This book summary and review of The By Who Harnessed the Wind was prepared by Doralina Deitch while a Business Administration student in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.
The book was about a young boy that built a windmill. In the beginning of the book, he gave many stories about his father, grandfather and the villagers. He talked about his dad being a hero and how him and his grandfather was the two most important men if his life. Even though his father did not believe in magic he never discourage William that magic did not exist.
He talks about how his father was quite famous and a farmer. He also says how his father was drunk and liked to get into fights. His uncle died from tuberculosis. His uncle gave his business to his first born son, Jeremiah. It is custom for the first born son to inherit everything in his country. Once Jeremiah took over the company he to busy drinking and really not paying attention to the company and the company collapsed. It left William family to survive on its own. William goes on to talk about the culture and the marriage process. The marriage process came up due to his sister running away with a teacher that she married.
William was not able to get a higher education. He wanted to go to secondary school and started for a couple of weeks but he ended up dropping out of school due to the fact that his parents did not have the money to pay for school. Since William was not able to go to school, he started to go to the library. By going to the library, he discovered that he was interested in electricity and psychics book. He checked out many books and started to see how electricity worked.
He started to experiment with building things. He first started with to build a windmill. It took him a little while to build this. When he build it, he had many villagers and people just traveling stopping and seeing what it was. People was so amazed that he built that was no education. People from all around traveled to see what everybody in the town was talking about. All of the people was telling William parents how their son was intelligent. After this, he announced to everybody that he wanted to build a bigger windmill and to have electricity in their house. William cousin came to visit and when she came she brought her cell phone. She was telling him how she needed to go into town to charge her phone and they charge her a small fee. William had the idea to try and get his windmill to charge phones.
They were people that came and visited the library at the school and while they were there they saw William windmill. They asked the teacher who built that and she said William Kawkmaba. They went to William house and talked to him about how and why he built it. Once William explained why, the people wanted him to get interviewed by a reporter. A couple of days later, the reporter came and interviewed him and ask him many questions about the windmill. Why did he build it? How did he know so much about electricity? Where did he get all the information to build it? When he was done with the interview, everybody was happy and cheering for him. Their was able to get him noticed throughout the world and for him to travel and tell his stories and challenges.
The Ten Things Managers Need to Know from The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
1. The things managers need to know from this book is that if you put your mind to things that it can come true.
2. The things managers need to know from this book is that how he started the project to get where he is at today.
3. The things managers need to know from this book is you need the determination and the courage to build what you had your heart set to.
4. The things managers need to know from this book is that you do not need to procrastinate on doing things.
5. The things managers need to know from this book is that you can do things with minimum material. For example, William did not need expensive things to build that windmill. He just use things around the village.
6. The things managers need to know from this book is to never think that your idea is stupid or no good because others people told you that.
7. The things managers need to know from this book is that managers need to take pride in their work.
8. The things managers need to know from this book is to enjoy on what you doing with your life and in your work.
9. The things managers need to know from this book is that you can be a role model to your fellow employees and fellow management.
10. The things managers need to know from this book is that you need to be honest with yourself and to other people.
Full Summary of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
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In the first chapter, he speaks about how he remembered how magic made a such presence in his village. The two most important people that he talks about is his father and grandfather. He talks about his dad being a hero. He talks about how he dad saved him from a witch doctor and that is how he became his hero. Also, there was an big animal that the villagers were trying to kill. He talks about how this animal will kill different villagers when they go to the river to get water. All the villagers would get together and hunt down this animal to kill. When the animal was killed by the villagers they had a celebration. At the end of the chapter, it talks about how he father is a great story teller, but even though he might forget the story in midway the stories will also end up with the same ending.
In this chapter, he starts off talking about his father and how he was quite famous and a being a farmer. For the first half of the chapter, he talks about how his father was a drunk and how he used to get in fights all the time. He even talks about how his father fought twelve men and won. Also he talks about how he use to follow this women all the time and how he asked her to married him. She said that she had to think about it. When this happen, he talks about his mother talked to her parents and how her parents meet each other. After that conversation, she ended up marrying him six months later and having a baby a year later. After that, his father stills got into fights and ended up in jail. One of his father said that he will tear up the paperwork if he just turned to God and he did. William uncle also had a booming business.
He starts off talking about how his uncle died from tuberculosis. His uncle gave his business to his first born son, Jeremiah. It is custom for the first born son to inherit everything in his country. Once Jeremiah took over the company, he was to busy drinking and really not paying attention to the company and the company collapsed. It left William family to survive on its own. After a year after his uncle died, his other uncle Socrates lost his job and moved back to the village with his seven daughters and his dog. The dog always followed William around. At first, he did not want the dog by him but then eventually he realized that the dog was not so bad to be around. He realized that the dog was basically a friend that he can talk to and keep company with and that the dog would not talk back to him or tell him what to do. He liked that. William and his two older cousins mostly liked to go bird hunting. His cousin and him use to bring back a couple of birds every time they went hunting.
