Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Little Princes by Conor Grennan

I'll be honest, I really didn't want to read this book. I was in the mood for something uplifting so the idea of reading a book about child trafficking did not appeal to me in the slightest. But that is the thing about book club books, you read things you would otherwise not have read.

And I am so, so glad I did. I absolutely loved this book. I can't say enough about it. It is uplifting, challenging, beautiful, heart-warming, and so much more.

This is a non-fiction book, the story of Conor Grennan's time in Nepal. His first visit is to volunteer for a short time at an orphanage before beginning a year-long trip around the world. He has no experience with children, he can't speak the local language and has no idea what to expect with the difficult political situation happening in the country at the time of his visit.

While there the children win him over almost instantly. And during the course of his visit he learned the heartbreaking truth about them. These children were not orphans at all. Their families (from a very remote and extremely poor region of Nepal) had been tricked into paying a man to take their children into Kathmandu where he promised them a home and an education. These families had no money, but sold everything they had to try to give their children a better life. What they had no way of knowing is that the man abandoned them in Kathmandu. Finding this out changed Conor's life forever. He returned to Nepal at the end of his trip around the world and knew that he needed to do more.

While back in the US, Conor laid the groundwork for Next Generation Nepal, an organization that would provide homes for these abandoned children and would work towards reuniting the families. He then travels back to Nepal to begin that work. It is an incredible story that moved me to tears more than once (granted, that's not hard). I highly recommend this book, and I also recommend visiting Next Generation's website to find out more about their important work.

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