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The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's…

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

by Tim Crothers

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15513110,434 (3.69)13



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I was very engrossed by the stories told in this book. At first I was a bit confused by all the different people and their back stories but it helped me to see how universal poverty and despair are in the slums of Katwe and how unbelievable it seems to try and do anything besides daily survival. I think that it is a wonderful illustration of how one person can affect another who helps someone else and eventually many people are given tools to help many others. Maybe some of the complaints I've read in other reviews of this book come because it is not a neatly tied up ending, but that's because this book is more like a prequel or even a prologue for the potential to come. The events in this book are still playing out. ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
Very interesting to see the living conditions and culture in Africa. ( )
  EvaW | Jul 5, 2017 |
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 young woman managed to master such a difficult game.

But the last 2 chapters were unfortunately a bit tedious, explaining what we already knew by then -- that this girl faced immensely difficult hurdles, and that she dreamed of continuing her journey, despite those hurdles. The contents of these chapters would have been better sprinkled through the others. ( )
  sdunford | Oct 20, 2016 |
"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 ( )
  DuCannibis | Mar 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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To Atticus and Sawyer,
the children of Uganda and beyond
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She wins the decisive game, but she has no idea what it means. (Prologue)
She had no other choice.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This work has been published with several different subtitles.
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Book description
PHIONA MUTESI sleeps in a decrepit shack with her mother and three siblings and struggles to find a single meal each day. Phiona has been out of school most of her life because her mother cannot afford it, so she is only now learning to read and write. Phiona Mutesi is also one of 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, who had also grown up in the Kampala slums. Katende, a war refugee turned missionary, had an improbable dream: to empower kids through chess—a game so foreign there is no word for it in their native language. Laying a chessboard in the dirt of the Katwe slum, Robert painstakingly taught the game each day. When he left at night, slum kids played on with bottlecaps on scraps of cardboard. At first they came for a free bowl of porridge, but many grew to love chess, a game that—like their daily lives—means persevering against great obstacles. Of these kids, one 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. In September 2010, she traveled to Siberia, a rare journey out of Katwe, to compete in the Chess Olympiad, the world’s most prestigious team-chess event. Phiona’s dream is to one day become a Grandmaster, the most elite title in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday 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 over the people.
[retrieved 11/08/2012 from Amazon.com]
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Phiona Mutesi is a teenage chess prodigy from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Her dream is to one day become a Grandmaster, the most elite title in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday 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 over the people.… (more)

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