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Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption Hardcover – April 15, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

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.|Claire Díaz-Ortiz is an author, speaker, and technology innovator who has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, where she still works, and over the years has been called everything from "a mover and shaker" (Mashable) to a "force for good" (Forbes). She is the author of several books, including Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. She is a frequent international speaker and writes a popular business blog at www.clairediazortiz.com.

Claire holds an MBA from Oxford University and a BA and an MA from Stanford University. She is the cofounder of Hope Runs, a nonprofit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya. She has appeared widely in major television and print news sources such as CNN, BBC, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Wired, and many others. Find her on Twitter @claire.

Samuel Ikua Gachagua
was born in rural Kenya in 1992. After losing his parents at a young age, he struggled to survive until he was placed in an orphanage 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 Díaz-Ortiz. After graduating from high school, he spent a year serving in Ecuador as a fellow for Global Citizen Year. He is an up-and-coming motivational speaker and can be found on Twitter @sammyikua.

From the Back Cover

"One restless woman from America seeking--something . . . and one homeless boy from Africa seeking--someone . . . write a story that has your heart colliding with what you're looking for--right where you are."--Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts

"Hope Runs is more than a book, it's a monument to empathy."--from the foreword by Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz

"This book isn't just a story, it's an invitation to love extravagantly. It's about relentless hope and tremendous love. Buckle up, you're about to be changed."--Bob Goff, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda; New York Times bestselling author of Love Does

"Claire knows firsthand what it means to really give of her time and talent, and in this book she challenged me to do the same. My heart sings that there are people in the world like her."--Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes from a Blue Bike

"Claire and Sammy invite us into their story with the comfortable familiarity of old friends, challenging us to see beyond the borders of what we thought life was supposed to hold and how detours are often the best storylines of all."--Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood; community manager for (in)courage

"A beautiful story, beautifully told. This book is a timely reminder that love and hope can bridge continents and create family anywhere."--Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722791
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Arlene Pellicane on April 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Claire and Sammy are two characters and real-live people who you will love getting to know through this book. It's an inspiring story of how life's greatest moments can come upon us when we are completely unaware. This book is easy to read and fun to talk about with family and friends. I enjoyed telling my elementary school kids about this American who met a Kenyan and how their lives were never the same. They loved when I read aloud the part of Sammy taking his first plane trip.

This is a delightful book that will enlarge your heart and help you to keep running towards your goals!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is told in two voices, alternating between Claire and Samuel. Claire was an American tourist, ending a year long travel with her best friend, Lara and their last stop was to be Kenya where they were going to end their voyage by climbing Mount Kenya. They were told about a place they could stay the night and that was at an orphanage where Samuel or (Sammy) was living. Claire fell in love with the place and ended up with her friend staying there for a year, helping out and co-founded a non profit organization called Hope Runs for children in Orphanages throughout Kenya.
Sammy is one of the children who really stuck out to Claire, very smart, intuitive and a person who really just wanted to learn anything that he could. The year at the orphanage, changed both their lives for every, they became family.
This story takes us to into there lives before and after the orphanage, and how along with Claire's best friend (Lara) they become a big part of each others lives.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a memoir of that tells of the impact lives have on one another in the most unexpected ways. I will be honest that this book came at a time in my life when I am currently pulled in a million directions - or at least 6 (and that's just my kiddos) plus the pull of ministry (or so it feels) so it was at times difficult to focus on the book. Even still I was amazed at the power of how God's plans are always above what we could even dream up.

One American tourist visiting Africa is surprised by how her life is changed in just a moment - as God opens her heart to needy children - and one in particular. This book is unique in the fact that it is told from the view point of the author and the boy who's life changed hers. The two are forever intertwined by God's love and neither will ever be the same again.

This is one of those stories that is worth the read - if only to restore your view of society and the heart of mankind.

I would recommend this to others as well to read for the sheer heart warming feeling they will get from this story and the impact love has on the world.

I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great story - liked the uniqueness of having both Claire and Sammy contribute to the "journey". I appreciated the perspective and the insight into the culture and situation of Kenyan orphans. Also appreciated the insights to the needs physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually of the children, the workers, volunteers, and tourists and how the children viewed the ingress and egress of the latter.
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Format: Hardcover
Written by: Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua
Published by: Revell

I am always interested in reading memoir type books, and that is why I chose to read and review this one.

Hope Runs tells the story of a girl who loves to travel, and takes a trip to Kenya that ends up lasting longer than she had planned. Claire stays to help out at an orphanage, and finds herself feeling a parental sort of love for one of the little boys living there. This book shares their story through the perspectives of both Claire and Sammy.

Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy memoirs. Those whose lives have been touched by an orphan.

What I liked:

This book opens your eyes to another culture.

This book is written in first person, something that I find unique for a memoir type of book.

What I didn’t like:

Most of the chapters were a little long for me.

Parts of the book were boring and hard to read.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a decent read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had thought that I would.

I give Hope Runs 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is wonderful. The writing just doesn't go deep enough. I loved Sammy's viewpoints. I would have liked more details of the thought process of how Claire and Lara decided to help Sammy to the point of becoming his legal guardians (I assume that is what happened). When it ended, I didn't understand it was the end. It seemed very incomplete and left me wanting more information.

I was expecting the book to evoke more emotion than it did for me. I am very happy for Sammy and touched at how Claire and Lara were able to change his life forever and in turn, I believe Sammy will change other lives forever. Very good return on investment.
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