Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

I've read two books in the last two months that have really made me realize if you put your mind to anything, it can happen! The first of those two books was Three Cups of Tea, and the second is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Here, we have a boy who lives in very poor conditions in Malawi, Africa. After having survived a famine during his early childhood and seeing the toll the lack of food put on his family and neighbors, he became determined to find a way to stop the suffering. Hence, this young man starts studying books at the library on how to create wind energy, and voila - the windmill! Of course, I'm leaving much of the details out here, but you get the idea. This kid was a pre-teen when he built this windmill, and also a child who lacked a lot of education that most of us are used to. The poor young man couldn't go to school b/c his family could not afford to make the tuition payments. But still, he pressed on and built this structure that ultimately gave his entire village a ray of hope!

When I found out what this book was about, I was a little concerned that a lot of time would be spent discussing the technical details of how energy is generated into electricity, etc etc. However, the majority of the book gave a really great background on the conditions that this young man faced, which I think was necessary to know in order to understand the magnitude that the windmill had on this village. There might have only been a chapter or two in the entire book that somewhat focused on the technical details, and even that wasn't that bad!

I enjoy books like these - they remind you to be grateful for what you have, and that fancy cars and houses and clothes and any other material things don't really matter so much in the grand scheme of things!

The Lost Symbol is next!

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