Finding Chika

a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family

November 2019


I realized families are like pieces of art: They can be made from many materials. Sometimes they are from birth, sometimes they are melded, sometimes they are forcibly constructed, and sometimes they are merely the confluence of time and circumstance, mixing together, like eggs being scrambled in a Michigan kitchen.

But they are all real. Chika was a daughter to a number of people. And for the last two years, she was ours, gloriously ours…

We did not lose a child. We were given one.

— Mitch Albom, “Chika’s Story” in the Detroit Free Press

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 Mission & 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.”


Featuring exclusive clips of Chika, in her own voice. 

Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that they can get the medical help needed to return her to a healthy life in Haiti. 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 for an inoperable brain tumor. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys a child brings to their lives, 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 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.


What Readers Are Saying...

“Unadorned, heartwarming…the takeaway from this simple, moving memoir is that love has no boundaries and should not be hindered by ethnicity, religion, education, or money. A highly expressive, tender story about how ‘families are like pieces of art, they can be made from many materials.'” — Kirkus


“This is a story of such heart-wrenching beauty that you think it would take a Mitch Albom to compose it. But Albom is more than the author, for it was his own heart that was broken open by the surprising arrival and excruciating departure of a dazzling little Haitian girl named Chika—who became, in every way that matters, his and his wife’s precious daughter — and it is his own life he seeks to patch back together in the telling.” — Melissa Fay Greene, two-time National Book Award finalist and author of There Is No Me Without You


“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


“Chika’s story of hope, faith, and unconditional love is simultaneously uplifting and tragic…In this lustrous tribute to a short but impactful life, Albom’s gift for plucking heartstrings and finding meaning in life, which has endeared him to millions, is on full display.” — Booklist

“Albom’s memoir is a lens into his grief but also a celebration of Chika’s spirit and lessons gleaned from their time together as a family. The heartbreaking but uplifting story is a testament to the bravery and resilience of children and the power of love. Essential for all public libraries.” — Library Journal

““Finding Chika” is a touching rumination on the magic of children, the extraordinary lengths parents will go for them and the unlikely family that came together across continents” — AP

“Emotionally rich and deeply affecting, the scope of Albom’s writing is breathtaking and a gut punch to the soul. You won’t be able to put the book down until the very last page. This intimate portrait should be read by anyone who has ever been warmed by the smile of a child.” — Booktrib

“A heartbreaking story of love, grief and the true meaning of family.” — Daily Mirror (UK)

“Although Finding Chika makes for heart-wrenching reading, it is also a tale of resilience and decency.” — The Independent (UK)

“Suffused with a warmth and humanity that evaporates all cynicism…This book is a lovely but heartbreaking tribute to her memory.” — The Independent (Ireland)

“..the book follows the efforts he and Janine go to, to try and save her. But more than that, it’s about the wonderful changes Chika brings about in Albom and his wife’s own lives – opening them up to a new kind of family; giving them a new perspective on what is important … it is also frank, incredibly upsetting at times and very moving. But somehow, despite the pain and sadness, what you remember is how surprisingly funny and hopeful it is – and Chika too.” — Irish News

Book Tour Events

An Evening with Mitch Albom – Oshman Family JCC – Palo Alto, CA
Dec 10 @ 10:30 pm – 12:30 am

#1 internationally renowned and bestselling author, Mitch Albom, returns to nonfiction with Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, And The Making Of A Family. With this book, the author of Tuesdays With Morrie returns to nonfiction for the first time in over a decade to celebrate Chika, a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change his heart.

$25: General Public Ticket and Book Bundle

$22: Members and J-Pass Holders Ticket and Book Bundle



Barnes & Noble – Shelby Township, MI
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Barnes & Noble – Toledo, OH
Dec 14 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Mitch Albom’s Finding Chika – Concord, NH
Dec 16 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Northeast Delta Dental and Gibson’s Bookstore present bestselling author Mitch Albom, with Finding Chika, his first work of non-fiction in over ten years! This poignant memoir celebrates Chika, a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change the heart of a family.

Finding Chika is bestselling Mitch Albom’s first work of non-fiction in over ten years! This poignant memoir celebrates Chika, a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change the heart of a family.

A meet & greet book signing line follows the event. Due to considerations of time, no books other than Finding Chika will be sold or signed by the author during this event, so please, no books from home.



$34 (admission for one;  one signed copy of Finding Chika);  $43 (admission for two; one signed copy of Finding Chika). Availability: CCA Patron-level and higher members: starting on Thurs, Oct 31 at 12PM. On sale to the general public on Fri, Nov 1 at 12PM.

Barnes & Noble – Brighton, MI
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Books-A-Million – Beverly Hills, MI
Dec 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club – Richmond, VA
Jan 9 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
This poignant memoir celebrates Chika, a young orphan Mitch met while supporting an orphanage in Haiti after the devastating earthquake ten years ago. When Chika was diagnosed with a life threatening tumor Mitch and his wife adopted her with the hope that medical care back in the US could provide a cure. This book is the story of that journey- about love and the making of a family, but also about loss and an inspirational little girl who brought and continues to bring joy even though she is no longer here.
In this 75 minute presentation, Mitch will remind us that any relationship built on love can never be lost.
VIP Reception  $60 (plus book $70) SOLD OUT
Wine reception with author, preferred seating
General Admission $35 (plus book $50)
Book $16
Purchase tickets online here or at
The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club office from
 10am – 4pm
Books and tickets can be picked up at will call the night of the event or three days after purchase in the office at The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club. Check office for holiday closure.
For more information or group sales call 804.310.7421
All proceeds benefit TTWC Scholarship Fund
Haiti Have Faith Mission and Orphanage
Hospice of Marion County – Ocala, FL
Jan 14 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Hospice of Marion County is hosting “An Afternoon with Mitch Albom” at the Klein Center on the campus of CF January 14, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. This best-selling author who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie, has just recently released Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family. He will share his experiences with Chika, her adoption, journey through hospice care and lessons learned from her short life. Tickets for this event are available online at for $35 per person which includes a copy of his book. PRINT & KEEP YOUR RECEIPT & BRING IT WITH YOU –You will need it to check-in at the event and receive a copy of the book.

