Back in late October when I first read Little Princes by Conor Grennan, I raved about it here briefly. Now that it is finally available (tomorrow is the official release day!), I want to add that this inspiring book should be in every school and public library. I do not say that often or lightly.
I recently had a chance to meet Conor at ALA Midwinter, and to interview him for an upcoming issue of the SLJ Teen newsletter (look out for it on February 16th). I urge anyone who has the opportunity to bring an author into a school, public, or academic library to consider pursuing Conor as a speaker.
Not only is Conor personable, well-spoken, and funny, his message is the importance of getting involved, of “just showing up.” He encourages young people to volunteer their time even if they worry that they lack the necessary skills for the project at hand.
Adult/High School–Twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan began a year long trip around the world with three months of volunteer work in a Nepalese orphanage to justify the extravagance. As his friends had mentioned and he himself realized as he stood on the doorstep, he had absolutely no skills for the job, but he became deeply committed to reconnecting trafficked children with their families of origin. His account of no comforts, dull food, and a tangle of children are both hilarious and poignant. This is an action packed, breath-holding adventure of the heart and soul as Grennan negotiated steep mountain trails and bureaucracy while founding a non-profit organization and falling in love with an equally committed and passionate woman. His intelligence and humility shine through, and insights into the culture and the difference one person can make are evident. Grennan is able to poke fun at himself while his uncanny inner drive to see and act clearly is obvious. While comparisons to Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea (Penguin, 2007) are inevitable, this book is more accessible and possesses more immediate teen appeal.–Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall, CA