Thursday, May 27, 2010
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
Who could not pick up a small book with such a provocative title? I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is written by Nujood Ali, with Delphine Minoui. I could not pass it up when I saw it on the library shelf, and I'm glad I didn't.
Minoui helps Nujood tell the story of her childhood, starting with some strange happenings in her remote village in Yemen which resulted in moving to the city with her family. There are many things in her childhood Nujood does not understand - including why she was married off to a man from her home village when she was only nine. She fights it with all her being, and eventually convinces her husband to take her back to the city to visit her family. There, she finds the courage to escape, go to the courthouse, speak to a judge, and ask for a divorce.
Chaos ensues, but all Nujood wants is to go home to her mother and her sisters and live out her childhood. She wants to go to school and learn to read.
Through the course of the divorce trial, we learn more about what happened to force her family to flee the country for the city, and we learn other tragic secrets of her family.
I Am Nujood is compassionately written, helping us understand the forces at work in Yemen culture.
Although Nujood has lived a lifetime in her short life, her story is not done. I look forward to hearing how she fares in her attempt to regain her childhood in the midst of the world-wide media attention she's already received, and if she's able to reach her goal of becoming a lawyer.