Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan

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As Conor Grennan readily admits, his initial reason for working in a Nepalese orphanage was not quite selfless. Grennan originally signed up for the three-month volunteering stint as justification for taking a year-off from work to travel the world. What came of his time at the Little Prince's Children's Home, however, was not just a life changing experience, but a passion and dedication to the children of Nepal that would shape the course of his life and work.

Grennan starts his story with his initial trip to Nepal as a part of his year abroad. The stories he shares of his struggles to adapt to the unfamiliar day-to-day life in Nepal are both funny and endearing, as are the accounts of the antics of the charming children that live at Little Princes. Grennan adeptly peppers in information about the state of the civil war in Nepal so that you gradually develop a picture of the political climate that shaped his work there.

The story shifts with Grennan's discovery that the "Little Princes" are not in fact orphans, but the victims of a child-trafficker who profited off the chaos of civil war and the desperation of parents by charging astronomical fees to shuttle children out of the conflict zones with the promise of sending them to school. Instead of being sent to school, however, the children are abandoned once the reach Kathamandu or, worse, sold into slavery. With this revelation, Grennan feels a powerful need to help return these trafficked children to their families, and founds a non-profit organization to do just that.

Grennan presents his travels and work in Nepal with a comic grace and humbleness that is hard to resist. You feel that you get to know the children, right along with him, and they steal your heart with his. Over the course of the memoir you feel tremendous respect and admiration for Grennan, but it never feels like he is bragging or soliciting praise. This book had me laughing out loud and struggling (and failing) to resist crying. It is a quick, engaging, touching, and ultimately inspirational read. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Megan @ Capitol

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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on April 13, 2011 8:27 AM.

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