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Little Princes: One Man's Promise To Bring Home The Lost Children Of Nepal Paperback – 8 Jan 2011
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“[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
From the Publisher
An Amazon Exclusive Essay by Conor Grennan.
Then, when the children would go to bed at 8 p.m., I would bundle up in two or three fleeces, a hat, and woolen gloves I had cut the fingers out of; I'd pull out my notebook and I'd sit down to write my travel blog, copying everything I had put into the notebook over the course of the day into an old, ultra-light Dell I'd bought off eBay for about 200 dollars. It was pretty much useless except as a word processor, but it was the most precious thing I owned. Over the next three years, traveling the globe and living in Nepal, I would end up typing just over half-a-million words on that little workhorse--five times the length of Little Princes.
It turned out that writing everything down in the moment was critical because the more time I spent in Nepal, the more normal these "strange" things became. It became normal to watch my blankets being made from scratch on the ground outside my house, to trade broken flip-flops for potatoes, and to use outhouses on a daily basis without thinking twice about it. (Did you hear that, people? Outhouses!)
The funny thing is, with all that note-taking, I never had any intention of writing a book about my time in Nepal. It honestly never occurred to me that it was a much of a story until someone else mentioned the idea to me.
Once I started writing the book, however, I couldn't stop. I went back to my old notebooks and I was suddenly in Nepal again, hearing in my mind exactly how Hriteek had laughed, or Nishal had protested, or Raju had squealed as he'd run through the house, bare feet padding against the cold cement floors.
Little Princes, the book, allowed me to revisit that wonderful, difficult, challenging, happy time of my life. I still get back to Nepal, of course, and I still see the children. But they change, they grow up. Writing Little Princes allowed me to visit the children as they were. And also, as the person I was. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Grennon is an engaging writer and this adds to the incredible story. However it is the humour and joy of the children who are the stars of the book who share so much love despite having suffered such hardships in their short lives. Coloured photos are also included to really get a sense of the people and places Grennon describes. This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the plight of children in foreign countries but is also a heartwarming story that restores faith in humanity. Another reason to purchase this book is that a portion of the proceeds go to Grennon's non-profit organisation, Next Generation Nepal (NGN).
Conor Grennan is actually very self deprecating throughout the book, and is the first to admit that he originally went to the orphanage to do something that would "look good" on his year out travelling. However, his first three months at the orphanage led to a long term commitment to the children at Little Princes and beyond.
His tale unfolds as he realises the orphans are far from orphans, but caught up in the civil war in Nepal and a child trafficking scheme playing on their parents hopes of a better life outside the conflict zone. He then becomes committed to tracing these families and reuniting them with their children, no easy task in a country where most journeys have to be completed on foot, and there is a real risk of being snowed in for the winter.
The book is well written in an engaging style and often reads more like a novel than a biography, especially as some of the stories are so incredible and moving. I really enjoyed the read, but would have liked some pictures to add to the stories.
Conor has now set up his own children's home in Kathmandu and part of the proceeds from the sale of the book go towards the non-profit organisation Conor created to enable his children's home to exist. After reading the book you will be more than happy to know that you have done something to help these incredible children. Please buy and you will enjoy the book.
This is an informative tale; Nepal is not a country that occupies a prime position in the headlines and it is eye-opening to read of the civil conflict that tore it apart for so many years, and of the repercussions for the families who lived through this. At first it is shocking to read that parents willingly sent their children away with a child trafficker; however, then you learn the reason why - the Maoist army had demanded that each family give up at least one of their children to serve in the army, and parents paid huge sums of money to the man who offered to take their children to a safe haven where they would be educated and taken care of, not knowing his true purpose.
It is also a moving tale; it is not a story of sadness and destitution but rather of hope and love. Although the displaced children have suffered terribly, they show great resilience - they adapt, hope, dream and help each other to face life's challenges. And the author has his reward in the end too - but to tell you what this is would ruin the surprise, although you will probably figure it out about halfway through the book.
Finally, you can purchase this book knowing that a percentage of the profits will go towards NGN, the organisation set up by the author to help the children of Nepal.
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