Amy's Reviews > I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali
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Jun 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, non-fiction

What an IMPORTANT book. for some reasons i wanted to rate this book much higher than i did, and for others i wanted to rate it much lower.

this book is important in terms of womens rights as well as cross cultural perspectives. it is well written and well researched. it was easy to read, and difficult to put down. which made me want to give the book 5 stars. plus the funds for the book go to help other little girls like nujood ali to escape from the abuses they face during child marriage. Nujood's bravery and commitment to not only saving her own life but also the lives of other children in her position are to be commended.

on the other end of the spectrum, who likes to read the stories of those being abused? who actually likes graphic details of atrocities being committed against young girls, or the idea that a prepubescent child is being (essentially) sold for the equivalent of $750US?

essentially this is the story of a young girl, a 10 year old married off without her consent for a dowry equaling approx $750, and the way that her community condoned this violence against children and women. in the rural Yemeni community that Nujood grew up in, she did not receive proper education, and in order to bring this story to the mainstream she was helped by writer Delphine Minoui.

while i do believe that children can craft beautiful prose with training, the metaphors provided within this text were clearly not written by a child who is not only illiterate but who also didn't have the worldly references to compare eastern vs. western mentality. I found the flowery prose to be distracting, and as there was clearly no distinction of voice between Minoui's preface and the body of this work, which was billed as being penned by illiterate child Nujood Ali. I found this to be incredibly distracting.

the choice to use first person narrative was probably not the best for this work. the narrative repeatedly claimed that nujood was too young to understand, but by reading this text and reasonably deducing that Minoui did more of the writing than she initially took credit for, why would she not use this as an opportunity to fill in the blanks and do more cross cultural education than she did. or explain the situation better? perhaps Nujood was too young and naive to fully understand what was happening to her, but the readers are not. she really could have taken that time for educational purposes. in my opinion, because clearly this is not a work intended for children, the reader is not too young and naive to fully understand. instead, while focusing on the flowery prose, Minoui cut corners and skipped out on some important opportunities.

that said, would i recommend this book? certainly. it was well written, and a quick read. the social and cultural impact from this type of story will have long standing ramifications, and this book can easily be added to the womens rights, childrens rights and cross-cultural dialogue.
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Reading Progress

June 24, 2012 – Shelved
August 5, 2012 – Started Reading
August 5, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 6, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
August 6, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Marilyn I just finished reading this book and agree with most of what you say. I did not find the prose to be too distracting, although I did notice that it was probably written above her own ability. I think this book, as written, can speak to readers who would not choose to read (or be able to understand) this story if it were written in a more complex, more thorough accounting. That said, I hope that someone does decide to write this story more deeply for that more sophisticated and/or educated audience. This is an important story that deserves more than one telling.


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