The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope 

by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer





  The Boy Who Harnessed

the Wind: Creating Currents

of Electricity and Hope

by William Kamkwamba





William Kamkwamba







About the Book


In this inspiring memoir about perseverance and self-sufficiency, a teenager teaches himself to build a windmill to provide electricity to his small African village. A story of youthful exuberance, a love of learning, and hope in grim circumstances.  


About the Authors


William Kamkwamba

Author and engineer William Kamkwamba (1987- ) was born in Malawi, a small country in southeast Africa. As a teenager, he built a windmill to provide electricity to his family’s home, and later built a solar-powered water pump to provide drinking water to the people of his village. After speaking at TEDGlobal 2007 in Tanzania, his story received international coverage. He inspired the Moving Windmills project, which promotes Malawian-run economic development. Kamkwamba was named one of the “30 People Under 30 Changing the World” by Time magazine in 2013. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and now works for The WiderNet Project, a non-profit organization that works to improve digital communication worldwide.


Bryan Mealer

Author Bryan Mealer is the author of All Things Must Fight to Live, a book about his years covering the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football’s Forgotten Town. He lives in Austin, Texas.




Book Discussion

Tuesday, February 13 

7:30 pm

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

Adult Services manager Stacey Peterson facilitates this book discussion. Participants are asked to read the book prior to the discussion.


Oba William King, Storyteller

Sunday, March 4

2 pm

Registration required.

Award-winning storyteller Oba William King will capture the essence of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. He will also share other stories and folktales from Malawi, including an example of the traditional style of Call and Response, which is specific to the region where William Kamkwamba is from, as well as “story with drum.”


William and the Windmill  Documentary Film

Monday, March 5

7 pm

Registration required.

After William Kamkwamba succeeded at building a windmill for his village, he became known worldwide. This documentary shows the new challenges he faced as he shifted from inventor to leader. Winner of the SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Award for Documentary Feature.


Stories and Songs of African People    

Sunday, March 11

2 pm

Registration required.

This unforgettable performance featuring Shanta Nurullah includes stories, poetry, chants, and the spellbinding sounds of African instruments. Melding the work of her own creative spirit with African folktales and contemporary African-American perspectives, Nurullah’s stories are about empowerment, peace, healing, and self-discovery. All ages respond to the warmth, humor, drama, and excitement conveyed through her dynamic storytelling.


One Book, One Batavia is an annual community-wide reading program presented by the Batavia Public Library in cooperation with Batavia High School and co-sponsored by the Friends of the Batavia Public Library.