I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

November 17, 2010

Just look at that title. Those words put together just don’t make sense. Age 10 and divorced. It’s reality for Nujood Ali, though. Growing up in Yemen didn’t bring Nujood many opportunities, but she took life for what it could be. Nujood was excited to attend school, learn to read and write, and play with her friends. She was simply enjoying her childhood. All that changed, though, when Nujood’s father forces her to marry a man three times her age. She is sent away from her family to live in an isolated Yemeni village where she suffers emotional and physical abuse daily. 

After one particularly harsh encounter with her new husband, Nujood decides she is not done being a child and makes the courageous choice to run away. But she doesn’t return home, she goes to the court house at the center of the city because she knows that only a judge can keep her from returning to her abusive husband. Nujood wants a divorce and even as a young girl, she knows that a judge is supposed to serve justice and he can give her back her life. In her book, she tells the story of her unprecedented divorce and the way standing up for herself changes her life.

In I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, Nujood’s story is intense and interesting and although some of the language is uneven and lost in translation, her courage and determination is unmistakable. The reader really takes away lessons in bravery, taking a stand, and knowing oneself. Nujood may have only been 10 years old, but her wisdom and perseverance exceeds her age and is an example for all.

Jessica S.
Colbern Road Branch


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