Grennan, Conor. Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal. Harper Audio. 2011. Audio $24.99. ISBN 9780062027269.
Where do I begin? This book is SO GOOD, you guys. I can't stop thinking about it.
Little Princes is the memoir of an Irish-American twenty-something who goes to volunteer at an orphanage in Nepal for a few months, and ends up devoting years of his life to helping the children there. His story is riveting from beginning to end.
The author, Conor Grennan, is candid about the fact that he didn't set out to change the world; he just thought helping orphans in Nepal sounded impressive. But then he became completely wrapped up in the plight of the victims of child trafficking, and found a way to affect change. His story and the humble, honest way he tells it are genuinely inspiring.
The writing is filled with vivid detail, and the storytelling structure is strong; Grennan deftly intersperses information about Nepalese culture and politics into the narrative, providing context for his story in a way that is both engaging and informative. The personalities of the children he works with are brought to life with such warmth, the reader really comes to share his affection for them.
The audio recording of this book only enhances its quality. Listening to the author tell his own story makes an already personal tale that much more personal. After all, he knows exactly how it should sound, right down to the nuances of every piece of dialogue. His reading is a true pleasure, and his dry, often self-effacing sense of humor is laugh-out-loud funny. It’s like sitting down with a friend over coffee to hear the most amazing story.
Little Princes was recommended on the yalsa-bk mailing list due to its appeal for teens, and indeed, although it may be marketed to adults, I think it's a fantastic read for young people- inspiring and eye-opening. The timing of this book couldn't be better for librarians to share it with our teens; it's a perfect fit for those travel-oriented booklists to go with this year's nationwide Teen Summer Reading theme, "You Are Here."
I really can’t recommend this book highly enough. A portion of the proceeds from your purchase of Little Princes goes to Grennan’s nonprofit organization, Next Generation Nepal, which works to reconnect trafficked children with their families.