Reviews for Boy Who Harnessed the Wind : Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
In this action-packed fantasy, Ai Ling sets out on a quest to find her father. Joined by new friends Chen Yong and Li Rong, Ai Ling encounters evil demons and powerful gods as she uncovers secrets about her past. Some of the vivid details in this energetic--almost breathless--tale verge on titillating, as lurid creatures and leering men seek to violate the protagonist. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Library Journal Reviews 2009 June #2
Forced to drop out of school when famine hits his village-which has no electricity or running water-a Malawi boy tinkers with scrap metal and builds a windmill that lights a few bulbs and catches the world's attention. A multiple pick at BEA's Librarians' Shout and Share; with a 100,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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Library Journal Express Reviews
This is the remarkable story of an African teenager who, by courage, ingenuity, and determination, defeated the odds. Born in 1987 in a drought-ravaged Malawi where hope and opportunity were hard to find, Kamkwamba read about windmills in a library book and dreamed of building one that would bring electricity to his village and improve the lives of his family. At the age of 14, Kamkwamba had to drop out of school and help his family forage for food, but he never let go of his dream. Over a period of several months, using scrap metal, tractor, and bicycle parts, the resourceful young man built a crude yet operable windmill that eventually powered four lights. Soon reports of his "electric wind" project spread beyond the borders of his village, earning him international recognition and, with the help of mentors worldwide, he now attends a high school in South Africa. Verdict Demonstrating the power of imagination, libraries, and books, Kamkwamba's heartwarming memoir, with Mealer's (All Things Must Fight To Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo) contribution, is sure to inspire all readers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]-Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
American readers will have their imaginations challenged by 14-year-old Kamkwamba's description of life in Malawi, a famine-stricken, land-locked nation in southern Africa: math is taught in school with the aid of bottle tops ("three Coca-Cola plus ten Carlsberg equal thirteen"), people are slaughtered by enemy warriors "disguised. as green grass" and a ferocious black rhino; and everyday trading is "replaced by the business of survival" after famine hits the country. After starving for five months on his family's small farm, the corn harvest slowly brings Kamkwamba back to life. Witnessing his family's struggle, Kamkwamba's supercharged curiosity leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using "electric wind"(they have no word for windmills) to harness energy for the farm. Kamkwamba's efforts were of course derided; salvaging a motley collection of materials, from his father's broken bike to his mother's clothes line, he was often greeted to the tune of "Ah, look, the madman has come with his garbage." This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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