Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: Little Princes by Conor Grennan

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of NepalLittle Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
Publisher:William Morrow
Publish Date: January 25, 2011
Hardcover, 304 pages

My Review:
Why I read this: The publicist contacted me and was very excited about this book.  I don't read much non-fiction but I am interested in books where people test their limits and this sounded like it was one of those.  And I was intrigued about the children of Nepal, I know very little about the country and wanted to learn more.

How is the novel driven: It's non-fiction, but it reads smoothly like a fictional story.  No lengthly details to bog  you down.  It's written in very down-to-earth language and you feel like you are sitting with a friend while he tells you of his adventures and struggles.

My thoughts: I was prepared to like this book.  What is not to like?  A story of a man who goes to Nepal and finds his calling to help the children of the country at first in the orphanages and eventually trying to reunite them with their parents.  It sounds wonderful doesn't it?  And it is, but it is so much more.  I was struck with the fact that the author is very open in the beginning that he first went to Nepal to help in an orphanage just to have something to talk about or put on his resume.  Pretty selfish isn't it?  But who isn't like that?  Honestly?

Then something changes, the children creep into Conor's heart and begin to bless him as he helps out in the children's home.  As Conor learns more about the civil war in the country and the people that take the children from their parents to a life of slavery, you see Conor change and then he wants to help change the country and the children.  The story is gripping.  I had a hard time putting it down.  I wanted to know what challenge Conor would get through next.  Would he find the children, would he find the parents and just what could he do in this poor country where children are taken from their parents with the guise of helping them find a better life, but in reality are sold into child slavery.

Through fund-raising and sheer will, Conor accomplished most of his goals with his friend Farid and help of others with other organizations in Nepal.  He started a non-profit, Next Generation Nepal to help these children, to start his own home for them and with the help of others he is accomplishing his goals still to this day.  It is just a marvelous tale of things happening for him and the children at just the right time.  Of course there are trials, but Conor grows and learns to accept things as they happen.

And the book is not only about his journey to help the children of Nepal, but it also has glimpses of his personal life at the time.  I loved every aspect of this book and I hope Conor Grennan writes another book as he continues his plight to help these children and parents in Nepal.  I love that this book opens up this struggle to the world and we as readers can see what is going on and find ways to help as well.  The book is inspiring, uplifting and just amazing.  I already know it will be one of my top reads of the year.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:

In search of adventure, 29-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.
About the Author: 

***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  I do not receive money for my amazon links since I live in NC (something about some law), so they are up purely for my readers to have a place to check out the book.***