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Review: Little Princes

January 19, 2012

When Conor Grennan decided to spend a year taking a trip around the world his friends were critical, so he decided to spend three months of that year volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal, feeling sure that would impress people.  Up until that point, he’d had very little exposure to children, so he was unprepared for just how much the children at the Little Princes Orphanage would affect him.

After his three month stint, Grennan couldn’t get the children out of his mind or his heart, so he returned to the orphanage a year later.  He came to discover that many of the children were not, in fact, orphans – they had been taken from their parents under false pretenses by child traffickers.  Grennan was so moved by the plight of these children, he has made it his life’s work to take care of them and reunite them with their families when possible.

Little Princes is Grennan’s story of his time with those children and tells how he came to start Next Generation Nepal.  This memoir has something for everyone – it’s part travelogue, part love story, and part issues primer and I was just charmed with it.  I really enjoyed and appreciated how candid Grennan was – he went in with an ulterior motive and found his purpose in life.  He never sugarcoats the story or portrays himself as a savior – he’s honest and willingly shares his faults as well as his triumphs.  The resiliency  of those children changed him and caused him to reevaluate his life.  I admire the way Grennan saw a need and did something about it.

Many people have raved over Little Princes – I enjoyed this book a great deal, but I’m not sure that I would say that I loved it.  I loved the story and the message, but part of the book dragged for me.  I found that I looked forward to reading about Grennan’s encounters with the children of Nepal and his budding romance, but felt that some of the travel parts went into a little too much detail for me.  I still found the book to be a very emotional and satisfying read and I do recommend it to those who love a heartwarming memoir.  Even this fabulous trailer makes me tear up:

115 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2012 6:42 am

    I still haven’t read this one. I guess I was hoping we would follow through with it in our book club to force me to read it. That is pretty much how I have to read my books, otherwise I wouldn’t get to half of them. I like a true story like this. Makes you feel good about humanity.

  2. January 19, 2012 6:55 am

    Sounds like a powerful story Kathy.

  3. January 19, 2012 7:07 am

    I need to read this book. The video is very appealing and aren’t those children beautiful? My church is very involved with an orphanage in Peru with many members visiting and spending time helping out a couple of times a year. I hope to go one day.

  4. January 19, 2012 7:12 am

    I read this book last year and loved it. Thanks for sharing the trailer. Seeing the children’s beautiful smiles of hope was the perfect way to start my day.

  5. January 19, 2012 7:38 am

    This made the Indie Lit Award short list so I’ll be reading it soon.

  6. January 19, 2012 8:02 am

    I haven’t read this either. I don’t know why, except I think I would react like you!

  7. January 19, 2012 8:45 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I really loved it. I thought it was an emotional, and powerful read. I can understand when you say that you thought it dragged in parts.

  8. January 19, 2012 9:12 am

    I agree with you. I listened to this one and while I also loved the message and his spirit, I was shocked to see the book world embrace this one with such cheer.

    I’m so happy I read this book, great message, inspiring. An important book.

  9. January 19, 2012 9:19 am

    I really liked this book, and especially liked Grennan’s honesty and they way he handled the kids and his life. I think it takes a lot of courage to admit that you are only doing something like this to be thought of in a good light by others, and it was at that point that I really began to trust him and to see the story as his personal journey, as well as an escape for those children. Great review today, Kathy!

  10. January 19, 2012 10:35 am

    I’ve been wanting to read this one!

  11. January 19, 2012 10:47 am

    Thanks for an honest review, Kathy! I like reading about books that one enjoys but maybe not on a smash hit level. This one is getting a lot of play on the blogs right now, and it’s one I’d consider picking up.

  12. January 19, 2012 10:54 am

    Thanks for this review — I love travelogues but was apprehensive this would be super self-congratulatory. It sounds like the tone is actually rather balanced and real — so I’ll give this a try. I appreciate your thoughts.

  13. January 19, 2012 11:07 am

    This one is on my list, but I know I’ll have to be in just the right mood to read it!

  14. January 19, 2012 11:21 am

    I am sure I would enjoy it, but I also fear those dragging parts

  15. January 19, 2012 11:23 am

    I saw it on several 2011 Favorite Books list last month. I appreciate your thoughts, Kathy.

  16. January 19, 2012 11:38 am

    Kathy, the video touched me as well. Wonderful “story”! This is what the world needs: open-hearted volunteers.

