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Dr. Deaton’s Book Review: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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Did you know that 8000 new books hit the market every single day?  And that in the year 2000, there were 52 million published titles worldwide?  At this rate, you would have to read almost six books a minute, round-the-clock, in order to keep up.   Now that’s speed reading.

While not all of those 8000 titles are worth your time or mental energy, there are certainly many books written and published that will add insights, elevate your game, heighten your thought processes, and inspire your creativity.  But how do you find these great books amid the vast published profusion?

Here’s where I bless your life.

To help you find some of the best reading out there, I thought that once a month I would do a book review of a book that I believe is worth your time and thought.

Wait, it gets better.

If you leave a comment on the blog about the book I review, or something else that you’ve been reading or thinking about, we will enter your name in our book giveaway at the end of the month, and if your name is selected I will send you a signed copy of one of my books.

See what I mean about blessing your life?  And now, without further ado…

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

(4 out of 5 Q’s…that’s good)

This is a story not only about harnessing the power of the wind, but about harnessing the spark within each of us to learn, to imagine, to create, and to better our lives.

William Kamkwamba writes, “Before I discovered the miracles of science, magic ruled the world.”  William was born in Malawi, a country where, indeed, modern science was mystery.  Malawi was withered by drought and hunger, and hope and opportunity were as scarce as food and water.  Even in the midst of such dire circumstances, William craved knowledge.  He got his hands on a book called Using Energy, which described the principles of creating electricity.  William was intrigued by the idea of the windmill to bring electricity and water to his village,  and thereby change his life and the lives of those around him.  He had many critics.  William’s neighbors derided his efforts and called him crazy, but he started small and began to build a windmill using whatever he could find — scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle remains.

The book tells of William’s struggle to become educated.  He wanted to study science in Malawi’s top boarding schools.  But famine had 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.

Through it all, William refused to let go of his dreams 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.  After his first crude yet operable windmill, that powered four small light bulbs, he continued to make improvements.  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 small town, and this boy who was once called crazy became an inspiration to people all over the world.

This is a remarkable story about human resourcefulness, ingenuity, sheer determination, and the will to overcome crippling adversity.  The book is full of  potent lessons taught within a compelling and fascinating story, and I think both the truths and the tale will inspire and teach you.  William closes his book with these words, “But whatever it was I decided to do, I would apply this one lesson I’d learned:  If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.”

I’m interested in your thoughts.

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Comments
  • Denny McQuaid

    I am extremely excited.I feel very priveledged.I pray very specifically for wisdom and insight,the goal being to share my faith and learning with others.I am loving Dr.Deaton,s style of teaching.

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