The Queen of Chess: How Judit Polgár Changed the Game

by Laurie Wallmark (Author) Stevie Lewis (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

This is the true story of how Judit Polgár captivated the world as she battled to become the youngest chess grandmaster in history!

"I was at both events where Judit got her first IM norm (I drew her in the last round) and her last GM norm, and I was fortunate enough to play her a few times in the late 80s and early 90s. Judit was already stronger than me when she was 12 years old. She was a great attacking player and great tactician. Simply said, Judit is one of the greatest players of all time. This book is beautifully written and illustrated and will delight children who already play chess and will intrigue those yet to learn the beautiful game." - GM Ben Finegold

"If there's one person that has inspired more girls to play chess, it is Judit Polgár, and thanks to these fantastic illustrations, many young chess players will get to see her fearlessness and determination in her formative years. Judit remains one of the most important people in scholastic chess and growth of the game, and getting her to see her as a girl and her most impressive moves is a winning combo for any aspiring young player." - FM Mike Klein, aka FunMasterMike of

 The queen of chess, Judit Polgár, dazzled the world as a prodigy, winning tournaments, gold medals, and defeating eleven world champions, including Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen. At her peak, Judit was rated the eighth best chess player in the world.

But before these tremendous successes, Judit burst onto the chess scene as a ferocious, child competitor. Beating adults by five-years-old, and winning international tournaments by age nine, Judit was destined for greatness. Follow her incredible journey as she strives for chess immortality, hunting to become the youngest chess grandmaster in history.

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From the intriguing jacket art onward, viewers will be drawn to the many moods expressed in Lewis' handsome, occasionally amusing illustrations. Wallmark, whose previous picture-book biographies include Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (2015) and Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (2017), has a knack for making her subjects accessible to kids. Dispelling the notion that women are inferior chess players, this biographical picture book spotlights a triumphant child/heroine.

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Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little Bee Books
Publication date
July 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
JNF007100 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Sports & Recreation
JNF021010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Games & Activities | Board Games
Library of Congress categories

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