The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster by Tim Crothers
Now a major motion picture starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o 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).
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.
The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I love chess myself. To read this story, of a young girl straight from the slums of Uganda, she is an insperation. This story has also pulled on my heart strings. I am an ER nurse as well. It was interesting to hear that she dreams of being a nurse also some day. I would be willing to sponsor her, as a foriegn exchange student here in Minnesota. If there is a way, I would be willing to do that. She could finish her schooling here in Minnesota, and continue her chess training.