He talks about how he was going to give up his hunting and trapping of animals because of how he mature. He started getting interested in radios and how they worked. William started to take apart the radios to see how it works. He was really interested on what control what part of the radio. He became basically little scientists and opened up a business of fixing radios in his village.
This chapter starts by talking about how some people have electricity and how some do not. He talks about how his family needs electricity so when it gets dark that he can study, do school work and work on his radios. The only thing people could do when it got dark was go to sleep. He did not like that you basically went to sleep around seven o’clock everyday due to the fact that they did not have any electricity. He also was going back to help his dad with the farming. He got up early in the morning and help his father. Due to the heavy rains, the crop were very low. Many people use to walk for days to visit to Ganyu so they can either do day labor or piecework. Since there was no food or little food, people started to get unripe fruit like mangos and they also ate gaga. Gaga is the clear part of the kernels of a maize. That is normally the part that they gave to the chickens. Also, this chapter talks about how when they selected a new president they everybody in the village will get new shoes. The president went over the PA system and announced that nobody would be getting new shoes and how is he suppose to know what everybody size was. The villagers got one person to speak on their behalf. After the villagers stood up to the president he got six people to go and beat that villager up.
He starts by talking about how son did not eat with his mother and how daughters did not eat with their father. William always ate with his father and his uncles while his mother ate in the other room with his sisters. He also talked about how you always respect your elders no matter what. Also, he talked about how only the mother and the woman’s husband are the only people that can ask how about the woman that was pregnant. One of William sisters ran away from home and found out that she married a teacher named Mike. He talked about the tradition that has to be done when a girl likes a guy and how Anne did not follow that. Since she did not do that she can not come back home again. Every Christmas, they also had a meal that had meat. This year since the meat was scarce they did not want to go to Christmas that did not have meat.
In this chapter, William talks about school and how he was waiting for his grade on his test so he can if he can go to a top school. William did not get a high enough grade to go to the school that he wanted to go to. He also talks about how the hungry for the villagers is getting worse. He father took all of the saving out of the bank so they can have enough money so his family can eat at least for another week. William and his friend went to the same school. He could not afford to buy his own books so he look at his friend book in class.
At the beginning he talks about his dog was really sick. His dog keep following him around everywhere even though he was sick. His friends and family was wondering why William would not put the dog out of his misery. Although he was really sick, William believed that if the dog ate that he would get better like in a month.
This chapter it talks about he wanted to keep up with the kids that was in school so he started to go to the library. William went there about everyday. He eventually saw a book that he was interested in. He saw a book about electricity and physics that he was interested in. He checked out the book and started reading the book how to create electricity. He was really interested on how it create electricity. It talked about in the book the two magnets that create electricity like the north and the south pole. Once he discovered on how electricity work, he decided to build a windmill. He explain in the end of this chapter on how the electricity work to make the windmill work.
William was finally able to go back to school. Although William was out of school for a little while, he was trying to catch up with school by writing down all the notes that he probably can to try and caught up on what was going on. He fees were due within a couple of days and he was nervous to ask his dad if he was able to come up with the money to pay the dues from him to go to school. They had a meeting or assembly to announce when the money was due for the fees. His father was not able to get the money. His father talked to the teacher at school to beg for William to stay in school and he promised that he was able to get the money. The teacher talked to other teachers and agreed to let William stay for another three weeks. Although William father was able to come up with money, it would have not been enough to pay for William schooling and to pay for his family to eat and live. At the end the chapter. he started to build the windmill. Although he was only missing one part to finish the windmill he was determine to get it.
At the beginning of this chapter, he was able to get the last part that he need to finish the windmill. After he was finished, he was trying to figure out how he was going to bring the windmill outside and set it up. The boys were able to fasten the windmill outside so it was secured. When they had it fasten, people was starting to come to see what was going on. Some people in the villagers wanted to know what it was and how it work. People thought that William was crazy to build this thing. A villagers thought it looked like a transmitter. Once the windmill started going, the people that was there was in “awe” that the windmill actually work. After they were surprised that it work, the crowd started to cheer and rant that William was not lying that it was an electric windmill. He also announced to the crowd that he was going to go bigger. For a month after, the people still was coming to see how he manage to build this and they wanted to know how he did it. Many people said to William parents that they had an intelligent son. His father was explaining to them that William was reading many books on electricity. One of the people said that “they are teaching this in school” and the father said “no, my son had to drop out of school.” People was just amazed that this young boy was able to do this without no education.
