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I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced Paperback – March 2, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 521 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Chosen by Glamour magazine as a Woman of the Year in 2008, Nujood of Yemen has become an international hero for her astonishingly brave resistance to child marriage. Sold off by her impoverished family at the age of 10, continually raped by her husband before she even reached puberty, Nujood found the courage to run away, and with the help of an activist lawyer, sympathetic judges, and the international press, she divorced her husband and returned home. Her clear, first-person narrative, translated from the French and written with Minoui, is spellbinding: the horror of her parents’ betrayal and her mother-in-law’s connivance, the “grown-ups” who send the child from classroom and toys to nightmare abuse. She never denies the poverty that drives her parents and oppresses her brothers, even as she reveals their cruelty. Unlike her passive mother, she is an activist, thrilled to return to school, determined to save others, including her little sister. True to the child’s viewpoint, the “grown-up” cruelty is devastating. Readers will find it incredible that such unbelievable abuse and such courageous resistance are happening now. --Hazel Rochman


“A powerful new autobiography...It’s hard to imagine that there have been many younger divorcées—or braver ones—than a pint-size third grader named Nujood Ali.”
—Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“Shocking...captures the social challenges facing Yemen better than any scholarly work could hope to do.”
—Washington Post

“Her case has brought international exposure to the archaic practice of robbing girls of their youth.”
People (Four Stars)

“An international icon of tenacity and courage.”
New Yorker

“One of the greatest women I have ever seen . . . She set an example with her courage.”
—Hillary Clinton
“This book took my breath away. It broke my heart but put it back together again with a renewed hope in the staggering power of the human spirit. What Nujood did to save her life was a miracle; that she did it as a ten-year-old child is, quite simply, astounding.”
—Carolyn Jessop, author of Escape and Triumph

“Nujood and all other girls like her who are traded like objects deserve to be heard. This important book gives them a voice and sheds light on an ugly secret that has destroyed the lives of children for centuries.”
—Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran

“Simple and straightforward in its telling, this is an informative and thoroughly engaging narrative.”
Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; First Edition edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307589676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307589675
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This short book, which I read in a single sitting, astounded me with its narrative and left me feeling a mix of anger and incredulity upon completing it. Before reading this book, I'd read about Nujood Ali, who has been described as possessing a "precocious self-assurance." After reading the book, it's clearly an accurate description of a young girl who refuses to accept a situation that she knows is wrong. In doing so, it turns out, she opens the door for long-overdue change.

Nujood doesn't live an easy life as a young girl in Yemen, but she still finds time to enjoy her childhood. Her father, who has two wives, seems incapable of supporting them on his meager salary, and the rest of the family must find ways to make ends meet. Her father, in an effort to ease his own burden, agrees to an arranged marriage with a man three times Nujood's age, with the condition that he not consummate the marriage until one year after her first period. The new husband breaks that promise on the very night of their wedding, and from that point forward continues to beat her and rape her nightly. This is not consensual sex, but child rape, pure and simple.

The story that unfolds from that point forward is nothing short of amazing. It's also heartening to learn that right from the beginning of her ordeal, several Yemenese men stepped forward to stand up for her rights, even while knowing that Sharia law and local customs would be working against them. It is also important to realize that educated, empowered women in these countries are also willing to step forward and challenge such destructive customs and laws, and one of them, Shada Nasser, becomes her lawyer and champion.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nujood Ali, a ten-year old Yemeni girl forced into marriage with a repulsive older man, refuses to put up with the injustice of the terrible abuse she suffers daily at his hands. Against tremendous odds, she will not back down until she gets what she wants: a divorce.

Najood tells her own amazing story with the help of co-author Delphine Minoui. This inspiring book, which comes out out in February 2010, has already been translated into 16 languages. The eleven chapters, plus epilogue, alternate between her determined legal battle beginning at the court house in the capital city of Sana'a, and the idealic early childhood in a remote village, leading up to her the disasterous union with her abuser.

Bucking the forces of age-old customs, family disapproval, and the tabu of "bringing shame to her family", Nujood's bravery and determination never flicker nor flag. She is completely sure of the justice of her cause, of her own self worth, and her faith in God. Really, Nujood is just an regular kid, like any other; she likes to play, to draw pictures and learn to read, and she loves her family--not so different really than millions of other girls who live in this mostly impoverished society, where men have the final word, no questions asked. But she has an internal strength to never question herself, and the simple belief that right will win out.

I think that, although Nujood's world may seem impossibly remote to our own, her book has universal appeal. It's the story of courage, of human rights, of passion and of compasssion. Little Nujood manages to find powerful allies within the justice system, including a remarkable attorney named Shada, and international support from women's and human right's groups, such as Oxfam.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Had "I am Nujood, Aged 10 and Divorced" been historical fiction or fantasy or a grown woman's memoir of her childhood, I would say it is fantastically written.

"I am Nujood, Aged 10 and Divorced" is a true story, written by Delphine Minoui, an adult, and Nujood Ali, who is still a child. Obviously, the actual writing is done by Minoui, as Ali has not had much schooling. Ali's voice is in first person, but that is where I find myself distracted. In the child's words, I hear the voice of an adult. Her observations too keen, more wise than her years, more educated than her one year of schooling would allow. Sometimes, she briefly mentions religion or culture as a way to educate readers about the context of the situation but yet immediately professes her ignorance. She cannot be ignorant and knowing at the same time. Minoui would have done better to write from the child's perspective and intersperse that with a third person narrative when attempting to educate the reader about the religious, political and social issues. For these distracting lapses, I subtract one star.

The story itself is very interesting. I remember reading of Ali's plight in the papers. In the book, she tells how she was wed and what that was like, how she decided to leave and the manner in which she escaped (it was fascinating) and what happened afterwards. I learned many details I did not know about from the media. The time frame of her story is quite short, less than a year, and the book is able to maintain focus.

Ali is a courageous young little girl, the first girl ever to win a divorce in her country, and I hope her life brings her much deserved happiness.
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