This post appeared today on Amazon's Book Blog, Omnivoracious.
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Best of September: "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"
by Dave Callanan on September 10, 2009
Due to a stereotypical Irish temperament, I get very fired up about the books I love. I've been known to corner colleagues with excited rants that are immune to exaggerated watch-checks and loud sighs. Such behavior is, of course, highly annoying and causes many on our floor to stare at their feet when our paths cross at the coffee maker.
Thanks to The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, life has been even rougher lately for those unlucky to work on my floor. Few books have moved me this much, as the story of William Kamkwamba is nothing short of remarkable. Growing up amid poverty and famine in rural Malawi, young William saw opportunity in the gusts of wind what swept through his homeland. Armed only with a dream and ferocious determination, the fourteen-year-old embarked on a journey to build a device that could produce magetsi a mphepo: "electric wind." With electricity, he believed, his family could finally break free from the chains of darkness and hunger. Too poor to afford schooling or proper materials, he put his plan into action with the help of scavenged engine parts, borrowed textbooks, and the unwavering support of his father.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a powerful example that one person can still make a difference. Fortunately for you, I can’t corner readers in the blogosphere, but can strongly recommend that anyone looking for an inspiring read this fall pick up a copy of this amazing memoir. Readers will be excused if a Google search is required to prove this is no work of fiction (sheepish disclaimer: I myself visited williamkamkwamba.com after Chapter 4 to quiet any doubts), as the words of William Kamkwamba will stay with you long after the final page has been read.