________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 3. . . .September 22, 2017


William Kamkwamba: Powering his Village. (Remarkable Lives Revealed).

Kylie Burns.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2017.
32 pp., pbk., hc., & html, $9.95 (pbk.), $21.56 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2701-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2690-6 (RLB), ISBN 978-1-4271-1811-0 (html).

Subject Headings:
Kamkwamba, William, 1987- -Juvenile literature.
Mechanical engineers-Malawi-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Windmills-Malawi-Juvenile literature.
Irrigation-Malawi-Juvenile literature.
Electric power production-Malawi-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Alison Schroeder.

**** /4



William didnít have the tools needed to build his windmill, so he used his creativity to make his own. He turned a piece of steel into a hammer. He made a drill by putting a nail through half a corn cob. In order to drill holes, William used heat from a fire to make the nail hot enough to poke through plastic.


William Kamkwamba is an inventor, engineer, advocate for the environment, a public speaker and an author. This biography explores his life, ingenuity, and accomplishments through four small chapters, interspersed with facts and photos. The story begins when William is a young school child in Malawi, but he has to stay home to help his family by going to work. After learning about the power of the wind and renewable resources, William teaches himself to build a windmill by studying library books and coming up with a design using recycled parts. After his first successful windmill, he goes on to build several more, is invited to do a TED Talk in Africa, and later is invited to America to do some interviews about his accomplishments. He ultimately ends up earning a degree from Dartmouth University and then goes back to his village to help his family and continue developing technology to provide electricity to areas that donít have easy access to it.

      This book would make an excellent subject of an in-class study or book report. There is a lot of valuable information in the book and inspiring subject matter for any student. It also contains lots of learning tools, like facts and questions throughout, as well as a glossary of terms and writing prompts at the end. It would make a great addition to a school library or any educational collection.

      There are many photos in this book about William Kamkwamba and the windmills he built as well as the places he visited to speak about his work. The cover image is of William, but it doesn't have much on it to indicate what he has accomplished in his lifetime. This book also contains several photos of the village that William was born in and continues to come back to throughout his life. It also contains a map of Africa to show where he is from in Africa as well as where his village is located in Malawi.

Highly Recommended.

Alison Schroeder has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and is a lover of childrenís books.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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