The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 6, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
6 Reviews
Now a major motion picture starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyongo and David Oyelowo, directed by Mira Nair.

The “astonishing” (The New York Times Book Review) and “inspirational” (Shelf Awareness) true story of Phiona Mutesi—a teenage chess prodigy from the slums of Uganda.

One day in 2005 while searching for food, nine-year-old Ugandan Phiona Mutesi followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende.

Katende, a war refugee turned missionary, had an improbable dream: to empower kids in the Katwe slum through chess—a game so foreign there is no word for it in their native language. Laying a chess­board in the dirt, Robert began to teach. At first children came for a free bowl of porridge, but many grew to love the game that—like their daily lives—requires persevering against great obstacles. Of these kids, one girl stood out as an immense talent: Phiona.

By the age of eleven Phiona was her country’s junior champion, and at fifteen, the national champion. Now a Woman Candidate Master—the first female titled player in her country’s history—Phiona dreams of becoming a Grandmaster, the most elite level in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday life in one of the world’s most unstable countries. The Queen of Katwe is a “remarkable” (NPR) and “riveting” (New York Post) book that shows how “Phiona’s story transcends the limitations of the chessboard” (Robert Hess, US Grandmaster).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sdunford - LibraryThing

The story of Phionia Mutesi is absolutely as astonishing and incredible as the blurbs on the cover promise. The first 9 chapters of this book were difficult to put down. I needed to learn how this ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DuCannibis - LibraryThing

"Phiona Mutesi is the ultimate underdog. To be African is to be an underdog in the world. To be Ugandan is to be an underdog in Africa. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda. To be a girl is to be an underdog in Katwe." -Tim Crothers Read full review

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Contents

Prologue
1
Land of the Frogs
9
Katende
25
Pioneers
55
Resurrection
69
Teach Her What You Know
83
Mzungu
97
Like a Boy But Not a Boy
119
Heaven
141
The Other Side
155
Hurdles
179
Dreams
213
Acknowledgments
230
Tips from Phiona for Chess and Life
239
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Tim Crothers is a former senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion and The Man Watching, the biography of University of North Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance, and coauthor of Hard Work, the autobiography of UNC basketball coach Roy Williams. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.

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