The Queen of Katwe

The Queen of Katwe

A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Rise From An African Slum

Book - 2012
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Random House, Inc.

Phiona Mutesi, is a 15-year-old girl born and raised in a miserable slum called Katwe in Kampala, Uganda. She sleeps in a decrepit mud hut with her mother and four siblings and struggles to find a single meal each day. Phiona has been in and out of school her whole life because her mother cannot afford to send her, so she is only now learning to read and write. Phiona Mutesi is also one of the top chess players in the world.

One day in 2005, while desperately searching for food, Phiona followed her brother to a mission church where she met Robert Katende, another child of the Ugandan slums, who works for an American organization that offers relief and religion through sports. Robert introduced Phiona to the game of chess and within months he discovered her immense talent. By the age of 11, in 2007, Phiona was her country's junior chess champion and at 15, her country's national champion. In September of 2010 she traveled to Siberia, just her second time ever on an airplane, to compete in the Chess Olympiad, the world's most prestigious team chess event. While there, Phiona proved herself to be on par with the greatest players in the sport and her goal is to one day become a grandmaster, the most elite title in chess, and to blaze a trail out of Katwe that other children in Robert's chess community can follow.

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. And to be a girl is to be an underdog in Katwe.The Queen of Katwe is the ultimate underdog story.

Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2012
Description: 232 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780307361004
Branch Call Number: 794.1092 Mut


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ser_library Oct 11, 2017

more background and context than the movie

Oct 22, 2016

Loved it. I was inspired to watch youtube videos about her. And, not in the book, she gets to fulfil a dream of a house for herself and her family. I was *so happy* to learn that.

Mar 06, 2013

Incredible how some people are forced to live their lives in this world. Also incredible the amount of raw talent and intelligence that must be missed among these people for want of opportunity. In this case one chess club in a slum uncovered several rough diamonds. The focus is primarily on the girl Phiona, and her rise from extreme poverty with little or no chance of an education or even basic survival into one of the world's most talented chess players. Excellent book.

Dec 17, 2012

An amazing story of how human talent can rise given a half a chance. It's a revelation to read how large numbers of people live in parts of the world (reaffirms how truly blessed we are). You get a glimpse of our world through the eyes of a young girl taking her first ride in a motor vehicle outside of her Ugandan slum to a chess match in a hotel with restaurants.

Dec 03, 2012

The story of Phiona Mutesi and her rise to being the top woman chess player in Uganda is riveting. She and her family struggle to get enough to eat and often are locked out of their shack because they cannot pay the rent in the slum where she lives. Robert Katende is the man who finds a way to reach these children. The book is written in a very choppy manner but I hope that many learn about these amazing children and the man who has helped them find a different future. Phiona spoke on the East Coast the end of Nov, 2012 and soon may be hitting national news. All the best to her and her peers.

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