Teachers for Teachers | Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
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Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer and Elizabeth Zunon


This story about William Kamkwamba is one that we want to remember and share with readers of all ages. William Kamkwamba lived in the village of Wimbe in central Malawi during a severe drought and famine.   At age 14, he wanted to help his family find a way to bring water to their farm. Through sheer determination, persistence and research, William built a windmill from items he found at the local junkyard.   His windmill brought electricity and pulled water from a small well near his home. His family and the community were saved.

This picture book biography isn’t just one that we will share with teachers during a biography unit of study, we think this text is a perfect text for talking about growth mindset and determination. William shows readers through his actions that we can all overcome obstacles and work to find solutions to our struggles.   We love that readers can hear William tell his story on his TED talk:   https://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind

It is also amazing for readers to know that William is currently a student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Teachers Matter, Kids Count! Tammy and Clare

Teachers Matter, Kids Count!
Tammy and Clare

  • Linda Baie
    Posted at 14:01h, 25 June Reply

    It’s a beautiful story, & now I need to find the picture book. Thanks for highlighting it!

  • Clare and Tammy
    Posted at 14:03h, 25 June Reply

    You are welcome — we know it is going to become a go-to book for us!
    Clare and Tammy

  • Gigi McAllister
    Posted at 14:51h, 25 June Reply

    I LOVED this book. Great book to share with kids. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 14:54h, 25 June Reply

      We cannot wait to use this book with kids!!! Thanks
      Clare and Tammy

  • Michele Knott
    Posted at 15:15h, 25 June Reply

    That (well, not this version) is one of the books in Fountas and Pinnell’s LLI kit. It’s a fantastic story and kids really get into it. I’ll have to check out this one as well!

    • Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 15:17h, 25 June Reply

      Good to know — lots of schools use the LLI kits – this would be a great text to pair with it! Thanks
      Clare and Tammy

  • Crystal
    Posted at 19:45h, 25 June Reply

    Thanks for including the TEDtalk link. I love the book, but didn’t know that talk existed.

    • Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 19:46h, 25 June Reply

      We love the TEDtalk! Glad to know we shared it with others!
      Clare and Tammy

  • Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer
    Posted at 03:53h, 26 June Reply

    I enjoyed this book. I had wanted to read the actual book this was based on but didn’t have the time to commit to it. Fascinating.

    • Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 10:56h, 26 June Reply

      It is a great story. We have not read the actual book either. We will check it out.
      Clare and Tammy

  • Myra from GatheringBooks
    Posted at 11:17h, 30 June Reply

    I’ve been on the lookout for this one for quite sometime now. Haven’t seen it yet in our library, but have already pinned this on my Pinterest Board for PBB. Sounds like a great story indeed.

  • It’s Monday! We Are Reading Books to Inspire Summer Reading | Assessment in Perspective
    Posted at 10:22h, 04 May Reply

    […] The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer and Elizabeth Zunon […]

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