Download The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl Audiobook

The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl Audiobook, by Tim Crothers Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Tim Crothers Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781442356115
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (146 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “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

  • 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

  • “Moving…A poignant reminder of the power of hope.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josie | 2/4/2014

    " There are several biographical sketches in this book, but central sketch is of Phiona Mutesi from Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda. We learn of her life until 2011, when the book closes. Phiona is a fifteen year old chess prodigy. Her talent and hard work is worthy of the lavish praise that she has received. However, and this is sad and disturbing, at the close of book, Phiona continues to play chess but, given the daily struggles that she and her family face, a bright future is not necessarily in the offing for Phiona. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 12/7/2013

    " not a literary great but an inspiring story "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ricardo | 11/23/2013

    " Young writer but I look forward to his next book. The question is , when?good read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 11/11/2013

    " As other reviews have pointed out, the beginning of the book is bogged down by (I believe) some structural impediments, but the story as a whole is both inspiring and well-told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 11/5/2013

    " A little slow at first but a very inspirational story especially if you have a heart for overseas ministry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Snail | 9/3/2013

    " More like 2.5. Okay, but not great. This was expanded from a magazine article, and to some extent it shows. The author had to add a lot of background about other people to justify this as a book-length work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mk | 8/26/2013

    " This book would be good for a high school aged reader. It does have a religious overtone. But it gives a look into a girl's life in extreme poverty and her feelings as she transcends her limits. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 6/1/2013

    " I liked the message but honestly thought this book was a little confusing. The way the author introduced characters....I just can't explain it. I really tired of reading about other people that I didn't think had much to do with the outcome of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte | 5/29/2013

    " This was a really amazing, empowing story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 5/22/2013

    " An inspiring story of will & determination in the face of unimaginable poverty & deprivation. I couldn't put the book down despite the mediocre writing style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chitra | 12/3/2012

    " Inspiring story that is poorly written.. "

About the Author

Tim Crothers is a former senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Man Watching, the biography of University of North Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance, and coauthor of Hard Work, the autobiography of UNC basketball coach Roy Williams. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.

About the Narrator

Gabra Zackman is an actress, author, and narrator who has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University. A classically trained actress, she has appeared in theaters all over the country as well as on film and television.