Top positive review
89 people found this helpful
"Everybody's mother cried."
on November 10, 2010
Imagine the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of people displaced and in danger. Families separated and unsure where to go or what to do. A government in chaos, unable (at least initially) to be of any assistance. Then imagine that this chaos had lasted an ENTIRE decade. That some of these families were so poor and so desperate to keep their children safe, that they sold just about every possession they owned in order to PAY to try and keep their children from being conscripted into a rebel army that had formed in opposition to the government. Then imagine that, far from being the safe haven they had imagined, these families never heard from their beloved children again. As days turned into weeks, then into months that turned into years, they realized their children had just disappeared.
This is the situation in Nepal. From 1996-2006, Nepal suffered through a horrible civil war between the monarchy and Maoist rebels. The country was torn apart. Elementary-aged children were abducted by the rebels to serve in any capacity. And of course, as is so often the case, an even darker force came into play. Using fear as their weapon, child traffickers took thousands of children to "safety" - taking enormous sums of money and then turning around and either abandoning them hundreds of miles from home, or using them to make more money in donations that they pocketed while the children lived in squalor.
Little Princes is the story of one man who went to Nepal to volunteer for 3 months because he thought it would sound impressive. Conor Grennan decided he was going to take a year off and travel the world, using the volunteer time to make it sound better to his friends and family. However, he found that when when his 3 months as a volunteer were over, he left a large part of his heart behind. So he went back. And then he went back again, with a mission to help these "orphaned" children find their parents again.
I found Little Princes extremely well-written and incredibly heart-warming. Grennan was able to make Nepal come alive, and the children just leapt off the page and right into my heart. I giggled at their antics and I cried with their pain. I empathized with Farid and Conor as they struggled to help these children in a place where the government was often corrupt and where things run on "Nepal time" - so much slower than our own. And then, after I finished reading the book (within a day), I went to [...] to learn more.
I cannot recommend this book more highly. It's fun and heart-breaking, it's informative and it has a wonderful message to send. You CAN make a difference, one person at a time.