The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Picture Book Edition


  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780803735118
  • 32 Pages
  • Dial Books
  • 6-8 years


When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone’s crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.

Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, this story will inspire many as it shows how – even in the worst of times – a great idea and a lot of hard work can still rock the world.


"[An] inspiring story of curiosity and ingenuity." — Publishers Weekly

"This book will appeal to adults eager to impart an uplifting Third World human-interest story, but it is also sure to resonate with children who will simply love the curiosity, resilience and resourcefulness of this doughty African youth." — Wall Street Journal

"A powerful, gorgeously illustrated children’s picture book." — The Boston Globe

"This is a dynamic portrait of a young person whose connection to the land, concern for his community, and drive to solve problems offer an inspiring model." — School Library Journal

"Zunon illustrates handsomely, with contrasting cut-paper-collage details and broad, sere landscapes painted in visibly textured oils." — Kirkus

"This picture book in accessible free verse will draw kids who love to construct their own engineering gadgets." — Booklist

Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s 2013 Best-of-the-year list. — CCBC
PRH Book Clubs Survey