Consider yourself warned. Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, written and read by Conor Grennan, could very well be a life-changing listen.
Grennan’s tale of how he came to found Next Generation Nepal, a group dedicated to reuniting trafficked children with their families, has so many heart-grabbing highs that it is impossible not to become emotionally involved with the story. Which will linger longer: the image of the father who learns that his son, gone for nine years, is alive, or the description of the 14-year-old boy told at age five that his parents had died as he is told that his parents are alive and very, very eager to see him?
The author’s style is comically self-deprecating, and he admits that at the beginning of this adventure his goal in volunteering at a Nepali orphanage was simply a justification for the luxury of a year-long break from the tedium of work. He wanted to be able to say that he had volunteered at an orphanage. Unwittingly, Grennan stepped into the world of the Little Princes Children’s Home outside of Katmandu and found his purpose in life.
Grennan’s incredulity at the reality of the situation that the children were not orphans but the victims of a child trafficker re-shaped his life. The honesty with which he assessed what he had planned for himself and what he became compelled to do will give any listener hope for the future. The outrage is palpable as Grennan describes the ordeal of the children and the audacity of the trafficker who had tricked simple village people into thinking that, in the midst of their country’s civil unrest, they were paying to have their children taken to safety from Maoist rebels.
That Grennan becomes a man driven is apparent in the energy with which he describes his rapid education into non-profits and fund-raising and realizes his goal to work full-time to find trafficked children in Nepal and reunite them with their families.
Grennan’s descriptions of his journey to the remote Humla province, where most of the first group of children were from, are jaw-dropping in terms of physical hardship and deprivation. Besides not having electricity or running water, Humla also lacks roads. Walking from village to village through mountainous terrain, Grennan and his companions connect with the families of the children at Little Princes. Meeting and talking (through interpreters) with the families of the children helps the author truly understand the extraordinary bond between parent and child and the desire that parents have to make their children’s lives better.
Little Princes is not simply the recounting of an adventure. It is the wondrous intellectual, emotional, and spiritual metamorphosis of a young American man who recognized a cause greater than his own desires and never hesitated to take on the challenge. In doing so, he found his life’s work and, delightfully related in the book in his own voice, his life’s love. Grennan’s joy in telling his story will make you willingly open your heart and possibly your pocketbook to help the children of Nepal. Carole Chouinard
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.
©2011 Conor Grennan (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
The story is how Conor Grennan went to Nepal as a orphanage volunteer and gave his heart to the "orphans." Conor saw a problem and came up with an unrealistic solution to the problem: reconnect families in a remote part of the world that has no roads, limited air and telephone access. He did not have special connections or language talents but with the help of just a few others he was able to do some amazing things.
If you liked "Three Cups of Tea," this book is in the same vein. It is astonishing what one person can do when he is committed.
The book is equal parts sad, touching, poignant but overall amazingly inspiring. The first few hours of the book are good but a little slow. Stay with it because the middle is very good and from that point it becomes a "can't stop listening" story.
Conor Grennan reads the himself and does a very credible job. His voice is well-modulated, clear and with just the right amount of nuance without being annoying or irritating.
On another topic: Why won't Audible allow us to have paragraph breaks? Sorry for the single paragraph of many different ideas!
having been to Nepal many times... in 80's and 90's I was delighted by this book of more current events. What an amazing person you are Conor! You should be so so pleased with what you have accomplished. I long to go back!
Great job narrating, great story, great turn out.
I agree with previous review, story starts out with some resistance and gains momentum as book progresses... similar, I would think, to the way this young man's life transitioned from self-absorbed adolescent to proactive adulthood. Bravo!!!
I picked this book because of the high reviews from others. I need my audio books to keep my attention or I feel like I wasted my $. This did not disappoint! I loved listening to it. It was in combination funny, educational, honest, inspirational and thought provoking. It was also a love story. How do you get all of that in one non-fiction book? If you like to learn about other cultures, have a heart for doing right in the world and get inspired by others who do so, I recommend this. I found myself more enthralled by this than the previously inspiring "Three Cups..." which I also enjoyed. "Three" did not keep me as captivated as "Princes." I loved that the author read this as his passion and humor came through. I predict many awards for this one!
I listened to this book in two days . I was spell bound and could not stop listening . I highly recommend it .
Conar did an excellent job writing the book .
I don't even have the words to describe this. It was just really good and so refreshing to read about good in this crazy world.
I wish I coud give it ten stars...This explains all. Very emotional at some parts , crying or laughing .
I so dearly love this book. Conor Grennan's personal narration of his experiences in Nepal working with these amazing children made this book especially enjoyable to listen to. While doing very serious work, he never takes himself too seriously, is laugh out loud funny at times, and most of all, you can tell what a labor of love this project is for him. I also enjoyed learning about the Nepali culture, history and gaining a better understanding of what it is like to live in such an impoverished country, something we westerners often forget exists. Outstanding work and an outstanding book.
Heart-wrenching, hilarious, inspiring
No comparison in this genre
Conor has a wonderfully humorous and compelling voice. His character voices are delightful.
The title of this book is easy to overlook and sounds boring. It doesn't become important until you realize that it is the actual name of an orphanage. So maybe, 'Little Princes Orphanage' or 'Rescuing the Little Princes of Nepal'??
I have nearly 300 audio books, and this is the first time I've ever written a review.
I loved that Conor read the story- no one could have told it better. I felt like I was there. I didn't want it to end.
This is a love story. Conor, your typical self centered young adult, stubble into an adventure totally unprepared for the unconditional love that only children give. Opening himself to the love of the kids, released his soul to universe. Usually I am skeptical of authors as narrator, but Conor tells the story as no other person or actor can. This is my new favorite book.
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