corner corner Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal


Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
by Conor Grennan | Nonfiction
Registered by BlackGryphon of Calgary, Alberta Canada on 10/1/2011
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Pooker3): to be read

4 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by BlackGryphon from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Saturday, October 01, 2011

6 out of 10

Spoiler Alert: Do not browse through the colour pictures in the middle of this book (even if you are half way through the story)!! It's a total spoiler! Resist the temptation! You owe it to yourself and the cute Nepalese children!

Conor Grennan was a speaker at the University of Calgary's Orientation Week this year so all students were encouraged to read his book. Initially I didn't enjoy Grennan's attitude because he goes to great lengths to explain how he never intended on saving the children, but rather just wanted to volunteer at an orphanage to impress his friends and women in bars. I appreciate his honesty, but in his explicit effort not to be preachy, I felt he stressed this point way too much.

This book presents a perspective of life in Nepal, highlighting a lot of the corruption and revealing the resilience of children with their ingenuity and ability to bounce back from hardships. Grennan is not afraid to bring his perspective into the story and tells of his personal experience and growth alongside the story of his work in Nepal. It was a good story, but I feel a little mislead by the cover jacket promotional material. The blurb on the back of the book highlights the crux of the danger and adventure in the story, but this was only a very small plot line in the book. Grennan's big dangerous adventure was told in just a few chapters. I went into the story expecting something different, so I was a little disappointed -but- the stories about the antics of the children were very enjoyable and made up for it. 

Journal Entry 2 by BlackGryphon at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, October 04, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (10/4/2011 UTC) at Calgary, Alberta Canada


Selected for the Canada Bookbox hosted by AwesomeAud, mathgirl40, and sharpquilter. Happy reading! 

Journal Entry 3 by wingCJL-230711wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, November 10, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I selected this book from the Canada Bookbox that gypsysmom brought to tonight's Winnipeg bookcrossing meeting. It was a lot of fun going through all these books! I've never taken part in a bookbox before. Thanks BlackGryphon for including this book. It's been on my library hold list for some time. And thanks for the spoiler alert. Gypsysmom was also interested in this one so will pass it on to her when I'm done reading. 

Journal Entry 4 by wingCJL-230711wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, January 29, 2012

7 out of 10

Perhaps I'm getting cynical in my old age... In 2004, after working for a public policy think tank for eight years in Brussels and Prague, Conor Grennan was bored and got the urge to travel. He decided to take his savings and spend a year traveling around the world. But when he told his friends and family, they didn't seem impressed, seemed to think that he was being self-indulgent. Hoping to make a better impression on them, and particularly on any women that he met, he decided to start the year off by volunteering for two months in an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. He had no experience with children and also seemed to have done little research on conditions in Nepal. He came across to me as immature and self-centred as well as somewhat naive, although honest. When he discovered that most of the children in the orphanage were not in fact orphans, he set out to reunite them with their families. In most cases, their parents had paid child traffickers large sums of money to take the children to Kathmandu, where they were promised the children would be safe from the Maoist rebels, and provided with an education. In fact, in many cases the children were set to begging, or abandoned. I don't deny that the author carried out some humanitarian work, and he created a non-profit organization, Next Generation Nepal, but I could never quite shake the feeling that he was still trying to make an impression and set himself up as a hero. The book seemed too much about him, particularly once he was making treks between remote villages with a bad knee, and trying to get back to Kathmandu in time to meet a young woman he'd been e-mailing. His "conversion" to Christianity didn't come across as sincere, it seemed to happen so quickly, and as the result of falling for someone. I'm not sure it was even relevant to the story. I was also surprised that Grennan chose to live offsite in a three bedroom apartment when Dhaulagiri House was established by Next Generation Nepal for the "orphans". This was easy to read, and I did learn something about Nepal, but I'm afraid I didn't find it a particulary inspiring read. As I said initially, perhaps I'm just getting cynical in my old age...

Still I'm happy I had the opportunity to read this - thanks very much BlackGryphon for including this in the book box. 

Journal Entry 5 by wingCJL-230711wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, January 29, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (1/28/2012 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


Gypsysmom came over for tea this morning and we had a nice visit! I took the opprotunity to pass this book along. Hope you'll enjoy it! 

Journal Entry 6 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, September 14, 2013

7 out of 10

It appears I never "caught" this book but I do remember mrsgaskell giving it to me. In fact it was the last book that she handed to me personally. She lost her struggle with ovarian cancer in 2012 and I so miss our chats about books and life and everything. For that reason I've been putting off reading it.

I don't think mrsgaskell was cynical and she made some good points about the book but I take a more charitable view of Grennan. These children changed his life and his worldview. He went to Nepal as a rather typical young American thinking he could just volunteer for a few weeks and then dust his hands of the place, putting a tick mark beside "volunteered in third world country" on his bucket list. What he found is that it isn't as easy to leave behind the children that he grew to love. After his travels around the world and with virtually no funds left he returned to the Little Princes. He spent another few months there and saw the country torn apart by the Maoist revolutionaries and the King's soldiers. He left when it was no longer safe for foreigners to be in the country but he didn't stop thinking about them. He especially couldn't stop thinking about the fact that the children were not, in fact, orphans as he initially believed. He decided he had to go back and help find the families who had given up their children to a man who promised they would be kept safe from the rebels and given an education. In fact, the man kept them in poverty and servitude until he was forced to give them up.
Grennan founded NGN, Next Generation Nepal, as a charity in the US and raised some funds to allow him to return to Nepal and start this work.

After a ceasefire between the rebels and the King was negotiated it was safe (well, marginally safer) to go into the remote area of the country where the children's families lived. Since there were no roads into the area Grennan and his guides flew into the only place that had enough flat land for an airstrip. Then they had to traverse narrow mountain paths to get to the villages that the children had come from. Maybe it's because I have bad knees myself but I felt every jolt, every bump on their excruciating journey. Amazingly, Grennan and his guides found parents for a number of the children. Grennan carried back pictures and letters for the Little Princes who were, for once, quiet as it sunk in that their families existed.

Grennan also managed to find love while he made connections with the children's families. He entered into an email correspondence with a young woman who had heard about his work. Liz managed to make a side trip to Kathmandu while visiting India. They only had two days together but it was enough to convince Grennan that he wanted to spend his life with her.

Finding the families of the children was not the same as reuniting the families. That was a much longer process but the work continues.

I would really like to learn more about Gyan, the civil servant with Nepal's Child Welfare Board, who aided NGN and other groups in Kathmandu who looked after the children. His full story would be fascinating. Maybe another book? Meanwhile this one is pretty interesting and I'm glad I read it. 

Journal Entry 7 by Pooker3 at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, October 10, 2013

This book has not been rated.

I received this book from gyspsymom at our October BookCrossers' meeting at Finales coffee shop. I too miss mrsgaskell and her presence at our meetings. I enjoy reading books that have passed through her hands and "hearing" her comments . Thank you to all previous readers for passing this book along. 

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