The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (Young Readers Edition)

KAMKWAMBA, William & . 6 CDs. 6:42 hrs. Recorded Books. 2015. $24.99. ISBN 9781501227998. Playaway.
Gr 5–8—In the village of Wimbe, Malawi, Kamkwamba and his family, although poor, managed to get by on their farm until a catastrophic drought lead to crop failure. The family comes very close to starving, and this autobiographical work, supported by Korey Jackson's noteworthy narration, gives listeners a real sense of their struggle to survive. After the drought ends, Kamkwamba vows to never again experience such a dire threat to his family's survival. Despite the fact that he is unable to continue his secondary education owing to his family's inability to pay the fees, Kamkwamba, curious and questioning, especially about how things work, educates himself by borrowing old books from a small local library. One day, he reads about harnessing wind energy and power generation. The authors describe in detail the steps Kamkwamba takes to build an electric wind contraption—a windmill. He does this in the face of much local ridicule. A nice inclusion is the mention made of the support and encouragement of two friends. Kamkwamba eventually succeeds in bringing electricity to his house and the village, to the amazement of the village and the rest of the world.
VERDICT An inspiring true story of achievement against all odds.

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