Finding Chika

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

November 2019

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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.”

GET THE AUDIOBOOK

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.

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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

“Yes, this is a deeply gut-wrenching book that will bring you to tears (probably repeatedly). But it’s also a book about the remarkable and unexpected nature of love and the impact it can have on us if we open ourselves to it. Raw and emotional, Finding Chika is deeply rewarding read.” — Sight Magazine

Book Tour Events

Jan
20
Mon
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 tuscpactickets.universitytickets.com
The box office is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm

Jan
21
Tue
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.

Jan
23
Thu
JSerra Speaker Series – San Juan Capistrano, CA
Jan 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

The JSerra Speaker Series is back with an internationally-known guest whose books, sports writing, and talks bring an inspiring message of community building, giving, and purpose: Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom! Mr. Albom will be discussing a series of life-changing events that will move and inspire you. He will also be available afterwards to sign autographs. (Books are currently for sale at the Front Desk and will also be available at the event.)

This event is complimentary but registration is required. Everyone is welcome whether or not you’re a part of the JSerra community!

  • This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required. RSVP to Mrs. Jeanne Noonan at jnoonan@jserra.org.
  • Thursday, January 23, 2020
  • 11:05 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Must check in by 11:00 a.m.
  • Autograph signing will follow the presentation.
  • Books are currently available for sale at the JSerra Front Desk. Books may also be purchased at the event.

 

 

Jan
26
Sun
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.

Jan
29
Wed
Tidewell Hospice Presents An Afternoon with Mitch Albom – Sarasota, FL
Jan 29 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Mitch will speak about his book “Finding Chika: a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family”. Book signing to follow. A copy of the book is included in the ticket price.

Please arrive for registration between 2:30 PM – 2:45 PM. Program begins promptly at 3:00 PM.

Jan
30
Thu
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

Feb
5
Wed
CUES Future Summit 2020 – Detroit
Feb 5 @ 9:05 am – 10:20 am

The 2020 Future Summit is going to be none like ever before!  Featuring keynote speakers MSU football coach Mark Dantonio, and author/radio host Mitch Albom, attendees will gain insight on a broad scope of topics, while making connections and developing friendships with others in the credit union industry.

  • Deepen your knowledge
  • Advance your vision
  • Gain an advantage

Albom Keynote Sponsored by: CU Solutions Group

Feb
24
Mon
An Evening Benefitting Chad Tough Foundation – Saline, MI
Feb 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

ALL NET PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE CHADTOUGH FOUNDATION

The ChadTough Foundation is hosting An Evening with Mitch Albom sponsored by Bill Crispin Chevrolet, on Monday, February 24 at the Saline Middle School Auditorium. Mitch will be reflecting on the life changing experiences that inspired his newest book Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family.

Moved by the suffering he witnessed after the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, best-selling author Mitch Albom adopted a failing orphanage in the city of Port-au-Prince. There he met Chika, a bold and curious five-year-old girl, who had developed DIPG – the same form of pediatric brain cancer that Chad Carr suffered from. The story of their journey and the many things they learned along the way is told in Finding 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.

Sponsored by Bill Crispin Chevrolet in Saline

Feb
25
Tue
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.

Feb
26
Wed
TBS welcomes Mitch Albom – Cherry Hill, NJ
Feb 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Apr
24
Fri
Heroes and Handbags 2020 – Dallas
Apr 24 @ 10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Join us in supporting

HEROES AND HANDBAGS 2020

Event Chairs: Dana Eisenberg & Lauren Zlotky

Featuring Best-Selling Author, Journalist and Screenwriter Mitch Albom

Brunch, Program and Auction of Designer Handbags at The Ritz Carlton Dallas

Our focus: No Texas family battling childhood cancer fights alone.

For more information please contact Larissa Linton at llinton@heroesforchildren.org

 

Heroes for Children advocates for and provides financial and social assistance to families with children (0-22 years of age) battling cancer. Our vision is that no family with a child battling cancer will fight alone.

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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