by William Kamkwamba
TED talks, gained his education, and returned home to continue building and inspiring people.
I was amazed at William's ingenuity, how he not only built the windmill, but wired it to his house, made wall switches and a circuit breaker from scrap materials, and tried many other inventions- some of course didn't work. But he didn't give up trying. Also opened my eyes to see how primitively the people live in many parts of the world, very hand-to-mouth, belief in things like witches and magic still strong- when things went badly in his village, some people actually blamed the windmill for causing it! As far as the writing goes, it is not particularly polished, but the substance of the story was what made this book great for me. I've seen other readers complain that it took too long to get to the windmill part- the first half of the book being about William's life and his family's struggles; but the context that gave for his achievement made the story all that more powerful.
I picked up this book from a free stack at the public library. I finished reading it on the airplane, then swapped with a friend I met on my trip, for a book that sounds most intriguing: The Golden Spruce.
Rating: 4/5 290 pages, 2009
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