Nonfiction — print. William Marrow, 2010. 294 pgs. Library copy.
Subtitled “One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal”, Grennan details how he came to start Next Generation Nepal, an organization committed to returning trafficked children to their parents and rural communities. I had no idea Nepal was engaged in civil war from 1996 to 2006 until reading this book.
Apparently, in order to protect their children from Maoist rebels, many parents would sell everything they had to raise enough money to pay people to take their children to safety. In return, they were promised their children would be given shelter, food, and an education along with information updating them on their progress.
Instead, many of children Grennan came to know through his volunteering stint at the Little Princes Orphanage were dumped their by child traffickers and presented as orphans. Others were crowded into small rooms and starved after the traffickers received payment for their services.
Much of this book is ‘me’ oriented; focusing on how Grennan felt and his actions rather than about the kids. I didn’t find this a problem since it is a memoir except for the part where he delves into great detail about the blond internet pen-pal who becomes his wife. He goes on and one about how she, a born-again Christian, spurs him to start reading the Bible. This had absolutely nothing to do with the kids, nothing to do with his promise to reunite them with their families. A total distraction.
It’s still a very inspirational book. The man literally travels across the country to reunite these children traversing strenuous terrain (remember, Nepal is home to Mt. Everest) and moving across dangerous Maoist strongholds to reach the homes of these children.