Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hope Runs: A Book Review

About The Book:

She went to Kenya to climb a mountain. But God had other plans.
When Claire Díaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mount Kenya, and then head back home. She entered an orphanage, seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek. 

Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with several other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage, seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.

Hope Runs 
is the emotional story of one American tourist, one Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It's about opening your heart to outrageous possibilities. It's about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. 

It's about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.

You can read an excerpt of Hope Runs here, in PDF format

About The Authors:

Claire Diaz-Ortiz leads social innovation at Twitter, Inc., and is the author of several books, including Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, she is a frequent international speaker on social media, business, and innovation and writes a popular business blog at She holds an MBA from Oxford University and an MA and BA in anthropology from Stanford University. She is cofounder of Hope Runs, a non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya. Claire has been called a "mover and shaker" by Mashable, "the woman who got the pope on Twitter" by The Washington Post, a "force for good" by Forbes, and "one of the most generous in social media" by Fast Company.She has been widely written about in such publications as the New York TimesBusiness WeekThe Washington Post, and Forbes. Find her on Twitter @claire.

Sammy Ikua Gachagua was born in rural Kenya in 1992. After losing his family at a young age, he struggled to survive until he was placed in Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2009 he received a full-ride scholarship to Maine Central Institute, granting him a rare US visa and the chance to begin his sophomore year of high school under the guardianship of Claire Diaz-Ortiz. He is now serving in the developing world as a fellow for Global Citizen Year. He is an up-and-coming motivational speaker at such conferences as Blissdom. Find him on Twitter @sammyikua.

My Review:

Every once in a while a book comes across my path that completely and utterly moves and inspires me and completely turns my thought process upside down in a good way. Hope Runs was one of those books.

I absolutely loved travelling with Claire Diaz-Ortiz and "Sammy" and being reminded that our timing and plans are definitely NOT necessarily God's (more often than not, His plans are nothing what we thought) and that He will use us in ways we never imagined! Such was the journey of Claire.

Hope Runs was an incredible memoir for me to read. With each page and chapter read, you will see just how the lives of Claire and Sammy interweave at just the right moments, and I laughed, cried and cheered Claire and Sammy on throughout the book. It was a great way to understand the charity they founded and as a runner, I love charities that incorporate health and fitness as their main goal, particularly for children.

Hope Runs was a great read, quick read and well-written. I loved that the writing was done from both Claire and Sammy's perspectives and it was great to see how their friendship developed over time.

A great read that I highly recommend!

BUY IT: You can purchase Hope Runs at your favorite book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, as a member of Revell Reads Blogging Program, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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