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BookBrowse Reviews Little Princes by Conor Grennan

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Little Princes

One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

by Conor Grennan

Little Princes by Conor Grennan X
Little Princes by Conor Grennan
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2011, 320 pages

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Memoir: A journey into Nepal that reunites dozens of families

23 out of 24 BookBrowse readers rated Little Princes 4 or 5 stars! Here's what they have to say:
Told in equal proportions of humor, compassion, and honesty, the story relates how the author came to be involved with a children's home in Nepal at the beginning of a yearlong journey of travel around Asia and Southeast Asia. The children at the home are not orphans, but rather "disappeared" children, sent away by their parents to avoid conscription into the Maoist army in Nepal (Priscilla M). Written with humor and page-turning suspense, Little Princes follows the author's growth as a person from an adventure-seeking college kid to the founder of a worldwide organization. The tales of the children's antics are delightful (Mindy). Although the author didn't set out to devote his entire life to aiding the lost children in Nepal, he followed his heart and made an impact in improving children's lives in the country, and continues to do so with his established foundation (Tamara S). He acquaints you with the culture, politics and everyday life of Nepal. But what I found most heartwarming was the children he introduces to the reader. They are so appreciative of even the smallest gift and able to make up entertaining games with discarded items (Annette S). Conor writes with an eloquence and humility that we don't see much these days (Susan F).

For some BookBrowse readers, Grennan's personal growth was inspirational:
The author starts out as a rather clueless, unfocused individual with good intentions, but as the book progresses, we see him grow up, focus on a goal (and what a goal), and come into his own as a writer as well (Susan K). The story of this quest and Grennan's own personal growth draw the reader into a compelling story of how individuals can make a profound difference in the world by the simple act of caring about the welfare of others. I could not put the book down once I started reading it (Priscilla M). It's hard not to reference Three Cups of Tea and, of course, if you enjoy stories of a somewhat self-absorbed individual who stumbles onto his life's work in exotic climes, you will love Little Princes. But this is not a novel (although it reads like one) and to refer to it as part of a genre is to trivialize a remarkable achievement (Froma F). I was drawn in by the power of the author's ability to take you into these characters' lives and emotions. As an American reader I am once again reminded that human joy comes from the spirit, not the bank account. Thank you for a remarkable book and for inspiring me to take personal action in this world of increasing disparity (Nancy F).

Many enjoyed journeying into the heart of Nepal:
Reading this flawless memoir is like traveling to Nepal; you'll be captivated by the scenery, struck by the challenges her citizens face, and fall in love with the people themselves, especially the children (Amber B). The author's description of Kathmandu, Nepal and its people, so beautifully rendered, brought back a flood of memories, but even more, this story of child trafficking and the author's commitment to reunite lost children with their parents reached down deep, grabbed my heart and has yet to let go (Karen J). I love a book that takes me away from the here and now and transports me to a place that I will probably never get to visit. Little Princes is just that kind of book. The magnificent landscape and endearing people of Nepal come to life. In Grennan's story we get to see some of the best and worst in humanity, and are left with a feeling that good will prevail. So all my fellow armchair travelers grab a copy of Little Princes and enjoy the trip (Anna S)!

But some, though taken with Grennan's memoir, desired more:
Although an absorbing journey, I need more background info about the civil war in Nepal, child trafficking and how the NGN functions within the precarious governmental and economic conditions in Nepal. The writing is very engaging but seems to be more like diary entries with extremely detailed conversations (Beverly D). My progress through the first few chapters was steady but it made me think ho-hum. Then Conor began to develop a sense of humor, the children became familiar, and I started feeling the pain the families endured in Nepal and started rooting for Conor and Next Generation! A heart-warming story of human spirit, respect, brotherhood, and of course love (Susan S).

Who should read this book?
I recommend this book to all - young and old (Bess W). It would be excellent for book clubs and for anyone who thinks they would like to be involved with helping people overseas (Marta M). I recommend it to anyone who loves to read books about foreign countries and how it only takes one person to make a difference (Carolee H).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in February 2011, and has been updated for the January 2012 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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