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The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion Paperback – September 6, 2016
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Mass Market Paperback
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It’s a story almost too uplifting to believe: a young girl from a dirt-poor slum in Uganda meets a man, a missionary from a similar background, who inspires her to take up chess, a game so unknown in her country that there is not even a word for it in her language. The girl rises to national champion and travels to the Chess Olympiad in Siberia, a journey that opens her eyes to a world she might never have known. Crothers tells Phiona Mutesi’s story in a crisp, reportorial style (he’s a former senior writer at Sports Illustrated), but it’s nearly impossible to read the book without a strong emotional response. The author necessarily talks about the social and economic challenges that Phiona encountered in Uganda—most girls her age had no bigger dreams than simply surviving—but his focus remains centered on Phiona herself, the uneducated prodigy, the barely literate girl who, against all odds, stands poised to become a chess grand master. Inspiring without being strident about it. --David Pitt --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"A must-read for all who dare to dream." (Library Journal (starred review))
"A moving and universal story of the power of potential and the wonder of perseverance. This story will inspire you--and will make you wonder how many more Phionas there are among us."--Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, New York Times-bestselling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
"This story of a young woman's triumph over the unimaginably cruel fortune she was born into would pierce a heart of stone."--Hillary Jordan, New York Times-bestselling author of Mudbound and When She Woke
“The Queen of Katwe is one of the most inspiring, thought-provoking, humbling books I’ve ever read. It’s a must-read for any chess player, woman, athlete, or frankly anyone who knows any of the previous three, aka everyone!”--Siva Sankrithi, Math Teacher & Chess Coach, Lakeside Upper School, Seattle, WA
“The Queen of Katwe is gripping. We witness Phiona’s incredible evolution as a player, as she competes against older and far more experienced competitors. It also offers readers a fascinating look at a war-torn and struggling nation, as well as the unlikely story of how her mentor Robert Katende, a refugee of Uganda’s civil war, has created a flourishing chess program for kids in one of Africa’s most treacherous slums. This story has the power to inspire girls everywhere."--Alexandra Kosteniuk, Grandmaster, 12th Women's World Chess Champion (www.chessqueen.com)
"Moving.... A poignant reminder of the power of hope." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The Queen of Katwe is an extraordinary account of one young woman’s exceptional achievement. It is also a lament for this world in which only a tiny number of incredibly fortunate and exceptionally determined children have any chance of escaping the dehumanizing poverty that prevails in Katwe and places like it." (Bill Littlefield, host of "Only a Game" on National Public Radio)
“It’s a story almost too uplifting to believe… Crothers tells Phiona Mutesi’s story in a crisp, reportorial style, but it’s nearly impossible to read the book without a strong emotional response… Inspiring.” (Booklist)
"The Queen of Katwe Tim Crothers gives us an inspiring and heart-wrenching story." (Chessville.com)
"An inspirational profile of an amazing chess player from one of the world's worst slums." (Shelf Awareness)
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"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."