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Finding Chika : a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family

by Albom, Mitch, 1958-

Format: Print Book 2019
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Summary

"Mitch Albom has done it again with this moving memoir of love and loss. You can't help but fall for Chika. A page-turner that will no doubt become a classic." --Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club and The Art of Memoir

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Tuesdays With Morrie comes Mitch Albom's most personal story to date: an intimate and heartwarming memoir about what it means to be a family and the young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change his heart.

Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince.



With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika's arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, "No one in Haiti can help you with."



Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika's boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.



Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. Finding Chika is a celebration of a girl, her adoptive guardians, and the incredible bond they formed--a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The catastrophic earthquake that felled Haiti in 2010 spurred best-selling author Albom (The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (2018) and his wife, Janine, to immerse themselves in the relief efforts, most specifically in the fate of an orphanage that was home to dozens of children left rudderless by the destruction. Among them was Chika, a precocious and cunning three-year-old who instantly endears herself to the Alboms. When she is diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, they bring her to their home in Detroit and embark upon a daunting but determined quest to find a cure. Well past the age when most couples have a family, the Alboms all but adopt Chika and discover the joys of parenthood they thought had passed them by. Told through flashbacks and episodes of magical realism where Chika makes herself known to the grieving author, Chika's story of hope, faith, and unconditional love is simultaneously uplifting and tragic. Keep the tissues handy, for Albom bares his soul in this lustrous tribute to a short but impactful life.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Megapopular Albom's gift for plucking heartstrings and finding meaning in life, which has endeared him to millions, is on full display here.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Albom's powerful second memoir (after Tuesdays with Morrie) is a tribute to Chika, an orphaned Haitian girl whom Albom and his wife, Janine, cared for from age five to age seven, when she died from a brain tumor. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Albom took over the management of an orphanage there. In 2013, fun-loving Chika became a resident and, two years later, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Doctors in Haiti didn't have the means to treat Chika, so Albom and his wife--who never had kids--brought her home to Michigan to help save her. Albom conveys the heartbreak of watching her suffer (Chika endured surgeries, and lost teeth and hair), while capturing Chika's sweet spirit and youthful resilience. He speaks candidly about being too career-focused and putting off having kids until it was too late, and shares how Chika allowed him and his wife to experience the glory of parenthood decades into their marriage. Albom addresses Chika directly: "You never have to worry about us forgetting you... we'd lose every memory we ever had before we would let go of yours." Both painfully sad and beautiful, this is an absolute tearjerker. (Nov.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Jeune, Chika, -- 2010-2017.
Albom, Mitch, -- 1958-
Orphans -- Haiti -- Biography.
Families.
Biographies.
Publisher New York, NY :2019
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 243 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
ISBN 9780062952394
0062952390
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