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Editorial Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Cotton
  • Sunnyvale, Ca United States
  • 02-19-11

Hope there is a sequel!

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!

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 02-24-12

A MUST HAVE

If you could sum up Little Princes in three words, what would they be?

Heart-wrenching, hilarious, inspiring

What other book might you compare Little Princes to and why?

No comparison in this genre

What about Conor Grennan’s performance did you like?

Conor has a wonderfully humorous and compelling voice. His character voices are delightful.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

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'??

Any additional comments?

I have nearly 300 audio books, and this is the first time I've ever written a review.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • Centerville, OH, United States
  • 02-06-11

Amazing experience + Inspiring tale

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!

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • port alberni, British Columbia, Canada
  • 02-18-11

Excellent

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 .

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A very honest, inspiring, self-deprecating story

I loved the story because the author did not present himself as someone who was out to save the world; he fully admits that he signed up for the stint at the orphanage to impress people. But little did he know that it would change his life. He seemed amazed that he could be happier than he'd ever been while living in incredibly difficult circumstances and eating a very meager diet. His amazement that a woman he cared for could be interested in him, someone who had no money or prospects at the moment and was spending his time taking care of orphans in Nepal was disarming and charming. A great read!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An education in a great story, exceptonally read!

I purchased this book based on the reviews I had read. I am so thankful I did! Mr Grennan found three callings, his gift with children, compassion for others and his writing! An exceptionally written story and superbly read on a subject that reminds us how fortunate we are and that we need to work together. Thank you to Mr. Grennan, his family and friends!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mandy
  • Kernersville, NC, United States
  • 03-10-11

Inspiring, Educational and Fun

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best on Audible

I've listened to hundreds of Audible titles and base my choices on the ratings by other listeners. Little Princes is one of the top 5 books on my list. Truly amazing and simultaneously heart warming and heart breaking. I strongly recommend this as your next listen!!!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Really Good

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The author rambles away, but it's interesting

This was okay. Sometimes surprisingly funny. Good narration by the author — it felt like Conor Grennan was sitting in my living room, sharing his story. I learned something new. I respect Conor for his work in Nepal.

I'm writing while my thoughts are still fresh, but I haven't finished the book yet. It's been a while since last I listened, so I wonder if I will. Hope so!

My problem is focus. After listening to the first third of the book, I still do not know the 18 orphans. I only know the names of one or two orphan boys.

I found it hard to stick with this book because the narrative rambled around too much. I wanted to know the 18 orphans, wanted to "see" them as individuals, but the narrative focused instead on the author (Conor) himself, or on varied anecdotes about daily life or Nepalese customs (interesting but often a digression from the central plight of these kids).

For example, Conor took one of the orphan boys to the hospital, but I didn't learn what happened to the boy there. Instead, I learned about Conor's experience at the hospital, finding a place to sleep in the maternity ward.

Another example. Conor talks about how he learned some Nepalese animal names from one of the girls, but the words are totally wrong because she is partially deaf. It was told with good humor, and I smiled, but it was Conor's story, not hers. We heard no more about that girl. (Or if so, it would have to be much much later in the story).

For a while, Conor talked about a corrupt Nepalese man with friends in high places. He is a major threat to the orphans. I wanted to know more about him, but that scene digressed into some other anecdote.

I also felt frustrated at the lone-gun approach Conar Grennan took to solving the main problem. From personal experience, I know there are several good nonprofit organizations he could have appealed to, making the effort an international collaboration. Perhaps he was too young and inexperienced to know much about them. He did what he could!

As I listened, I quickly grew to like Conor. He seems like an amiable and caring guy, even though he had little idea of what he was getting into. And even though he can take a year off to travel the world (jealous me). He played with the kids and talked with them, especially the boys. (Not so sure about the girls).

Despite my quibbles, his story is interesting, and sometimes quite funny and heartwarming. The kids are adorable, even though I don't know them by name.

I may finish the book. I just wish it wasn't such a rambling account.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful