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

Harper. Nov. 2019. 256p. photos. ISBN 9780062952394. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062952417. MEMOIR
Following a string of best-selling novels, Albom returns to nonfiction after 2009’s Have a Little Faith. After Haiti is struck by a devastating earthquake in 2010, Albom and his wife, Janine, begin operating the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage. When Chika, a three-year-old girl at the orphanage, has medical issues that can’t be addressed in Haiti, Albom and his wife bring Chika to the United States. Chika is diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, with little chance of recovery; Albom and Janine pursue every treatment option. Chika’s spirits remain buoyant despite her hardship, and her presence reshapes Albom’s sense of love, family, and responsibility. The experience, and conversations with Chika, motivate Albom to share her story with others.
VERDICT 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.

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