The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster

Front Cover
Scribe Publications, 2012 - Chess - 232 pages
27 Reviews
The true story of a female prodigy from the Ugandan slum of Katwe.
Phiona Mutesi sleeps in a mud hut with her mother and siblings, and struggles to find a meal each day. She is also one if the best chess players in the world.
One day in 2005, while searching for food, nine-year-old Phiona followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende, a refugee who had also grown up in the slams. Robert hand improbable aspiration: to empower Katwe's kids thought chess game so foreign that there was no word for it in their native language. Robert taught the game each day. At first the children came for the free porridge, but many grew to love chess, a game that as in their daily lives meant navigating obstacles. One talented young girl stood out: Phiona.
By the age of 11, Phiona was Uganda's junior champion; at 15, she was the national champion. In 2010, she travelled to Siberia to compete in the Chess Olympiad, the world's most prestigious team-chess event. Phiona's dream is to become a chess grandmaster. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with life in one of the world's most unstable countries a place where girls are taught to be mothers, not dreamers, and the threats of AIDS, kidnapping, and starvation loom constantly.
Like Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon's The Dressmaker of Khair Khama. This is an intimate and heart-rending portrait of human life on the urban fringers in the 21st century.
'Not just inspirational but a corrective to our most damning assumptions.' Library Journal

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Review: The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster

User Review  - Sue - Goodreads

Katwe is a slum neighborhood in Kampala, Uganda. Phiona Mutesi is a young woman from that neighborhood who followed her older brother one afternoon as he snuck off to a soccer program. She got there ... Read full review

Review: The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster

User Review  - Terrill - Goodreads

This is an amazing book--the writing may be a 3, but the story it tells is definitely a 5. As a teacher, one of the things I found most interesting was the teaching techniques used by the chess coach ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

After being a senior writer at Sports Illustrated for numerous years, Tim Crothers now teaches in the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of The Man Watching.

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