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BookBrowse Reviews The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

by William Kamkwamba

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2009, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2010, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Reviews

A remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity

William Kamkwamba's story is important, sad and beautiful. In the village in Malawi where he was born, people lived much as they had lived for generations, hunting and farming in the intersection of the daylight world and a dark netherworld of juju:

"...Men with bald heads, twenty feet tall, are said to appear on the roads... Ghost trucks drive the same roads at night, coming on fast with their bright lights flashing and engines revving loud... Magic hyenas wander the villages at night, snatching... goats... in their razor jaws and delivering them to the doorsteps of wizards. Magic lions are sent to kill delinquent debtors, and snakes the size of tractors can lie in wait for you in your fields."

Yet, American readers can recognize their own childhoods in Kamkwamba's when he recalls enjoying watching "Rambo" and "Terminator" at the local theater, a hut with a VCR. He and his ...

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