  17. January 19, 2012 11:40 am

    This does sound intriguing, but I probably won’t read it as I’m too picky with memoirs. Great review though!

  18. January 19, 2012 12:01 pm

    I was impressed with Grennan’s honesty and willingness to admit what a jerk he was when he first arrived in Nepal and volunteered at the orphanage and I enjoyed seeing how he matured through this experience. My favorite parts f the book were also his interactions with the children and his anecdotes about them. I understand your feeling that the book dragged in the areas where Grennan discussed traveling around Nepal and elsewhere. He was very detailed. I think he was trying to impress upon readers the difficulty and danger in traveling around the country. What really struck me after I thought more about the book is what an overwhelming task uniting the children with their families is and how the situation in Nepal won’t change for children laws are enacted.
    This is a wonderful review, Kathy and thenkyou for including the video!

  19. January 19, 2012 1:21 pm

    I haven’t been itching to read this one. Too many reviews note that it drags in places and with the small amount of time I have to read, I don’t want to spend it slogging through anything that drags. We’ll see if it come up in my book club selection meeting tonight.

  20. January 19, 2012 1:23 pm

    Lovely review Kathy. I enjoyed the book and found Grennan to be humorous and self-deprecating. One of the few memoirs I actually really like.

  21. January 19, 2012 1:38 pm

    I don’t think I necessarily got bored or felt like it dragged, but there were a couple parts I guess I wouldn’t have minded being shorter. I definitely liked the parts with the children and their interactions the best.

  22. January 19, 2012 2:26 pm

    I’m going to have to read this.

  23. January 19, 2012 2:36 pm

    This sounds like a lovely read. It’s very appealing that he went into it all initially with an ulterior motive that dissolved and became something genuine.

  24. January 19, 2012 4:31 pm

    I have gone back and forth on reading this one. I think I might get it at the library instead of buying it.

  25. January 19, 2012 4:39 pm

    Sounds like one to add to my list, even if it might wait awhile to get it’s chance to be read!

  26. January 19, 2012 4:39 pm

    Definitely sounds like one that would tug at my heartstrings.

  27. January 19, 2012 7:57 pm

    Regardless of the slow parts, it does sound like an amazing story.

  28. January 19, 2012 8:01 pm

    I liked this one a LOT but I can see where you didn’t find the traveling aspects as compelling as the rest of the story. I loved reading about the kids at the orphanage and the book really hit a nerve for me emotionally. I appreciate your honesty with this one, Kathy!

  29. January 19, 2012 8:09 pm

    Thanks for your fair and balanced review. I’ve heard good things about this yet dstill don’t feel compelled to read it for some reason.

  30. January 19, 2012 8:19 pm

    I really liked this one, but I am a sucker for a feel-good non-fiction involving kids and education 🙂

  31. January 19, 2012 9:00 pm

    Being charmed is still good!

  32. January 19, 2012 9:50 pm

    I’m glad to read a sort of in the middle review of this one — all of the ones I’ve read so far have been so glowing, I’ve been putting off reading the book until some hype wears down. Sounds like a tearjerker in parts!

    • January 27, 2012 8:35 pm

      I happened to look at this blog because it’s title is misspelled “Little Princess” and am much more interested reading your review of this memoir. Also: Hellow Kim! I found you in blogland!

      • January 27, 2012 8:36 pm

        Thanks! I spelled the title correctly, it’s WordPress that got it wrong.

  33. January 19, 2012 11:37 pm

    Not sure this is a book I could read right now. I’d be way too caught up with those poor kids that I’d be crying through the whole thing.

  34. January 20, 2012 1:55 am

    Like Kim said, it’s nice to read a review that isn’t all praise. It’s not the kind of book I’ve been reading these days but it’s still on my radar.

  35. January 20, 2012 8:37 am

    I like these kinds of memoirs…but I’m leery of them since the controversy surrounding that Three Cups of Tea author. I hope that all of these people with these memoirs and experiences have scruples when running these programs and charities. THanks for the review.

  36. January 20, 2012 10:39 am

    I enjoy memoirs like this, but for some reason I haven’t picked this one up yet despite the fact it’s been on my shelves for a few months.

  37. January 20, 2012 10:43 am

    I’ve heard the rave reviews for this one and I’m sure I’ll read it someday but not just yet.

