Friday, 11 July 2014

Little Princes by Conor Grennan

Little Princes was interesting and entertaining and I enjoyed reading it. Yet it didn't grab me on a deeper level than that. As a narrator, Conor Grennan is funny and self-deprecating. I would be sad to hear that the cause that he's espousing is hinky in any way, although after recent events in the area of books written to promote charities, I'm wary about that. No sign of any of that from an internet search, though.

Conor Grennan volunteered for three months in an orphanage in Nepal. At least, that was the plan, the do-gooder excuse to then spend the rest of the year travelling the world for fun. But then he went back. And again. It becomes a personal crusade to find seven children he had discovered had been trafficked and whom he had promised would be safe - only to find that by the time the home that could take them in got there, they'd been spirited away.

That this began not because of a lofty ideal, but because of seven specific children was very interesting, and the lengths to which Conor and his colleague at the orphanage(s), Farid, went to to find those seven children and bring them to safety. Also interesting were hearing about the difficulties not only finding the parents, but in actually reuniting the families over the long term. These parents had paid great sums of money to get their children out of a dangerous area, and, they thought, into schooling and being well taken care of. From these best of intentions, Kathmandu had become populated by these children, used and misused by the traffickers in various ways.

Little Princes was interesting, and I'm not sorry I read it, but it never achieved that next level as a reading experience.

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