One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011.
On arriving in Nepal Conor Grennan found a desperate situation, thousands of children separated from their homeland and families, many victims of Maoist guerrillas and most shockingly – of child traffickers. His original two months of volunteering turns into a lifetime's work. Determined to reunite the children in his care with their families he undertakes a fearsome journey to the most remote regions of Nepal. Vividly told, his dangerous trek to reach tiny mountain villages is successful in finding many of the children’s families. The plight of the children in a country with no social safety net is dire and the work goes on to save them from beggary and servitude, Connor Grennan is one of the good guys, his book a ray of hope for Nepal.
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The Lovereading view...
A truly inspirational story that began as a 3 month stint volunteering in the Little Princes Orphanage in war-torn Nepal which transformed the life of a rather privileged and spoilt single American Conor Grennan. Drama, love, child trafficking and corruption make this compulsive reading as Conor finds himself risking life and limb to save the children he had come to love as his own. This incredible true story combines the drama of Into Thin Air with the compassion of Three Cups of Tea.
...and a comment from a Lovereading member:
I'd like to save a mafahoosive thank you for the recommendation of 'Little Princes' by Conor Grennan (non-fic read of the month). I bought a copy as I am going to Nepal next week and have been alternately laughing and sobbing my way through it in the staff room!”
The riveting story of Conor Grennan's year in Nepal reads like a cross between Into Thin Air and Three Cups of Tea. While volunteering at an orphanage, Conor discovers that the children are not orphans: they are trafficked. Despite the danger, Conor treks up dirt paths with photographs of the children, miraculously reuniting dozens of families. It's 2006 and Nepal is a country torn apart by war, greed and corruption. Caught in the middle are the Nepalese children, snatched and sold into slavery, the kidnappers promising their families that they will be taken to a safe haven from where they will eventually return. Some of the luckier ones are finally dumped in an orphanage, only to be found by Conor, an unlikely philanthropist. Conor's search for intrepid adventure on the cusp of 30 soon becomes a dangerous and haphazard mission, buoyed by the energy and adoration of the children. Conor nevertheless vows to do everything he can, including risk his own life, to bring these lost children back to their families. The process is painstaking and chaotic, involving weeks of trekking across inhospitable peaks and surmounting the infinite cultural and language barriers, but the children's raucous happiness on seeing photos of their parents after years of separation, abandonment and fear make the wounds, the danger, the freezing cold and the food poisoning pale into insignificance. An epic thriller and also a love story, Little Princes is as full of life and hope as the children Conor's organisation, Next Generation Nepal, continues to save every day.
'[An] action-packed account...like a good storyteller, [Conor] ensnares us with humour and adventure' The Irish Times
'With a light touch and refreshing candour, Grennan tells the story of how a good-looking University of Virginia grad with wanderlust ended up risking his life to find, then reunite, children with their families in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world' USA Today
'Little Princes by Conor Grennan is what happens when passion, talent, and a desire to change the world spill onto the page!I defy you not to be inspired or moved by this saga' The New York Journal of Books
'Conor Grennan shows what one person can do, if he follows his conscience and his love. By the end of this inspiring book, he has not only reunited many of the children with the parents they thought they had lost -- he has found his own love' Dublin Evening Herald
Publication date: 04/08/2011
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||4th August 2011|
|Publisher:||Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, The Real World, Travel,|
Conor Grennan is the son of Irish poet Eamon Grennan, who has won the PEN Award and published frequently in the New Yorker. He grew up in a house often filled with his father's friends -- Billy Collins and Seamus Heaney. In the autumn of 2004 he started a travel blog to keep in touch with his friends and soon discovered he had inherited his father's passion for writing. With Next Generation Nepal -- the non-profit organisation he set up to rescue trafficked children in Nepal -- still going strong, Conor has now moved back to the US, where he lives ...More About Conor Grennan