Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Little Princes by Conor Grennan
During this time period, Maoist rebels were abducting children from villages, using them in their forces, or as workers. In the far northwestern corner of Nepal, in the Humla region, a child trafficker named Golkka convinced families he would save their children. They paid him enormous amounts of money to take their children, find them homes, and educate them, saving them from the Maoist rebels. Instead, Golkka sold their children as slaves, or just turned them into the streets. These were the children in Little Princes, and seven other children from Humla that Grenna and a fellow volunteer, Farid, later found, and lost.
When Grenna's volunteer time was up, he took his tour around the world, but found he couldn't forget the children. It was on returning that he learned about the other children, and, just as he found a place to house them, Golkka moved them. Grennan couldn't let go of the stories of the children of Humla. He returned to the U.S., founded a nonprofit organization, Next Generation Nepal (NGN), and returned again to Nepal. He risked his life to journey to the mountains of Humla during the civil war, trying to locate the families, who thought their children were either safe somewhere, or dead. And, together, he and Farid founded a home for the Humli children until they could be reunited with their families.
This is just the bare outline of this story, not much more than appears on the flap of the book. Little Princes is a story of love, and triumph, and one man's journey to adulthood. It's a fascinating adventure. And, it's the tragic story of a country that lost its children during a civil war, and the small group of people of every nationality who are working to change the country.
Conor Grennan's website is http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org/
Little Princes by Conor Grennan. HarperCollins, ©2011. ISBN 9780061930058 (hardcover), 294p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.