Conor Grennan, author of the Middle School’s All-Community Read “Little Princes,” told the middle school at an assembly Monday that a volunteering stint in Nepal inspired him to write the book and start a nonprofit.
The book describes going to Nepal in search of adventure and ending up volunteering at an orphanage, the Little Princes Children’s Home. The book follows Grennan as he learns that the children were abandoned by child traffickers.
Grennan made a lot of “self-deprecating” remarks about how he only went to Nepal to impress his friends and girls at bars but ended up caring for the kids and wanting to change their lives, Amanda Angle, English teacher and head of the All-Community Read Committee, said. His message was that if he can do it, anyone can do it.
“His story is really moving, and his perseverance is truly inspiring,” Katie Schlesinger ’17 said. “I’m glad I got to hear him speak,”
Angle said that overall the students responded positively to the book and that teachers were utilizing the Hub for interactive book discussions, in which students could participate in online conversations together.
Grennan also went to the library third period to meet the kids, sign their books and take photos with them. He told students that if they messaged him on Facebook or Twitter, he would reply, and students have taken him up on the offer, chatting with him on social networks.
Students could also submit a question in order to enter a raffle, and two eighth graders and four seventh graders won. The prize was a special Nepalese lunch with Grennan prepared by the cafeteria while they discussed the book.
Angle described Grennan as being funny and inspiring throughout his presentation and his discussions with the community.
“Conor Grennan is a very personable guy who anyone can talk to,” Angle said.
Parents assembled to watch a livefeed of the assembly from the Black Box Theater and have a book club-style discussion with Grennan, led by Rabbi Emily Feigenson and English teacher Julia Grody.
Angle said that the committee started the book selection process early this year.
The committee had around 50 books to choose from but ultimately settled on “Little Princes.” They wanted to stray from the sci-fi genre because the past few books have been in that genre, such as “Ender’s Game” and “The Hunger Games.”
The committee chose “Little Princes” because of how inspiring its message is, even though Angle said they were initially concerned that the students wouldn’t be able to relate to the story or enjoy it as much as the adults.