Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

by Mitch Albom


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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062952394
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 2,682
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mitch Albom is a bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright and nationally syndicated columnist. The author of five consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, his books have collectively sold more than thirty-three million copies in forty-two languages worldwide. Tuesdays With Morrie, which spent four straight years atop the New York Times list, is now the bestselling memoir of all time. Four of Albom’s books, including Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, and Have a Little Faith, have been made into highly acclaimed TV movies for ABC. Oprah Winfrey produced Tuesdays With Morrie, which claimed four Emmy awards including a best actor nod for Jack Lemmon in the lead role. Albom has founded six charities in and around Detroit, including the first-ever twenty-four-hour medical clinic for homeless children in America, and also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Albom lives with his wife, Janine, in metropolitan Detroit.


Franklin, Michigan

Date of Birth:

May 23, 1958

Place of Birth:

Passaic, New Jersey


B.A., Brandeis University, 1979; M.J., Columbia University, 1981; M.B.A., Columbia University, 1982

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Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This story grabbed my heart. God bless Mitch and Janine.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This was another great read by this wonderful author. The story is told in a from the heart way. As you read you fall in love with Chika and cheer for her. Her connection with God is one that brings peace as you finish the book. It is a quick read and well worth your time.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This was a very thought provoking book about life and what really matters most. Mitch Albom does a great job telling the story of a Haitian orphan who has been entrusted to the care of he and his wife. Although they had no children of their own she quickly became a part of their family as they try to fight her illness. Chika in turn teaches them how to live life to it’s fullest and value the smallest of moments. The author had a unique writing style for telling this story that made it very engaging. Lastly, have your tissues ready because you are going to need them! Great job! 5 well deserved stars!
lauriesophee 8 days ago
"A child is both an anchor and set of wings." What a wonderful ,heartfelt story of love, family and courage. Mitch Albom has just the right with words that make you think, feel and continue on in the face of terror! Chika may have had a short life, but it was so well lived and this.... is her story! Excellent!
Jennifer Lewis 22 days ago
Wonderful heart breaking story of a brave young girl from Haiti!
Michelle Bicey 24 days ago
If you have ever read a book by Mitch Albom, you know he is a brilliant writer who can bring the story he tells to life. This story is no different. Thank you so much Mitch for sharing Chika with us. What an amazing little girl and an amazing story. How blessed you were to have this beautiful little girl show you ( and now all of us) what the true meaning of family is. Fantastic book!
Lou Calarese 3 months ago
Thank you, Mitch Albom, for sharing this with us!
juanita belford 5 months ago
What a beautiful book. I struggled to not read it. I knew what to expect but didn't. It warmed my heart, made me smile, and tear up at the same time. And here I sit at 4 am, because I could stop reading
Anonymous 6 months ago
A pleasure to read an author with Christian values and the unselfish desire to help the truly needy. Everyone gained in this true story, even the beautiful child, whose life was so brief yet so very meaningful.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Very thought pervoking.
GratefulGrandma 8 months ago
From the time I read "Tuesdays with Morrie" I have been a Mitch Albom fan. I was happy to see this memoir, his first since Tuesdays. In Finding Chika, Albom tells of his and his wife's relationship with a young girl, Chika Jeune, whom he met at the Have Faith Haiti Mission and Orphanage in Port-au-Prince, which Albom directs and visits regularly. Chika, born only days after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, was brought to the orphanage when she was three, shortly after her mother died in childbirth. The 3-year-old is precocious and loves life, touching all those she meets. When she is 5, she becomes ill. Tests and an MRI determine she has a brain tumor, something no one in Haiti can help with. Albom and his wife Janine bring the girl to their home in the United States to receive treatment. What follows is a fight to save this little girl that becomes their child of their heart. What he and his wife did for Chika, what Chika gave them, and what he does for the Haitian orphanage since 2010 is just the work of an angel. This is a touching tribute to a child who captured the heart and soul of author Mitch Albom and his wife Janine. You will laugh and you will cry and you will remember the story of this little girl and the "parents" who loved her and did whatever they could to try and save her. Mitch Albom is honest and pulls no punches when telling this story. He shares his feelings and experiences while relating the story of how their little family came to be. The story is told in a very unique manner which makes this book a joy to read. Mitch tells the story as if he is talking to Chika and sharing his memories with her. The final words of the story, sharing his thought about loss with the reader/listener are poignant and heartwarming, "It is only when someone you love dies that you understand what it means to have lived." I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author. The added sound of Chika's voice to the story took me by surprise, but it was beautiful. To be able to hear these little clips of interaction between Mitch and Chika made this little girl so real to me. I could feel the love between them. The audiobook had me very emotional as I listened to the struggle to save this darling child that had captured so many hearts, especially those of Mitch and his wife. The profits from from "Finding Chika" will to to support the Have Faith Haiti Mission and Orphanage in Port-au-Prince, so not only will you read or listen to an amazing memoir, but it's a great way to help the children in Haiti. I received a copy of this book from HarperAudio upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
marongm8 9 months ago
This book was received as an ARC from HarperCollins Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I have always been a Mitch Albom fan from his sportscasting to his books such as Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven. This book made me an even bigger fan of him because it showed his loving vulnerable side and how much love he has in his heart for taking care of Chika. This book is a prime example of how reaching out can lead to your life changing for the better and your heart becomes more full just like how Mitch's did while taking care of Chika. Flying down to Hati and visiting the orphanage changed Mitch's life for the better and if this book does not warm your heart, I do not know what will. This book also has a happy ending, and I like happy endings. We will consider adding this title to our Biography collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Jataylor1010 9 months ago
Mitch Albom has done it again. This book, about a little Haitian girl named Chika, explores the true story of a child from Albom's mission in Haiti, who is stricken with a deadly brain tumor at the age of 5. Albom and his wife Janine bring her to America and desperately seek treatment. Chika becomes their child in all the ways that matter, and the reader grows to love her as well.
Renwarsreads 9 months ago
I don't know where to begin with this book. I loved this story, it broke my heart. Chika was a breath of fresh air for Mitch and his wife and they taught her that anyone can and should receive love! This book made me want to be Mitch Albom's friend. He and his wife were so fantastic in all the things that they did for Chika, not only trying to save her life. They were genuine in their love for her and their heartbreak. She touched everyone's life that she came in contact with and seemed to make them happier. This book is so well written that it pulled me in immediately!!
Anonymous 9 months ago
A must-buy, must-read, must-gift buy for anyone with a heart. The story of love, family and lessons learned from children are all so incredibly told as only Mitch Albom can. Highly recommend for vacation reading and holiday gift giving (added bonus: it fits into most stockings!).