Saturday, April 9, 2016

Book Review: I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

In my quest for literature that I can read aloud or listen to the audio book that will allow my sheltered children to see how other children live around the world, I came across this title.  I personally wanted to listen to it first to see how graphic it is.  Its not at all graphic.  I wonder if my 9 and 10 year old might be a bit young to know really what the book eludes to in the married life part.  I may wait a few more years to let them read it.  My 16 year old I would have no problem with him reading or listening to this book.

The AR Book site ( ) says the book is a 6.2 reading level so that seems about right to me.  If you didn't know, that website is great for finding out the grade level and finding the ar testing code for school children.  As a homeschooler we don't have AR testing, of course, but its helpful in finding appropriate reading material.  Quite a helpful site.

Audible has a great audio reading of the book which you can download free when you sign up for a trial.  
Amazon of course has a paperback copy for around $7 new which is a pretty good price.  

The story is told from the girl Nujood Ali as she looks back on her ordeal.  She comes from a poor family in Yemen who have some family trouble.  Her father agrees to marry her to a man 30 years older than she is.  It is told that this is unfortunately not uncommon in this part of the world.  At the end you hear more of what is happening to help other young girls in similar situations.  She is very matter of fact and tells you how the events unfold from the eyes of a child.  I was amazed that after being beaten, abused, and mistreated in so many ways by her husband at the age of 10, she still had the determination to stand up for herself and demand a divorce in court.   I wonder what has become of her.  I plan to research more and see where she is now. 

I was struck by how much more of a child she was than my girls who are the same age are in some ways.  They are very sheltered (and I'm cool with that) but they aren't interested in candy or toys.  It makes me realize how different the culture there versus the culture here.  She spoke of not having a tv.  My children have always had a tv, ipods, and electronics.  Candy or toys wouldn't be exciting for them.  And her excitement at school.  School there wasn't mandatory. I say wasn't because I don't know if things have changed since the book was published.  I can already imagine working this into a unit.  Learning about Yemen, where it is located, all about the culture and the people.  I hope when they do read it aloud that it opens us up to conversations about change, injustice, morality, and being strong.  

I loved the audio version because they pronounced the words that I would probably have butchered if I had read it aloud.  

Hope this all made sense and someone finds its useful.  I just wanted to share my thoughts.  
Blessed Be.

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