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Guest Post – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Thank you Oli for this incredible book! If you’d like to know more about Oli and her work, check out her review and her website Adventures in Arabic.

Title: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

Author: William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

Genre: Biography, Inspirational 

Plot: When famine hits Malawi William’s family have to use the $80 that should have paid his school fees to buy food. He tries to keep up with his education by studying at a local library, where he sees a photo of a wind farm in America. If Americans can use wind to generate electricity why can’t he…

Rating: 4.0 – Really uplifting with a wonderful sense of place. William’s voice shines through. 

Rating: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You get a real feel for Malawi and rural life there, but without long descriptive passages. The authors don’t shy away from how tough life is for people, but it is told with real affection and respect. In a lot of ways it reads like a novel, the pacing is great, and while it is an emotional roller-coaster (I cried) you never really doubt that the ending will be happy. You get a sense for who William is both as the boy the book is about and as the man writing it. However his two friends are less distinct characters and while the paragraphs about how, exactly, he makes a windmill and generator out of junk are quite short I certainly found the parts about overcoming technical challenges less interesting than the bits about overcoming emotional challenges. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a feel good read.

“The author of this review works for a Malawi-based NGO and blogs about her experiences at

2 thoughts on “Guest Post – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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