The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

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  • Age Range: 6 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 3
  • Lexile Measure: 910L
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803735111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803735118

EXCERPT from Publishers Weekly:
When severe drought descended on Malawi in 2001, precipitating widespread famine that eventually killed more than 10,000, 14-year-old William Kamkwamba was determined to do something to help his family and the other residents of his village of Wimbe. After studying diagrams in old science textbooks in the library, he fashioned a windmill from a tractor fan, shock absorbers, a broken bicycle, and other junkyard finds. This windmill, and others he subsequently built, brought electricity and life-saving water to his beleaguered village. With journalist Bryan Mealer, Kamkwamba told his remarkable story in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a 2009 adult title from Morrow. Just off press from Dial is a picture-book adaptation of the book, featuring art by Elizabeth Zunon.

Rationale for Inclusion:
The original edition of this book was adapted to be a picture book for children. It tells the colorful story of applied engineering and perseverance, with underlying themes of re-purposing and recycling. Not only is this book inspirational, it also introduces tough topics like poverty and inequity.

Hear this book read aloud.

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