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Finding Chika

by Mitch Albom

Publishers Weekly 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.)

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Library Journal Born into poverty three days before Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, Chika Jeune ended up at the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage, run by the multi-million-copy best-selling Albom, after her mother died giving birth to her baby brother. When she was diagnosed with a serious illness that could not be treated in Haiti, Albom and his wife brought her to their home in America and spent two years searching for a cure. Albom's first nonfiction in more than a decade; with a 500,000-copy first printing.

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