Little Princes by Conor Grennan

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

Five words from the blurb: Nepal. children, volunteer, reunite, families

Earlier in the year I asked people to name their favourite narrative non-fiction books. Little Princes was mentioned by so many people that I felt I had to get a copy. Having read it I can see why they love it - Little Princes is an inspiring example of how much one person can achieve when they have the motivation and determination to do so.

Conor Grennan was twenty-nine-years-old when he realised he needed more excitement in his life. He quit his day job and decided to go travelling around the world for a year. In order to impress his friends he registered to volunteer at an orphanage in Nepal for the first three months, but once there he fell in love with the children and couldn’t abandon them. He has spent the rest of his life doing everything he can to help these vulnerable children, occasionally risking his life to do so.

I loved Conor’s honest, friendly approach to life. He made no attempt to hide the more selfish areas of his personality and it was wonderful to see his attitude to life change over the course of the book. 

His writing was engaging throughout and packed with emotion.  

If walking into the responsibility of caring for eighteen children was difficult, walking out on that responsibility was almost impossible. The children had become a constant presence, little spinning tops that splattered joy on everyone they bumped into. I would miss that, of course. But the deeper sadness, the deluge of emotion, came from admitting that I was walking out on them. 

It was perfectly paced and I loved the way it was structured to ensure that the information was revealed slowly, creating a compelling narrative that hooked me throughout. I especially loved Conor’s trek into the mountainous area of Nepal. It reminded me of the fabulous book, Touching The Voidand I had my heart in my mouth throughout this section.

If I’m forced to criticise this book I’d say that it occasionally gets a bit too sentimental, but when faced with the joy of little children I guess that is hard to avoid and I’m willing to forgive it.

This book does a fantastic job of highlighting the problem of child trafficking in Nepal. It is heartwarming and inspiring.

Highly recommended.

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The thoughts of other bloggers:

It made me laugh out loud and moved me to tears. S. Krishna’s Books

…the moving, memorable story of an unexpected hero in an unlikely place… The 3 R’s Blog

…a remarkable, heart-breaking and heart-warming book. The House of the Seven Tails


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17 Comments

  1. Sandy says:

    I have it on my shelves! I bet you are shocked! But there it sits. I shall read it one day, and am encouraged that you loved it. Everyone has loved it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, I am sure that you’ll fall in love with this book – I predict a 5 star score from you. Enjoy!

  2. Shan says:

    I too loved how refreshingly honest he was about his motivations, about the selfishness there was in him and you could really see through the book that it was a true change in him, not just something he wrote to make himself look better.

    1. Jackie says:

      Shan, I agree that the honesty was one of the best parts. He may have volunteered to impress his friends, but the book wasn’t written to make him look good – I wish more people were as honest about their motivations as he is.

  3. I am so glad that you read this and liked it so much. I thought it was a great blend of humility, interesting story, Nepal, and life

    1. Jackie says:

      Helen, Good to hear that you enjoyed it too. I think it is the perfect introduction for people who think they are not interested in other cultures. I’m going to be recommending it to lots of people.

  4. Was wondering whether you’d be able to forgive the sentimentality given your aversion to ‘charming’ ;)

    Refreshingly honest was how I summed it up too – glad you enjoyed it Jackie.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jo, Luckily this didn’t get too sentimental very often. There were only a few paragraphs where it crossed my line – most of the time I loved the increasing bond between Conor and the children. Glad to hear you loved it too.

  5. I’ve picked this book up a few times at the library but never actually taken it home – sounds like I need to!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sam, Yes – you really should. I’m sure you’ll love it. :-)

  6. This one has seemed to have received rave reviews by most everyone who read it. Glad u enjoyed it as well.

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, I tried to find a negative review to balance all the positive ones at the end of my post, but I couldn’t find one. This is one of those rare books that everyone seems to love.

  7. JoV says:

    oh wow, another real event account. I love such books, if only I have 48 hours a day and don’t need to sleep! I have been eyeing this book for so long!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jo, Yes, I’m going through a bit of a narrative non-fiction stage at the moment – be prepared for a few more in the next few weeks!

  8. a fine review of a noble book

  9. Jenners says:

    I too keep hearing raves about this book. I know I need to read it at one point!

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