Summary and book reviews of Little Princes by Conor Grennan

Little Princes

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

by Conor Grennan

Little Princes
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2011, 320 pages

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Book Summary

Little Princes is the epic story of Conor Grennan's battle to save the lost children of Nepal and how he found himself in the process. Part Three Cups of Tea, part Into Thin Air, Grennan's remarkable memoir is at once gripping and inspirational, and it carries us deep into an exotic world that most readers know little about.

One Person Can Make a Difference

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.

Visit the Next Generation Nepal website

Prologue
December 20, 2006

It was well after nightfall when I realized we had gone the wrong way. The village I had been looking for was somewhere up the mountain. In my condition, it would be several hours' walk up a rocky trail, if we could even find the trail in the pitch-dark. My two porters and I had been walking for thirteen hours straight. Winter at night in the mountains of northwestern Nepal is bitterly cold, and we had no shelter. Two of our three flashlights had burned out. Worse, we were deep in a Maoist rebel stronghold, not far from where a colleague had been kidnapped almost exactly one year before. I would have shared this fact with my porters, but we were unable to communicate; I spoke only a few words of the local dialect.

Exhausted, I slumped down beside them. I zipped up my jacket and knotted my arms tightly around my chest to keep out the cold. Six days had passed since I split from my team. I had sent them home, back to their villages, promising them that ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Introduction

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 Orphanage in war-torn Nepal. But what began as a lark became a passionate commitment that would transform the young American and the lives of countless others.

Within minutes of his arrival, Grennan was surrounded by a horde of gleeful boys and girls showering him with warm welcomes. Yet as he soon learned, the children's cheery smiles belied years of pain and abuse, for many of the boys and girls at Little Princes were not orphans at all, but victims rescued from human traffickers. Moved by their plight, Grennan ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Inspiring and utterly captivating, Little Princes earned 4 or more stars from 23 out of 24 BookBrowse readers! Here's what they have to say:

Written with humor and page-turning suspense, Little Princes follows the author's growth from an adventure-seeking college kid to the founder of a worldwide organization (Mindy). 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). 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). I could not put the book down once I started reading it (Priscilla M)!   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Full Review Members Only (857 words).

Media Reviews

New York Journal of Books

The beauty of this book is partly the fact that it is a memoir. But it is also more than that. I defy you to not be inspired or moved by this saga.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Grennan's work is by turns self-pokingly humorous, exciting, and inspiring.

Author Blurb Neil White, author of In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
Funny, touching, tragic. Conor Grennan's Little Princes is a remarkable tale of corruption, child trafficking and civil war in a far away land - and one man's extraordinary quest to reunite lost Nepalese children with their parents.

Reader Reviews

brnoze

People Everywhere are looking for Love
Love of life, adventure, family, other human beings, children and that very special person is what Connor finds. He just didn't know that he was even looking for any of it. I loved this book and was inspired by the author's need to do the right thing...   Read More

Dorothy T.

Everyone should read this one...
...to get a picture of another culture, to understand what happens to the children in the midst of rebellion, and to learn about the efforts and sacrifices made by those who want to help them and their families. Conor Grennan is a likable guy who ...   Read More

Brnoze

All Mothers Cry
I read Little Princes and chose it as my book club's next book choice. I wanted others to enjoy it as I had. It has so much content worth discussing. Our group enjoys the writing of the authors but the content and lessons learned are what keeps us ...   Read More

Elizabeth

Outstanding
A war-torn country, orphaned children, child traffickers, poverty, starvation, and wonderful volunteers to alleviate some of the pain. LITTLE PRINCES lets us into this world of heartbreak and unbelievable circumstances that children and citizens ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Next Generation Nepal

According to Next Generation Nepal's website, the 1996-2006 Nepalese civil war between government forces and the insurgent Communist Party of Nepal claimed 12,000 lives and devastated the economy; and, in remote areas of the country, the Maoist rebels used intimidation and even murder to control villages and abduct children into their army. Even though the conflict officially ended in 2006, child traffickers have continued to prey on rural villagers' concerns for their children by deceiving families with promises of safety for their children and attendance at top boarding schools in the Kathmandu Valley - but the sad reality is that the children who are taken from their homes are often kept as slaves or beggars, taken to illegal ...

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