(Aug. 21, 2013) – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer has been selected for the Loudoun County Public Library’s 2013 “1book 1community” reading program. Books will be available at all branches beginning Monday, September 9, 2013, and a special children’s edition will be available at Rust Library in Leesburg. Accompanying programs and book discussions will be offered for all ages at all eight library branches through October. The author, William Kamkwamba will give a public presentation at Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place in Potomac Falls at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 24, 2013. The program is free and open to the general public.
Now in its 10th year, “1book 1community” was established to engage and enlighten residents and to foster a sense of community through reading. This library Signature Program is funded by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund whose mission is to create “better understanding between all people.” The “1book 1community” selection committee is composed of educators, library staff, teen participants and community members.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind tells Kamkwamba’s inspiring story of human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a land withered by drought and hunger, where hope and opportunity were hard to find. He had read about windmills and dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village, thus changing his life and the lives of those around him. But his goal to study science in one of Malawi’s top boarding schools came to a halt in 2002 when his country was stricken with a famine that left his family’s farm devastated and his parents destitute.
Unable to pay the 80-dollar-a-year tuition for his education, Kamkwamba was forced to drop out and help his family forage for food as thousands across the country starved to death. Yet, Kamkwamba refused to let go of his dreams. He embarked on a plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford electricity and running water. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves, he created a windmill that eventually powered four lights, as well as a second machine that turned a water pump that could battle the drought and famine that loomed with every season.
More information about the “1book 1community” program is online at http://library.loudoun.gov/1book.