When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old his parents told him that he must leave school and come and work on the family farm as they could no longer afford to $80 a year tuition fees. This is the story of his refusal to give up on learning and reading. A story of passion, determination and remarkable achievements. Malawi is a country battling ...
When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old his parents told him that he must leave school and come and work on the family farm as they could no longer afford to $80 a year tuition fees. This is the story of his refusal to give up on learning and reading. A story of passion, determination and remarkable achievements. Malawi is a country battling AIDS, drought and famine, and in 2002, a season of floods, followed by the most severe famine in fifty years, brought it to its knees. Like the majority of the population, William's family were farmers. They were totally reliant of the maize crop. By the end of 2001, after many lean and difficult years, there was no more crop. They were running out of food - had nothing to sell - and had months until they would be able to harvest their crop again. Forced to leave school at 14 years old, with no hope of raising the funds to go again, William resorted to borrowing books from the small local library to continue his education. One day, browsing the titles, he picked up a book about energy, with a picture of a wind turbine on the front cover. Fascinated by science and electricity, but knowing little more about the technology, William decided to build his own. Ridiculed by those around him, and exhausted from his work in the fields every day, and using nothing more than bits of scrap metal, old bicycle parts and wood from the blue gum tree, he slowly built his very own windmill. This windmill has changed the world in which William and his family live. Only 2 per cent of Malawi has electricity; William's windmill now powers the lightbulbs and radio for his compound. He has since built more windmills for his school and his village. When news of William's invention spread, people from across the globe offered to help him. Soon he was re-enrolled in college and travelling to America to visit wind farms. This is his incredible story. William's dream is that other African's will learn to help themselves - one windmill and one light bulb at a time - and that maybe one day they will be able to power their own computers, and use the internet, and see for themselves how his life has changed after picking up that book in the library.
A few pages may be dog-eared. Good: unmarked. Book is in great condition; cover shows minor signs of wear. Pages are unmarked by pen or highlighter. Previous owner's name on inside of front cover. Various bends in front and back cover.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-12-05 Zunon's (My Hands Sing the Blues) oil paint and cut-paper collages amplify the entwined themes of science and magic in this adaptation of the authors' 2009 adult book. Kamkwamba was born in Malawi in 1987, and when he was 14, drought was ravaging his country. Forced to leave school to save money, Kamkwamba studied science books at the library, learning about windmills-and their potential. "He closed his eyes and saw a windmill outside his home, pulling electricity from the breeze and bringing light to the dark valley." Gathering materials from the junkyard, he assembles a windmill that creates "electric wind" and even lights a light bulb. Tradition and "tales of magic" combine with the promise of technology in this inspiring story of curiosity and ingenuity. Zunon's artwork combines naturalistic and more whimsical elements; the African sun beats down on Zunon's villagers, ribbony "ghost dancers" encircle Kamkwamba's bed while he sleeps, and blue cut-paper swirls sweep toward the windmill. While the narrative simplifies Kamkwamba's creative process, an afterword provides additional detail for readers who share his mechanical inclinations. Ages 6-8. Agent: ICM. Illustrator's agent: Painted Words. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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