryanmealer.com) lives in Brooklyn, New York. The original version of their Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was a New York Times Bestseller and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.
Elizabeth Zunon grew up on the Ivory Coast, West Africa, and now lives in Albany, New York.
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