My Name Is Tani . . . and I Believe in Miracles: The Amazing True Story of One Boy's Journey from Refugee to Chess Champion

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Thomas Nelson Pub, Oct 4, 2022 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages

In their escape from Boko Haram's reign of terror in Nigeria, Tani's family's journey to the United States was nothing short of a miracle. Then 8-year-old Tani started competing with his public school in the ultra-exclusive chess clubs of New York City - and winning. A true story of sacrificing everything for family and living with nothing but hope.

Tani Adewumi didn't know what Boko Haram was or why they had threatened his family. All he knew was that when his parents told the family was going to America, Tani thought it was the start of a great adventure rather than an escape. In truth, his family's journey to the United States was nothing short of miraculous--and the miracles were just beginning.

Tani's father, Kayode, became a dishwasher and Uber driver while Tani's mother, Oluwatoyin, cleaned buildings, while the family lived in a homeless shelter. Eight-year-old Tani jumped into his new life with courage and perseverance--and an unusual mind for chess. After joining the chess club in his public school, Tani practiced his game for hours in the evenings at the shelter. And less than a year after he learned to play, Tani won the New York State chess championship.

In this incredible book, you'll discover:

  • An inspirational true story of perseverance, hard work and love
  • An eye-opening account of the threats from Boko Haram in Tani's homeland of Nigeria
  • The true power of the miracles each one of us can do for one another

A young boy with an aptitude for chess? Absolutely. But if you ask Tani Adewumi, he will tell you he believes in miracles and one happened to him and his family. This story will inspire, delight, and challenge you to believe, too.

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About the author (2022)

Tani Adewumi is the eight-year-old Nigerian-born boy who recently won the NY State Chess Championship after playing the game for only a year. Tani and his family's story begins amidst Boko Haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria and takes them to a New York City homeless shelter, where they waited to be granted religious asylum. Tani's father, who came from a royal Nigerian family, became a dishwasher and Uber driver to support his family. His mother, whose family owned the largest printing press in Nigeria and had been working at a bank for over a decade, trained to become a home-aid. So, when Tani asked to join the chess program at PS 116, which required a fee, it seemed unlikely. His mother wrote to the coach, who offered Tani a scholarship. Miracles led Tani and his family to New York. As Tani's father puts it, "There are many times in my life where I thought this must be the miracle and yet, I did not know that the miracle had not yet begun." Craig Borlase is a New York Times bestselling writer, specializing in crafting dramatic, engaging memoirs. Recent work includes the international and New York Times bestseller Finding Gobi and My Name is Tani. Films of both books are currently in development.

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