The Queen of Katwe Book Review
In June I attended the red carpet premiere of The BFG, as a special part of the trip we also had the opportunity to preview The Queen of Katwe. At the time we were the first members of the press to see the movie. Prior to the trip I had spent hours on Youtube viewing videos of the main character Phiona Mutesi. When I sat down in that seat I had no idea what I expect, but I left a completely different person. I wanted to know more about Phiona and her talent. I received a complimentary copy of The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers to review from BuzzPlant, any opinions expressed are my own.
If you’re planning on seeing the movie I do recommend reading the book first. This is one of the most inspirational books I’ve read in a long time. Having seen the movie before I already knew it would be. To read about the struggles the children in Katwe has to overcome just to eat, to go to school, to get a drink of water. It’s amazing to see their drive and determination to survive. I loved reading about the character more in dept in the book than it was in the movie. Learn about the back story of her coach Robert Katende who overcame his own obstacles to eventually go on to teach the game of chess to children in Katwe.
This book is a must have for all athletes regardless of the sport they play. It will help motivate them and encourage them to continue to strive to be their best. Phiona continue to overcome her struggles and obstacles to achieve goals she set for herself. You’ll cry, laugh, cheer, and gain a new appreciation for life after reading The Queen of Katwe. Check out this video below to learn more about Phiona.
Pick up a copy of The Queen of Katwe at your favorite bookstore or online and be sure to see the movie when it’s released in September.
About The Queen of Katwe
Phiona Mutesi sleeps in a mud hut with her mother and siblings, and struggles to find a meal each day. She 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 verandah where she met Robert Katende, a refugee who had also grown up in the slums. Robert had an improbable aspiration: to empower Katwe’s kids through chess — a game so foreign that there was no word for it in their native language. Robert taught the game each day. At first the children came for the free porridge, but many grew to love chess, a game that — as in their daily lives — meant navigating obstacles. One talented young girl stood out: Phiona.
By the age of 11, Phiona was Uganda’s junior champion; at 15, she was the national champion. In 2010, she travelled to Siberia to compete in the Chess Olympiad, the world’s most prestigious team-chess event. Phiona’s dream is to become a chess grandmaster. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with 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 constantly.
Like Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, this is an intimate and heart-rending portrait of human life on the urban fringes in the 21st century.