Nujood Ali was a typical veiling girl growing up in Yemen, going to school and enjoying spending time with her brothers and sisters. But then, at age nine, her father forced her to marry a thirty-year-old man. Though the man promised there would be no sexual contact between them until she had physically matured, Nujood's new husband raped her almost immediately after she arrived at his home. Nujood decided she could not bear to live with this man, and set about freeing herself from him, becoming the youngest person ever to get a divorce. Nujood is just one of the millions of children throughout the world forced into marriages at a young age. These children must leave their homes and enter a life they are not ready for, where they suffer from abuse, sexual assault, and troubled pregnancies. This book tells the stories of the young girls forced to marry against their will, and the struggle to create a world where all people are free to determine their own lives. Book jacket.
Grades 5-8. Nujood Ali is only one of millions of victims of child marriages that occur around the globe, and her personal account has become a rallying cry for change. At the age of nine, young Ali was forced by her father to marry an adult man, quit school, leave her town and family, and submit to the abuse of her husband. According to the United Nations, one-third of all girls in developing countries and half of all girls in Ali’s native Yemen are married before the age of 18, feeding into a system of illiteracy, poverty, abuse, and chronic health problems associated with troubled pregnancies. Employing varied and reliable source material, including reports from UNICEF, Ali’s own autobiography, and journalistic sources, Don presents a sobering look at the problem of child marriages. Through Ali’s experiences, readers come to appreciate the complicated interplay of religion, tradition, family dynamics, gender roles, and economics that all factor into this pervasive global challenge. Students who are Ali’s age in particular will be struck by her harrowing story.