The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by William Morrow
The first half of the novel focuses on the situation in Malawi: poor farmers shedding their sweat and tears in their crops, politicians giving empty promises, famine striking the country once in a while and killing thousands, children couldn't continue their studies due to the expensive fees, uneducated people preferring to consult a magician instead of a doctor when they fall sick... the list goes on and on.
William is a normal boy who suffers the fate of most of the Malawians - he comes from a poor family whose parents are unable to send him to school for a long time. The cost is just too high for them to burden. However, instead of giving up, William chooses to go to the library to learn by himself. At first, he struggles to grasp English, but he chooses to reread the pages again and again until he is finally able to understand the meanings. He is very interested in Physics, and the book he found in the library proves to change his life in a way that he can never imagine. He learns about windmills - how they are used to generate electricity. With his understanding of the Physics concepts and his willingness to pick through junk to find the hidden gems, along with the support from his helpful friend, he manages to build a mini windmill which actually works - his first taste of success.
Following more success and a few failures, he eventually receives recognition internationally. He has the chance to continue his studies and visit other countries to learn about their technology. Going back to his country, he vows to make Malawi a better place in the future with his skills and knowledge. I loved how inspiring this book is, and a sentence that William mentioned in this book grips me entirely: If you want to do something, all you have to do is try.
Every teenager should read this amazing book and learn how knowledge, hard-work, perseverance and determination can make a difference.