The Queen of Katwe - Tim Crothers

The Queen of Katwe

By Tim Crothers

  • Release Date: 2012-10-09
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4
From 64 Ratings


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).


  • The Queen of Katwe

    By Thelma Melk
    This was meant to be a quick read. I did not anticipate being gripped by a story that is an incredible narration of against all odds. It is a story of incredible odds, poverty, gender stereo typing & an incredible will to succeed. A rich tapestry descriptive & incredibly well written. Looking forward to the movie. A fantastic read. That it is a true story makes it all the more intriguing. It has the right mix of emotion and drama to keep you engaged. A good African story that had to be told.