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

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9780061930058: Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

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.

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Review:

“[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.

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