#1 internationally renowned and bestselling author, Mitch Albom, returns to nonfiction with Finding 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.
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.
In the book, 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 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. 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.
"This is the hardest yet most important book I have written or may ever write," says Albom. "Chika was brave and funny and influenced so many people during her time on Earth. Becoming a new family so late in our lives was a unique experience, and we learned more about what truly matters from Chika than any chapter in our lives."
"Mitch's nonfiction work has always held a special place for readers—Tuesdays with Morrie and Have a Little Faith remain books that people keep going back to. We are thrilled to publish his first nonfiction in over a decade. Chika is Mitch's most intimate and emotionally resonant book yet and we are honored to celebrate Chika's life with this beautiful and heartrending story about what it means to be a family—no matter how it is made." ~Karen Rinaldi, senior vice president at HarperCollins Publishers
Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned author, screenwriter, playwright, nationally syndicated columnist, radio and TV broadcaster and philanthropist. He is the author of seven #1 New York Times bestsellers. Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four straight years atop the New York Times list, is now the bestselling memoir of all time. His 13 books have collectively sold more than 39 million copies worldwide, been published in 49 territories, in 47 languages, and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed TV movies. A longtime panelist on ESPN's "The Sports Reporters" and co-host of its new iteration as a podcast, Albom has also penned films, plays and a musical. For more than a decade, he was named top sports columnist in the nation by the Sports Editors of America, the highest honor in his field.
In 2006, he founded S.A.Y. Detroit, an umbrella organization that now operates nine charities dedicated to improving lives of the neediest Detroiters, including the first ever 24-hour medical clinic for homeless children in America. He also runs an orphanage in Port Au Prince, Haiti, the Have Faith Haiti Mission, which he visits monthly. Albom lives with his wife, Janine, in suburban Detroit.
Stay up to date with Mitch's projects at mitchalbom.com, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @mitchalbom.
Tuesday, December 10
Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
$25 General Public Ticket and Book Bundle | $22 Members and J-Pass Holders Ticket and Book Bundle
Contact: Michelle Shabtai | (650) 223-8718 | [email protected]