  38. January 20, 2012 1:06 pm

    I agree with your review completely. I too really enjoyed this book and the message but found that certain points dragged for me as well.

  39. January 21, 2012 8:04 am

    I’m glad that you enjoyed this one. I loved it and thought it was brilliant.

  40. January 21, 2012 8:29 am

    I ditto Staci’s comment! 🙂

  41. January 21, 2012 9:23 am

    Wow! This sounds like a great read to me. A moving one too. I think I would like the combination of genres and to read about his experiences. Thanks for sharing!

  42. January 21, 2012 9:05 pm

    I really liked this book, but felt it had two different voices. I liked reading about what Grenan did with the orphanage (and what originally drove him to go to Nepal), but I didn’t need to read so much about his personal life/romance.

    I think the book first came out around the time that Greg Mortensen’s (THREE CUPS OF TEA) dishonesty came to light, which may have affected how the public initially saw Grenan’s story.

  43. January 23, 2012 2:01 pm

    This one seems to be EVERYWHERE lately. Just read Dawn’s comment above and interesting tidbit. Reading about this one makes me think of Three Cups of Tea, but I know I’ll need to separate the two when I finally get to this one.

  44. January 24, 2012 5:59 pm

    how can you not love that cover…but I am not sure it is for me.

  45. January 27, 2012 7:14 pm

    Nice review! I haven’t heard of this one before, I’ll be sure to check it out.

  46. January 27, 2012 7:41 pm

    I didn’t read it – I heard it! I listened to it on CD on my commute to and from work. I loved it so much that I listened to it twice. It’s wonderful to experience the book through Conor Grennen’s voice. A great book about a great journey. I’ve recommended it to several friends. I’m glad to see you are writing about it.

  47. outofmymindbackin5minutes permalink
    January 27, 2012 8:00 pm

    The Little Princes made me realize that there is more to life than just being woried about school. Plus meeting Conor Grennan wasn’t bad either 🙂 He is full of personality and this is contagious

  48. January 27, 2012 8:12 pm

    Hey, congrats on the FP! Makes complete sense to see you on here 🙂

  49. January 27, 2012 8:36 pm

    Great review!

  50. marisaporter permalink
    January 27, 2012 9:10 pm

    Sounds fascinating! This cause touches a deep place in my heart – having volunteered to do fundraising and stuff for IJM a lot in college and want to make it a part time volunteer job when I get more on my feet financially. I’m just afraid of books like these because I am so tenderhearted – is it graphic? Just how much detail does it go into?

  51. January 27, 2012 9:12 pm

    I can’t wait to read this, thank you.

  52. January 27, 2012 9:25 pm

    I like your review, I really wanna read it now.

  53. parwatisingari permalink
    January 27, 2012 10:57 pm

    looks interesting

  54. January 27, 2012 11:08 pm

    Reblogged this on Folly's Newest Heights and commented:
    I really really want to read this.
    and since i decided my life isnt interesting enough to blog about, ive decided to treat this as a stuff i like list of sorts.
    ready . go.

  55. alice pngen ..... permalink
    January 28, 2012 12:21 am

    Reblogged this on

  56. jboydjen permalink
    January 28, 2012 12:45 am

    Reblogged this on jboydjen and commented:
    cute.. 🙂

  57. January 28, 2012 1:21 am

    Great review. I will read it now. It sounds amazing !

  58. January 28, 2012 2:05 am

    Great blog !

  59. January 28, 2012 3:28 am

    Great Post!

  60. January 28, 2012 4:07 am

    entertaining yet i was moved by the review. cant wait to get hold of the book.. thanks for sharing… 😀

  61. January 28, 2012 5:58 am

    My girlfriend read this book and was really moved by it. Great review!

  62. January 28, 2012 6:50 am

    There is a beauty in doing things for others. Inevitably it means doing something for yourself as the people of the world are one.

    I like your honest review.
    Perfect love!

  63. January 28, 2012 7:24 am

    Seems a lot of people liked it. So I’ll have to buy it. Tnanks for the tip.

  64. January 28, 2012 7:24 am

    Thanks for this post. I’d never heard of this book, but it definitely sounds worth reading.

  65. January 28, 2012 7:57 am

    I was looking for a new book to read, now I know what to buy. =)

  66. January 28, 2012 10:42 am

    Reblogged this on Social Literary.

