I Am Nujood

Age 10 and Divorced

Nujood Ali & Delphine Minoui

In the book, I Am Nujood, for the first time ever Nujood decided to go her own way and not do what her family requests of her. Nujood didn't like who her father was making her marry so, she gained freedom with the help of local people. Nujood has inspired many young middle eastern women to stand up for themselves. This story goes through stages of adversity, pride, and bravery.

Author's Purpose

The author's purpose of the book I Am Nujood is to inform the reader about what is happening to children in other parts of world. We think that this world is a perfect place, but in another part of the world it is not what we may think. Many middle eastern girls are still affected by arranged marriages which is not something that affects us in America. Here, we take for granted the act of choosing who we get to marry. Just because it is not happening where we live, doesn't mean it is not happening. Nujood Ali wrote this book to tell people her story and inform the world about this cruel act. She is trying to inform the world on an issue that is not seen by many. Maybe this story will inform people and make a change in the world.

Aspects of Culture

There culture is very different compared to ours, they practice different religions, traditions, and customs than we do in America.


Men wear curved daggers at their wastes. They never go out in public without these daggers attached at their waste.


Women hide their charms behind thick black veils. Women have to wear these outfits due to their religion.


Also, they practice the Five Pillars of Islam:

  • Shahada-profession of faith
  • Salat-prayer for guidance
  • Hajj-great pilgrimage to Mecca
  • Zakat-alms to the poor
  • Ramadan-monthlong fast

Elements of Voice

In the beginning of the book "I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced", Ali uses the power of diction, detail, imagery, syntax, and tone to put emphasis on what a difficult life she has faced. Ali talks mainly about her early life, especially since her hardships started when she was just a young girl. Ali begins the book pointing out the main focus, which is her wanting a divorce. She uses elements of voice to show the reader her journey and obstacles through life. Also, it helps put the reader in her shoes and makes them feel very emotional and sympathetic towards her. The elements of voice adjust over time from sad and uncomfortable in the beginning to very relieved and upbeat towards the end when she can finally be a little girl again.

Effect of the structure of the novel

The structure of this novel is different than most. The beginning of the book comes right out and tells you exactly what is going on in Nujood's life, she wants a divorce. Then, in the middle of the book she starts having flashbacks about when her father first told her she was getting married. Then, at the end of the book, she is talking about what is happening at the moment, like her divorce. This story has spread across the world, informing people about this important issue. This story has already helped many girls Nujood's age stand up for themselves and do what is best for them.

Vocabulary Acquisition

  • Amm Ali "Uncle Ali"- President of the country (19)
  • Eid al-Fitr- celebrate the end of Ramadan (20)
  • khardji- "outside", at the ends of the earth (28)
  • khobz- Yemeni bread (29)
  • honey- "the gold of Yemen" (29)
  • sofrah- a large cloth spread out on the floor/table for meal time (29)
  • salta- a spicy ragout of beef or mutton in an aromatic feugreek sauce (30)
  • jambia- ceremonial dagger (31)
  • mahram- close blood relative (45)
  • haram- anything forbidden and punsishable by divine law (47)
  • niqab- face cover (49)
  • baltos- long black coats (50)
  • shafout- a kind of large pancake slathered with yogurt flavored with garlic and onion (51)
  • bint al-sahn- a delicious dessert prepared with honey (51)
  • fatah- beef stew (51)
  • ful- fava beans cooked with onions and tomato sauce (62)
  • sharaf- honor (63)
  • sitaras- "curtains" in Arabic (67)
  • mabrouk- congratulations (89)
  • wahesh- monster (90)
  • beint- girl (92)
  • rials- money like dollars in the US (117)
  • shokran- thank you (125)
  • sighar- the traditional marriage exchange (138)
I Am Nujood age 10 and Divorced book trailer

Citations