For more information, contact Lanie Shirey at ext. 1302, or Cindy Moody at ext. 2050,

Good Shepherd Community Care and Brandeis Alumni Association – Waltham, MA
Jan 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

This January, internationally renowned and best-selling author, Mitch Albom will return to his alma mater to share the deeply moving and inspiring true story of a little girl named Chika who Mitch and his wife, Janine, took into their orphanage in Haiti. When Chika developed a terminal DIPG brain tumor at age five, Mitch and Janine brought her to America, hopeful she could soon return to Haiti. Instead, Chika, funny, brash and brave, became their daughter for two years, as they traveled the world in search for a cure, and eventually, watched her die.

Mitch will bring light to issues such as pediatric cancer, adoption, the global health issues of poor children, the many ways we can make a family, and the power of the teams that families, doctors, nurses, and hospice workers form to help someone die.

Ticket includes one book per attendee, public book signing with Mitch and dessert reception.

Community Hospice – New Philadelphia, Ohio
Jan 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Internationally renowned and bestselling author of the book Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom is coming to The Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas to talk about his newest book, Finding Chika: a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family.

VIP Reception at 6:00pm with tickets at $50.00 per person:  includes a champagne reception with heavy appetizers, preferential seating and a personalized book signing.

General admission tickets are $25.00 per person.
Box office opens at 6:00 pm and auditorium opens at 6:30 pm, Mitch Albom at 7:00 pm

Tickets are on sale at the Performing Arts Center box office, 330-308-6400 or online at
The box office is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm

Calvin University January Series – Grand Rapids, MI
Jan 21 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Author, columnist, radio host, and philanthropist Mitch Albom is an inspiration around the world. His books, including the New York Times Bestselling Tuesdays with Morrie, have sold over 39 million copies and have been translated into over 45 languages. While nationally recognized for his sports writing at the Detroit Press, Albom is perhaps best known for the themes of hope and kindness that weave through his books, plays, and films. In his talks and presentations, he brings the same inspiring message of community building, giving, and purpose. He is the founder of 10 charities, nine in Detroit and one in Haiti. His latest book, Finding Chicka, marks his return to nonfiction for the first time in more than a decade as a memoir that celebrates Chika, a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change his heart. It is a book about the making of a family and our responsibility to abandoned children worldwide.

Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, NC
Jan 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Co-chairs Holly and Hal Levinson invite you to join them at the Federation’s 2020 Main Event on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm at Temple Israel featuring Mitch Albom. The Main Event is the Jewish Federation’s most widely attended event of the campaign season.

Mitch Albom is perhaps best known for the themes of hope and kindness that weave through his books, plays, and films. In his talks and presentations, he brings the same inspiring message of community building, giving, and purpose. Albom shares stories about faith amongst the poor, the well-to-do, the homeless, and those who once felt God did not exist. Expanding on themes already developed in his books Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Albom weaves a captivating and uplifting message about the potential in all of us for a giving, meaningful life.

The Circle of Care – Westport, CT
Jan 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join us for an intimate conversation with Mitch Albom  as he reflects on his life-changing experience with Chika. It will be an inspirational evening filled with funny and tender anecdotes and moving photos and video from his time with the amazing Chika.

Moved by the suffering he witnessed after the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, Author Mitch Albom adopted a failing orphanage in the city of Port-au-Prince for his charities. There he met Chika, a bold and curious five-year-old girl, who had developed a life-threatening brain tumor. With no doctors in Haiti able to help her, Albom brought Chika into his home with the hope that medical care in the U.S. could cure Chika’s illness. They were an unlikely family – Albom and his wife were in their late 50’s, Chika was a fireball of pre-school childish energy, with endless questions about her new country, its people and the world around her. The story of their journey and the many things they learned along the way is told in Albom’s new book Chika.  It is Mitch’s hope that audiences will be moved by Chika’s courage, enlightened by her journey, inspired by her humanity and empowered to help ease the suffering of children worldwide.


General Admission Ticket Prices

VIP ticket price $75 – Signed book & reserved premier seating, entered into drawing for a chance to attend meet and greet

General admission ticket price $35 in advance – first come first served seating

General admission ticket price $40 at the door

Additional books purchased at the event $20

Book price post event – $25

CUES Future Summit 2020 – Detroit
Feb 5 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Details to be announced

An Evening with Mitch Albom – Harrisburg, PA
Feb 25 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join Jewish Family Service, with presenting partner GIANT, for a presentation and book signing with best – selling author Mitch Albom. Following the program, Mr. Albom will be signing copies of his latest book, Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Beth El Temple Harrisburg | 2637 N. Front St.
VIP Reception – 5:30pm | Program – 7pm | Book Signing to Follow
Tickets $20/GA, $125/VIP | Sponsorships Available

For more information on tickets and sponsorships, follow the ticket link or call 717-233-1681.

The Chika Fund covers life-saving medical costs and health care, including inoculations, nutrition, regular doctor checkups, medical tests and if-needed hospitalizations at Have Faith Haiti.

shelved logo - mitch albom books on a shelfThe only newsletter dedicated to updates, exclusive content, and giveaways of Mitch’s books! 

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