‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’ named Sarasota County’s One Book selection for 2022

The author, a native of Malawi, to appear at two county programs in February

Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind has been named the 2022 One Book selection of the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department (LHR), county staff has announced.

Written by William Kamkwamba, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind “is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and perseverance, and the power to overcome adversity,” a news release says.

“Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country that was filled with drought and hunger,” the release adds.Yet, none of this deterred William, who had always been an enthusiastic learner and had read about windmills in the library,” the release continues. “He dreamed of building [a windmill] that would bring electricity and running water to his small village, things that only a small percentage of Malawians could access.

With a pile of old science textbooks, scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves,” the release adds, “he embarked on a plan to create a small miracle that would make big changes for the lives around him.”

Renee Di Pilato, the LHR director, said in the release that the book is both “inspirational and uplifting.”

It is available in multiple formats for children, teens and adults, the release points out.

“This is the 19th year the Sarasota County library system has participated in the One Book, One Community program, which started in 1996 in Seattle to help foster the expression of ideas within the community through the shared love of reading,” Di Pilato explained in the release. “This program encourages discussion across the county, and this book perfectly illustrates the power of one person’s ability to change their community for the better.”

“A committee selects the One Book title each year and then hosts a public event with the author and readers,” the release explains. “This celebration includes follow-up programs at county libraries and other venues,” the release notes. The One Book initiative has featured both local and bestselling authors.

Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate in the program, the release adds.

As part of this 2022 One Book celebration, the LHR staff will host author Kamkwamba for the following speaking engagements, the release says:

  • 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb, 17, at the Suncoast Technical College Conference Center in North Port, which is located at 4445 Career Lane. The conference center is next to the Shannon Staub Public Library. No registration is required. Visit this link for more information.
  • 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 18, at Selby Public Library, located at 1331 First St. in downtown Sarasota. No registration is required. Visit this link for more information.

For more information call the county Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit scgov.net.