15 Books to Watch for in February 2011

The shocking effects of princesses on young minds, long-awaited truths about one of the most secretive writers, and more stunning reads.
Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

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

304 pages; William Morrow
Setting out for his year abroad, 29-year-old Conor Grennan sounds like a dude from a Nick Hornby novel explaining where he's headed. "'An orphanage in Nepal,' I would tell women I'd met in bars. 'And yes, it might be dangerous. But I can't think about that,' I would shout...trying to appear misty-eyed. 'I have to think about the children.'" Grennan keeps that sly tone throughout Little Princes (William Morrow), the story of his accidental career as a rescuer of displaced kids in Nepal. His jaunty charm lies in his refusal to take himself too seriously, even as his three-month stint becomes a plenty serious lifelong mission. Grennan manages to reunite dozens of Nepalese families and eventually returns home to set up a foundation, Next Generation Nepal (to which some of the proceeds from this book will go). In the process, he also meets the love of his life, a fellow volunteer for whom he trekked 27 hours to make it to their first real date. No wonder she—and we—fell for him right away.
— Sara Nelson