  67. January 28, 2012 11:01 am

    I need to get my hands on this book. Can’t find it in english in Bulgaria

  68. January 28, 2012 11:55 am

    Very cool share! Nicely done.

  69. January 28, 2012 12:09 pm

    At first, by looking at the title, I tought it was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book but now I know it’s totally different book. Maybe I will read this book after I finish my Jane Austen challenge. 🙂

  70. January 28, 2012 12:21 pm

    Funny…I had just added this book to my reading que for the year and then came here and found you review on Freshly Pressed. Congrats on being FP. Enjoyed your writing style on the book.

  71. vandana permalink
    January 28, 2012 1:37 pm

    i have not read the book but would surely do so.the best thing is people are there with warm heart to take care of little kids who have no again money is not everything.

  72. Tresa permalink
    January 28, 2012 4:49 pm

    Congratulations on the Freshly Pressed Honor!!

  73. blackshepherd permalink
    January 28, 2012 4:52 pm

    I’ll read it if I come across it…sounds very moving. I love people like him and feel like a total fraud next to such folks. I hope that my life evolves in such a way that I might be able to do something like that…I’ve tried working with children in the US and feel lucky to have survived…because the abuses they suffer right under our noses are so severe as to illicit only disbelief and denial…they are so deeply damaged that only a full court press of services presented in a “continuuity of care” format can help…we need so many more enlightened philanthropists now…people like Bill Gates etc…getting involved side by side with the rest of us rank and file…I’m aware of the urgency of this need…understand the challenge and the personal sacrifice necessary and hope that I may someday be able to rise to it….with all my brothers and sisters who feel similarly….God Bless him for the experience, the courage to go back…to you for publishing this…and me for atleast reading it…May God Help Us All….

  74. Lizzie Rodriguez permalink
    January 28, 2012 4:53 pm

    When I first heard of this book through a really close friend of mine, I was very weary because of Three Cups of Tea (I thought it was very wordy and a slow read), anyway, she finished the book and wouldn’t stop talking about it. I saw that was finally released in soft cover on Dec 26th and I got it. I am very happy I did. I really enjoyed the book, I felt encouraged, and hopeful.
    There were some sections that to me dragged, but I am assuming that is how he felt, especially while he was waiting for the helicopter. All I want to say is that I like your review, couldn’t agree with you more and look forward to reading more of you reviews.

  75. January 28, 2012 9:44 pm

    This book has been on my “To Read List” for the longest time! I should get around to it soon. It’s a shame that I didn’t get to read it yet, especially since I interviewed the author (here’s the link if you’d like to read it: and was intrigued by his story. Thanks for your review!

  76. January 29, 2012 1:26 am

    I really like this post. Those of you who want a daily dose of literature and everything in between, come check out my blog @

  77. January 29, 2012 8:08 am

    So nice to see a familiar name pop up on Freshly Pressed! This book is one I expect to be asked if I’ve read for while, but I probably won’t. I’m too dubious about memoirs these days, especially when the main reason the author has done the good deed might be to get a book deal out of it. (Not to say that’s the case with this author, I’m just prejudiced against him from the start.)

  78. January 29, 2012 10:47 am

    Great review, thanks for sharing.


  79. sapphy03 permalink
    January 29, 2012 12:34 pm

    Anyone who see the misery of people in the world goes through revolutionary changes in his life and mind. This book looks like quite a good read.

    Kitchen Mixer Reviews

  80. January 29, 2012 3:22 pm

    I haven’t read this yet, but am definitely excited to do so. My friends have been talking about it a good bit, and since they are world travelers with a passion for adventure, I wasn’t quite sure if I would have the same kind of reaction to it that they did. Your review tends to suggest that it would be about as I would expect – I’d enjoy the stuff with the children, and prefer to experience a lot of the travel stuff myself, versus reading someone else’s account of it. Thanks for sharing the review.

  81. rarujoe permalink
    January 29, 2012 6:26 pm

    It’s worthed it to work spending time with those children. My husband, my children, and I spend a week of our vacation traveling to visit those children. Before having our second daughter, we were thinking to adopt a child. They need someone to love and care about them.

  82. January 29, 2012 9:28 pm

    Have not heard about this one.Will give it a try.

  83. blackbyrd permalink
    January 29, 2012 10:50 pm

    I had to read this before my first semester of college. I loved the book and the university even arranged for him to come and speak to my class. He was a really nice guy and the story is an unforgettable one.

