This month on Bookster we’re highlighting the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Read on for more about the author’s fascinating story:
William Kamkwamba was born in 1987 in rural Malawi, Africa. He lived in the village of Mastala with his parents and six sisters. As a boy, William helped farm with his father, attended Wimbe Primary School and spent time with his cousin Geoffrey and his good friend Gilbert. Although he was just an average student in primary school, he had an inquisitive nature.
One day when he was 13, William met someone in his village who was riding a bicycle with a light attached to the front. He wondered how pedaling the bike generated electricity for the light. When it was explained to him he began to ponder whether a radio could be powered by pedaling as well. These questions, along with subsequent hardships — the 2001 nationwide famine and his family’s inability to fund his secondary education — ironically paved the way for the development of his first windmill to provide light for his family.
Through his ingenuity and altruism, William later went from being a school dropout to a hero in his village, a celebrity within the international TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference community, and an inspiration to dreamers around the world.
Hear from William himself on how he changed his life forever:
William Kamkwamba: How I Harnessed the Wind
- Eric Stanton, Librarian at CADL Okemos
If our online discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Windinterests you and you’d like to share more in person, please join us at 12 p.m., April 4 for a lively discussion at CADL Okemos.
Do workplaces still have water coolers??? When the current season of Downton Abbey ended last month, I noticed how many people at work were talking about it. It reminded me of the “Who Shot JR?” days of Dallas and my parents talking about the last episode of The Fugitive. My friends and colleagues posted things on Facebook and Twitter, but they also talked about the show F2F. Such fun! (To quote a favorite show of mine, Miranda.)
It got me thinking about television shows that inspired a lot of talk at work and elsewhere over the years.
- Roots first aired in 1977 and still holds the record as one of the most watched television programs in history. As Brian Gilmore* said: “…’Roots’ had Americans — not just African-Americans — finally facing the history of slavery up close.”
- Goodbye Farewell and Amen, M*A*S*H’s final episode, was the most watched television program of all time until Superbowl XLIV in 2009.
- Ellen: The Puppy Episode It seems almost quaint now that a major sitcom star coming out was a big deal, but in 1997 it was much talked about.
- Newhart the surprise ending of the last season is a great finale! Bob wakes up in bed with his wife Emily from his first show. Everything has been a dream! Ginnie Newhart (Bob’s wife in real life) came up with the idea.
- Reality TV always stirs discussion, as in who won American Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars etc. the previous night.
Your water cooler TV is at @ Find Movies.
- Anne R., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing