Little Princes by Connor Grennan
Release Date – Jan 25, 2011
Publisher Website – HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**Obtained from the library**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In search of adventure, twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children who would challenge and reward him in a way that he had never imagined. When Conor learned the unthinkable truth about their situation, he was stunned: The children were not orphans at all. Child traffickers were promising families in remote villages to protect their children from the civil war—for a huge fee—by taking them to safety. They would then abandon the children far from home, in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. For Conor, what began as a footloose adventure becomes a commitment to reunite the children he had grown to love with their families, but this would be no small task. He would risk his life on a journey through the legendary mountains of Nepal, facing the dangers of a bloody civil war and a debilitating injury. Waiting for Conor back in Kathmandu, and hopeful he would make it out before being trapped in by snow, was the woman who would eventually become his wife and share his life’s work. Little Princes is a true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.This type of book is one that I might not have picked up on my own. It was a selection for my book club and it ended up really surprising me.
It’s the true story of a man who decided to take a year off travelling the world. In order to make the year off sound more legitimate he was going to start off with a 3 month volunteer stint at an orphanage in Nepal. Once there he found himself touched by the sweet boys and girls who lived in the Little Princes Children’s Home, and came to find out the heart breaking truth - these children were not orphans after all. They had been taken by child traffickers who had promised the safety of these children to their parents for a fee. The reality was that these children were often abandoned in less than ideal lodgings and often were not taken care of properly.
Connor’s desire to help is really awe inspiring. It’s made all the more impressive by the fact that Connor admits his intention was to help find 7 particular children he felt he had failed. It was to ease his own guilt at first. This sums up Connor perfectly - honest, caring and relatable. This story will undoubtedly cause comparisons to Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. I found Connor to be much more relatable than Greg. I feel that Connor provide much more personal details and that we sort of got to know him. I commend both guys for what they have done (and continue to do) but I found Connor to be more reliable and down to earth. There is something refreshing about the fact that Connor admits he did the volunteer part as he felt it would appear “exciting and impressive”.
This “memoir” even provided a little bit of romance as we see Connor fall in love with his now wife Liz via internet communication and visits. His descriptions of how he was feeling when they first met were adorable, and help relieve a bit of the tension and sadness from the rest of the book.
The novel ends up an hopeful note, but letting you know there is still much work to be done. The goal is to have these children rejoin their parents and become apart of their communities. The process is ongoing, and child trafficking continues to be an issue.
This novel opened my eyes to something I was otherwise unaware of. The story of these young children will surely touch your heart as well. If you wish to learn more about Connor Grennan and his charity you can visit the Next Generation Nepal website for more details.