The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by Capstone Connect
(pub. 1.19. 2012)  32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: William Kamkwamba
                  and Bryan Mealer
     and Illustrator:  Elizabeth Zunon

C haracter: William Kamkwamba
O verview from the jacket flap: 

         "Heroes can be any age. When William Kamkwamba was fourteen years old, living in a drought-ravaged area of Malawi in Africa, he pursued a dream that brought electricity and running water to his desperately poor village.
        William had always been interested in how mechanical things work, and after poring over old science textbooks, painstakingly teaching himself English so that he could understand them, he became determined to build a windmill [that would bring] electricity to his home and eventually life-saving water to his village.
         Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, Williams' story shows how - no matter how young you are or how huge the challenge - creativity, determination, and hard work can help save your world." 
T antalizing taste: 

     "He dreamed of building things and taking them apart, 
       like the trucks with bottle-cap wheels parked under his bed
       and pieces of radios that he'd crack open and wonder,
       If I can hear the music, then where is the band?"

and something more:   For the first book honoring Black History Month, I chose The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind because it's illustrated by Liz Zunon, the incredible artist who illustrated the book I wrote, My Hands Sing the Blues - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey.  Liz again creates evocative art using oil paint and cut paper collages.  Although it's difficult to choose, one of my favorite illustrations in this book is the page that's similar to the cover.  But instead of showing the boy with eyes open on a bright day with the functioning windmill as on the cover, this illustration shares the moment when William, with his eyes gently closed, imagines the possibility of the swirling windmill "pulling electricity from the breeze and bringing light to the dark valley." So beautiful!
      Visit Liz's website to see a photo of children in Malawi, William's village, holding books sent to them by Pearson's We Give Books Campaign
       This past Saturday, Liz participated in the The 20th Annual African American Children's Book Fair in Philadelphia with a host of other amazing authors and illustrators. 


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne, this looks like an amazing book - I like the idea of harnessing the wind. :)

On another note, I found your book in our library! Will also feature it for Black History Month - we are celebrating it sometime Feb 20-27. :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Myra! And thanks so much for featuring my book at your library! :)

Medea said...

Oh this looks fab!
I live in Japan, and due to recent events safe alternative energy is very important to us. We live near a wind farm so my kids often have questions!
I really like the message about being able to make a
Big impact no matter what your age is.
Off to order!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Medea! And from Japan! I think you and your kids will enjoy the book.