Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

I just began reading this to my 12 year old. I haven't read aloud to him since last summer when we began The Woods Runner with the exception of a few parts of the books he is reading in class this year. His science teacher offers extra credit if students read off of the "Science Shelf" in the school's library. Our wonderful librarian has compiled a variety of non-fiction and science fiction books. After Gregory flew through the Michael Vey series, I really couldn't get him to read anything else off of the shelf.

However, the stars aligned and I happened up on this book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, at the school's book fair. A Malawian boy has written the story of how he brought electricity to his village by constructing a windmill out of old bicycle parts and junkyard scraps. Boy who loves physical science and electricity meet William Kambkambra. So each day during the week, I read 20 pages aloud from this incredible story.

William Kamkwamba begins by detailing life in his village. He talks about the games he plays, the jobs he has, how his house is constructed, and how his family earns a living, his schooling, his friendships, his "business" fixing battery-operated radios, and finally he begins to inform the reader about why it is so difficult to get electricity to a village in Malawi and why if you do succeed in getting electricity, why it is so unreliable.

Watch his interview on Jon Stewart.

Check back to read more as I continue my Read Aloud with my son.