  84. January 29, 2012 11:07 pm

    sounds good, worth a read.

  85. gjwisdom permalink
    January 29, 2012 11:27 pm

    My grandmother gifted me this book for graduation in April, shortly before I left to volunteer in Japan to help with the tsunami relief work. For some reason this review caught my eye and I guess it’s time I pick it up and get reading! Also, an honest/good review is always appreciated. Thanks!

  86. January 29, 2012 11:59 pm

    That’s a great story…

  87. January 30, 2012 12:21 am

    Reblogged this on News on Modern Day Slavery.

  88. January 30, 2012 1:02 am

    Engaging video. Thanks for the review.

  89. January 30, 2012 1:32 am

    I would like to read this. thx fr the review! nice blog

  90. January 30, 2012 2:51 am

    sounds interesting. i read a memoir about goodwill work in nepal too, leaving microsoft to change the world by john wood. it is interesting how many troop to nepal for these things.

  91. January 30, 2012 3:00 am

    I’m not sure I could read this book, I fear I would be in tears throughout. Is it highly emotional, or do you think I could cope?

  92. Purpletin permalink
    January 30, 2012 3:18 am

    I shall give it a read 🙂

  93. January 30, 2012 7:00 am

    I have this book in my TBr. Great review. And Congrats on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

  94. January 30, 2012 7:31 am

    I’ve put this on my reading list and am looking forward to it. Thank you for the review. Kudos on being Freshly Pressed. I’ll definitely check out the rest of your blog.
    Peace and light.

  95. January 30, 2012 9:00 am

    I have heard about this book so its great you have provided an in-depth and personal view on it. thankyou for sharing.

  96. January 30, 2012 9:12 am

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Sounds like a fascinating read.

  97. January 30, 2012 9:26 am

    I haven’t heard of this book but it sounds great. I should pick it up. And congrats on the freshly pressed!

  98. amidsummersnight permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:39 am

    Wow, it sounds so powerful. Thank you for the review, it will defiantly be going on my reading list.

  99. January 30, 2012 12:17 pm

    I am really impressed with the knowledge that found you in your quest. The knowledge that the more we give, the more we get back in return. When we realize that, the whole world will change. Thank you, I will read this book from cover to cover and then pass it along. Hopefully it will be passed around many times and touch someone else. Congratulations on your journey and telling your story. Olivia

  100. January 30, 2012 12:22 pm

    Reblogged this on grammieknows.

  101. January 30, 2012 12:28 pm

    I’m glad to know about Little Princess. Thanks!

  102. January 30, 2012 12:52 pm

    Nepal is what I consider to be my little “happy place.” You know, that place you go to in your mind when your boss (or an ex) chews you up and spits you out, leaving you for dead. In my mind’s eye, Nepal is/was perfect in every fashion. Therefore when I clicked to read your blog, I was set to revel in the purity of Nepal, but oh how the mighty have fallen.

    The burst of my bubble has cleared the path for education and you’ve further my interest/passion; I’m truly grateful. It sounds like we can all learn a great deal from Conor Grennan’s book and I’ll be picking up my copy this week without fail. Thank you for inspiring me to grow and change for the better.

  103. January 30, 2012 1:12 pm

    Sounds like a very interesting book. Ever since I had children of my own, I have a hard time reading books like this but this sounds like a book one shouldn’t miss. Thanks for the review!

  104. January 30, 2012 3:28 pm

    I don’t expect that I will enjoy the portions of this that are “travelogue” in nature either. But I will probably read it eventually because I too appreciate the message and I’m interested in the affects of human trafficking. Thanks for the review!

  105. January 31, 2012 10:19 am

    Thanks for this review. The book sounds fascinating and it is such an important topic to expose.

  106. January 31, 2012 11:23 am

    Yes I agree with the comments above…thanks for sharing this topic…T

  107. February 1, 2012 4:39 pm

    Gotta read this book 😀

  108. February 1, 2012 5:39 pm

    I am in the middle of reading this right now and loving it. I enjoy how the writer throws in a witty comment every now and then, as that keeps a heavy topic light. Nice review!

  109. February 5, 2012 5:21 am

    Great story and great review.

  110. February 6, 2012 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the review. We are reading this book for book club next month. Can’t wait!

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