This memoir of William’s life growing up in Malawi the son of poor farmers, showcases what one can accomplish if one is willing to work for it. William earns a spot in secondary school, but due to a famine and poor harvest seasons, his family is unable to pay his tuition. William wants to keep up with his studies so he gets class notes from his friend, Gilbert, and visits the library at his primary school.
While at the library, William discovers a few books on physics, energy and science. Although William’s English is poor, he is able to understand the diagrams and looks up words he doesn’t know in the dictionary. William decides to build a windmill to provide lights for his family’s home and hopefully power an irrigation system for the farm so they never have to go hungry from a draught again. William’s windmill is successful in providing energy and gains much interest from local villagers and some businessmen in the city.
The windmill changes William’s fortune and future. His radio interviews yield an invitation to be a TED Global Fellow in 2007 at age 14. See his TED talk here. He meets many people at the TED conference who eventually help him with tuition for school and encourage him to write this memoir. While on the book tour in the U.S., William visits many colleges and decides to attend Dartmouth where he is currently a student.