William talks about his cousin visiting and how she has a cell phone that she normally get charge in town for a small fee. William learns how to fix the wires so he can charge the phone. People begin to come to his house to have their phone charged. He even makes an electrical wall socket in his room. He found lights for his parents room and the living room. He attached it to a battery that would store enough power for three days. He made light switches for the walls. He then makes a circuit breaker to be on the safe side and keep from starting a fire.
William was still going to the library and checking out different books. He heard that there was a different school that was accepting people and William still wanted to go to school. His father still did not have the money to let William go to school. William was still experimenting with different projects. He decided to do a radio station to see if it would work. Chief Wimbe died in this chapter. William mother came down with malaria and his sister was still sick. They did not have an ambulance so his father picked up his mother and rode her down on his bike and then he flag down a truck and brought her to the hospital. Eventually she slipped into a coma. Once she got to the hospital and she started to be treated she started to fell better.
At the beginning, it talks about the people saw his windmill when they were inspecting the library at the school. The people asked one of the teacher who built this and she gave him William name. They came to the house and questioned William about how he built the windmill and how he got lights in their house. The people talked to William mother and father and told them that their son had a bright future and how everybody needs to know about him. The people talked to a radio reporters and interview William on what he dream was and he said that he wants everybody to have lights in their house. Later, he was able to go back to school thanks to them funding his education.
William seemed very happy in this chapter. The reporter wanted to do other interviews. Tom was able to help him with the presentation. He was also given a laptop so he can be more familiar with the internet. He was so amazed how much you can find on there. Tom was able to get William some money. The people fought William and his parents mobile phones so they would be able to communicate with each other while William was traveling. He was able to see America and visit the Windmill Farms. William was honored and admired by people all of the world. He traveled to museum and convention to show what he did. He was also accepted to a school where inventors was recognized. William was really proved of himself and started to believe in himself.
First, choose one of the following two bullet items to write about (or both if you choose to):
Why I think:
· The author is one of the most brilliant people around…or is full of $%&#, because:
The author is one of the most brilliant people around because he proved that if you put your mind to something that you can do it. William just started out going to the library to read books to try and caught up on his education since he was not able to go to school for a while. By going to the library, he was able to check out books that he was interested in as in electricity and physics. So by reading those books, he had the idea to build a windmill.
· With business conditions today, what the author wrote is – or is no longer true – because:
With business conditions today, what the author wrote is true to a certain extent because in some parts of the world you still have people that does not have money to eat. In America, it is better off than some of the others countries. He showed that nobody what country or education or live style that you are in you can accomplished and achieved your goal if you put your mind to it.
Then, all of the following bullet-items are mandatory to write about:
· If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:
1. I would have started talking about how he built the windmill earlier in the book then towards the end of the book.
2. I would have given more detail on how he built the windmill. He should have said I did this to get this to work and etc.
3. I would have not given all the stories that he did in the beginning of the book from his father and grandfather. Although some of it was good, I would not have given that more information.
· Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:
1. It made me think differently about the topic because it shows that you did not need an education or expensive things to build something if you put your mind to it.
2. It made me think differently about the topic because it shows how America is different from other countries. It showed in this book the different culture and the education then in the United States.
3. It made me think differently about this topic because I would have not thought of building an electric windmill out of things that were around the house or village.
· I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:
1. I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by when I start a project that I should finished it because I know at the end I will be proud that I accomplished what I started.
2. I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by if you set your mind to do something that you can do it.
3. I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by applying the determination and the courage to finish a project.
· Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is the inspiring story of a young man in Africa who used the only resources available to him to build a windmill and elevate the lives and spirits of those in his community. William Kamkwamba’s achievements with wind energy should serve as a model of what one person, with an inspired idea, can do to tackle the crisis we face. His book tells a moving and exciting story.”
— Al Gore, former Vice President and Nobel Laureate
As you read this book (I’d suggest keeping a box of tissues handy) you can be sure that William Kamkwamba’s future is bright. If this tale is any indication, we’ll be hearing his name again in the years ahead.
Kate Vander Wiede is an intern at the Improper Bostonian magazine.
By the reviews above, it shows that people talk good about this book and how they encourage people to read this book. They talked about how William and determination and a bright future ahead of him for this young boy to build what he did.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Retrieved May 6, 2010 from http://bryanmealer.com/new/?m=200909
The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Reviews/2009/1015/the-boy-who-harnessed-the-wind
Contact Info: To contact the author of this “Summary and Review of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
David C. Wyld (email@example.com) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/. He also maintains compilations of his student’s publications regarding book reviews (http://wyld-about-books.blogspot.com/) and international foods (http://wyld-about-food.blogspot.com/).
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