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William Morrow Paperbacks, 8/2010
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a story of a young hero and is worth sharing with all generations. First released as a book for adults, this remarkable true story has now been made into a lovely picture book for children as well. William Kamkwamba's story begins in Malawi, a land where magic reigned and science was mysterious. Kamkwamba read and devoured all the knowledge he can find in the little library in his village. Ignoring the taunts of being misala -- crazy, -- he experiments with creating inventions from the scraps and pieces of junk. Eventually, he builds a windmill and brings to his village what very few Malawi's have -- electricity and running water. Both books give a real sense of the hard life in the village: one does so with words and the other with collage and paint illustrations. A dusty sand color used on the cover of the adult version and on the endpapers of the children's version perfectly matches the landscape as I remember sub-sahara Africa. This story takes me back to a place where I spent some time as part of a volunteer organization creating libraries. As you might imagine, that makes it pretty special for me but this story is inspiration for anyone!