Extended Audio Sample

Download The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, by William Kamkwamba Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00018264840183 out of 54.00018264840183 out of 54.00018264840183 out of 54.00018264840183 out of 54.00018264840183 out of 5 4.00 (5,475 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer Narrator: Korey Jackson, Chike Johnson Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $24.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to find. But William had read about windmills in a book called Using Energy, and he dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his life and the lives of those around him. His neighbors may have mocked him and called him misala—crazy—but William was determined to show them what a little grit and ingenuity could do.

Enchanted by the workings of electricity as a boy, William had a goal to study science in Malawi's top boarding schools. But in 2002, his country was stricken with a famine that left his family's farm devastated and his parents destitute. Unable to pay the eighty-dollar-a-year tuition for his education, William was forced to drop out and help his family forage for food as thousands across the country starved and died. 
Yet William refused to let go of his dreams. With nothing more than a fistful of cornmeal in his stomach, a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford and what the West considers a necessity—electricity and running water. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves, William forged a crude yet operable windmill, an unlikely contraption and small miracle that eventually powered four lights, complete with homemade switches and a circuit breaker made from nails and wire. A second machine turned a water pump that could battle the drought and famine that loomed with every season.
Soon, news of William's magetsi a mphepo—his "electric wind"—spread beyond the borders of his home, and the boy who was once called crazy became an inspiration to those around the world.
Here is the remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “This is an amazing, inspiring and heartwarming story! It’s about harnessing the power not just of the wind, but of imagination and ingenuity. Those are the most important forces we have for saving our planet. William Kamkwamba is a hero for our age.”

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “William Kamkwamba’s achievements with wind energy should serve as a model of what one person, with an inspired idea, can do to tackle the crisis we face. His book tells a moving and exciting story.”

    Al Gore, former vice president and Nobel laureate

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is an inspiring story of an indomitable will that refused to bend to doubt or circumstance. When the world seemed to be against him, William Kamkwamba set out to change it.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2009 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2009
  • A 2009 Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • Winner of the 2010 YALSA Alex Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jonathan | 5/27/2015

    " My hats off to William Kamkwambe for his amazing accomplishments and awesome book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jenifer | 2/13/2014

    " I love, love, loved this book! An inspiring true story taking place in the 1990s & millennial-decade -- I had no idea . . . Hardship, poverty, triumph, innovation and a drive to succeed. What a study in gratitude! Here I am during harvest and Thanksgiving season reading about famine and food shortages in Malawi Africa just 6-8 years ago. Reading about a young African boy with a dream to bring electricity to his home (in 2002!) and thereby eliminate the dangerous smoke from fire and lanterns generally used for light while I'm using an electric bulb that is so much a part of my life I mostly fail to notice. A boy who wants to improve life for his family by using wind-power to bring water for irrigation so they'll never suffer hunger from lack of rain and I live with an endless supply of clean water from a tap I barely think about. I open my pantry to a variety of food while they survive (when there is food) on maize. Mostly I love this book for the spirit of perseverance and determination of one boy to do something to better his life, who cherishes his education, maximizes his talents and loves his family. This book is about SO much more than building a windmill and its conversational style makes me feel like I've been visiting with an old friend. I enjoyed learning a little about the rich and diverse culture, politics and daily life in a world so very different from mine. I love, love, loved this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Stuart Lutzenhiser | 2/8/2014

    " I cried at times, this was so moving. A boy in Malawi, who cannot afford school and whose family is starving to death from famine, teaches himself Physics to the point of allowing himself to build an electricity generating windmill. Over time this brings him attention which brings funding to lift him and his family from poverty and puts him on the road to be among the new generation of African entrepreneurs. Amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by John Hammeke | 2/2/2014

    " The Boy who Harnessed the Wind, an exciting book that takes you on the adventure of a poor villager, William Kamkwamba who later finds that he can make electricity from the air. With simple household items, he had created something no other 13 year old boy could make, a Windmill. Something that he wanted to make to give his family working lights and much more. Later in the book he is visited by famous newsreporters and later travels to the big TED conference where he explains how he did it and what happened. This was a truly amazing book and possibly my favorite right now, because it shows that if you put your mind to something no matter how big or how small, you can make it with simple items, and not only could you succeed or fail, it shows that you tried hard enough. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations