Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal Summary & Study Guide

Conor Grennan
This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Little Princes.
This section contains 1,070 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal Study Guide

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal Summary & Study Guide Description

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan .

This study guide is based on Little Princes, a work of nonfiction by Conor Grennan. The large print edition is published by Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. It was published with an arrangement with William Morrow, and imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, in 2011.

The book narrates the changes in the lives of a volunteer taking care of children who were taken from their homes. A three month stay turned into a life-changing experience, where, even if he was not physically in Nepal anymore, his heart remained there.

The recent history of Nepal plagues the region. During a civil war, Maoist rebels drafted children into the war effort. To protect their children, parents went into debt to pay exorbitant fees to men who promised to transport them to another town. They were promised that their children would be safe and educated. These men were just opportunists taking advantage of the hopes of the parents. Instead of taking them to safety, where they would be cared for and educated, they were forced to become beggars. As a result of this war, and of Nepalis preying on each other, the already poor nation was struggling further. There were few people in a position to help the children. Outside intervention was necessary.

The author became one of the western volunteers who went to the area to fill that vacuum. “Little Princes” was the name of a home for displaced children in Nepal. Grennan stayed at Little Princes for just three months. It was supposed to be the beginning of a year traveling the world. He was hopelessly unsuited to work as a caregiver, and his foibles had hilarious results. Slowly, he got the hang of his job. The children grew to respect and understand this strange foreigner. Soon, it was his time to leave the kids and travel the world. However, he found that he could not stop thinking about the children. The first chance he could, he returned to help them. He and a friend, another volunteer named Farid, eventually ran the shelter. Much later, they even started a new one, called Dhaulagiri House.

Grennan was definitely an outsider. He knew very little about the culture of this new land. The children were amused by his ignorance. However, he continued to do the job because there really was not anyone else to do it. The shelters relied almost entirely on western volunteers and relief agencies. Even though Grennan had no experience with children, and in fact did not know what to do with them at all, he still felt responsible for them and took it upon himself to look out for them.

Much of the book concerns the day-to-day issues that the children face. They had to go to school, go to temple, and entertain themselves while the few adults looked after them. The quiet moments of the book were filled with descriptions of the children's days, and their funny ways of interacting with Grennan. The darker moments of the book showed just how much danger these children were really in.

There were several situations that showed how dire the children's situation was. When children got sick, they had to go to a hospital with blood-stained beds and hardly any staff. Medicine was more scarce than food. The village where they lived is sandwiched between two sides of a civil war. An army enforced a nation-wide strike, which shut off food supply to the shelter. One of the child traffickers, Golkka, was named as being responsible for the theft of most of the children that Grennan encounters. Golkka was never confronted, because he had political connections and was prone to threatening people who got involved in his affairs. By the end of the book, it was assumed that he was still at large, tricking families into giving him money and their children.

In a long mission, Grennan traveled back to the children's home villages to see if he could reconnect with their families. The family members had no idea that their children had, in fact, been kidnapped. They still believed that their children were safe somewhere, being educated. Additionally, some of the children had been told that their parents were dead and that they were truly orphans. This mission wound up being very dangerous. It was in a remote area of Nepal, accessible only by walking if the one airport was covered in snow. Therefore, as winter approached, Grennan and his group have limited time to meet up with the families. Meanwhile, they dealt with injury, soldiers, illness, and many other dangers along the journey.

They eventually made it to all the villages they needed to, and met up with families from every child, except for two who wound up to truly be orphans. It became the first of several trips to the villages to find the families. The children were wary, untrusting of their parents after having been away from them for so long. They had been beaten by their kidnapper if they ever mentioned having parents, so reuniting them is difficult. Plus, they lived so far away that traveling to them is dangerous. Ultimately, they were physically safer at the shelters run by volunteers than in the homes with their real families.

During the course of the narrative, a love story forms. Liz, a woman looking to volunteer at Grennan's shelter, eventually came over, and they fell in love. They built a life together back in the United States, where Grennan changed from the person who did the day-to-day work at the shelter, to the financial overseer who ran fundraisers in America to help Dhaulagiri House and other shelters in Nepal.

As for the children, they grew up in the protective custody of makeshift shelters set up by westerners. Some rejoined their families. Some stayed at the children's homes. Some did not have a home to go back to.

In the absence of a system that worked, others had to step up to help each other. Western volunteers and global relief agencies did much of the day-to-day work and provided food and medicine. Neighbors of the children's homes in the villages kept an eye on the children, making sure they did not become targets again. Older children took care of younger children. A new kind of family system was formed with all of these kids under one roof. These children had nothing except what they created themselves.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 1,070 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook