I'm always on the lookout for a good inspiring books to read or for my children to read. I just finished reading Queen of KATWE by Tim Crothers.
This story takes us the the slums of Katwe in Uganda where we learn of a young missionary named Katende. He was a war refuge and was one of the lucky ones to make it out of the slums and return to teach other children there. We see how Robert Katende struggled to eat and be able to stay in school throughout his own life. After obtaining a job with Sports Outreach Institute he went back to the slums to teach the kids to play soccer. Some children were not healthy enough to play soccer so Katende came up with a plan to teach them how to play chess. Each day after playing soccer he would give the children a cup of porridge and teach them the game of chess. Some of the kids only continued to come in order to some food. There was one 9 year old girl that really stood out in learning the game. Phiona Mutesi caught on to the game very quickly and started beating all the other children. Katende entered a group of slum children in a local tournament and it was very successful. Phiona beat everyone she played and her mother was very pleased when she brought home some well needed prize money. Winning the tournaments allowed Katende's team of slum children to travel by plane to compete in other countries. To those children they were not only playing and winning at the game of chess they were stepping into a completely different world.
I have heard of the Sports Outreach Institute before, but I have never looked into what they have accomplished or ever guessed that chess would be one of the tools they use to reach young people. Disney will be turning this book into a major motion picture soon and I hope they stay true to the story. This story is an inspiration to not only young girls but to all people no matter what their upbringing may be. This book is a must read and shows how setting your mind on something and working on it every day can and will change your life.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Queen of KATWE free of charge from BuzzPlant in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.