NEW RELEASE
What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics
What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics

What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics

by Rachael Denhollander

$15.99 $26.99 Save 41% Current price is $15.99, Original price is $26.99. You Save 41%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Overview

Recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year Award and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People (2018)
“Who is going to tell these little girls that what was done to them matters? That they are seen and valued, that they are not alone and they are not unprotected?”

Rachael Denhollander’s voice was heard around the world when she spoke out to end the most shocking scandal in US gymnastics history. The first victim to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who abused hundreds of young athletes, Rachael now reveals her full story for the first time. How did Nassar get away with it for so long? How did Rachael and the other survivors finally stop him and bring him to justice? And how can we protect the vulnerable in our own families, churches, and communities?

What Is a Girl Worth? is the inspiring true story of Rachael’s journey from an idealistic young gymnast to a strong and determined woman who found the courage to raise her voice against evil, even when she thought the world might not listen. This deeply personal and compelling narrative shines a spotlight on the physical and emotional impact of abuse, why so many survivors are reluctant to speak out, what it means to be believed, the extraordinary power of faith and forgiveness, and how we can learn to do what’s right in the moments that matter most.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496441362
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 37,112
File size: 3 MB

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SOMETHING SOONER?"

I have been asked that question more times than I can count. Sometimes it is motivated by a genuine desire to understand, and sometimes it's articulated like a weapon, casting doubt over whether my abuse even occurred. The truth is, I did say something sooner — many of us did. But as survivors of sexual assault will tell you, saying something is one thing. Being heard — and believed — is another.

Bullies and predators prey on the defenseless. They count on victims being unable to protect themselves. More important, they count on everyone else being too afraid to confront them. I hate injustice, but I hate silence and apathy in the face of injustice even more. Far too often, bullies' belief that no one will challenge them is both well-founded and devastating for the people they target. But it doesn't have to be this way.

I have always had a strong sense of justice and a desire to protect others. Once when I was around seven, my mom took me, my little brother, Joshua, and my little sister, Bethany, to McDonald's for a playdate with friends.

This particular restaurant had a play area with a ball pit, winding tubes, and a twisting slide guaranteed to administer a near-lethal static shock the moment you sat down and — by the time you reached the bottom — to turn even the tamest hair into a spot-on replica of Albert Einstein's.

The tunnels and ball pit were my favorite parts of the play area. So many adventures could be imagined amidst the plastic twisting labyrinth — so much "scope for imagination." (Anne of Green Gables meets Ronald McDonald?)

I was hard at work scoping out the plastic tunnels for enemy invaders when I saw it. Just below me, through one of the plastic windows covered in greasy fingerprints, I noticed a boy about my age kicking my brother and sister.

A fierce wave of emotion enveloped me. As the oldest and strongest, I knew what my job was — to protect those who couldn't protect themselves. I had known it from the moment my mom brought my baby brother home from the hospital when I was about two and a half. It was one of those moments that seems completely unremarkable, and yet to this day, it stands out in my memory.

My baby brother was brand-new, and the most amazing tiny person I could imagine. I wanted so badly to take care of Joshua that my mom let me "help" with diaper changes, explaining every step of the process. And it was a process. In 1987, cloth diapers weren't today's fancy preformed ones with snaps, pockets, and inserts. They were the old-fashioned kind that you had to fold and pin on with enormous safety pins. I remember as if it were yesterday my mom teaching me how to do it — showing me how to fold the cloth to make the correct shape, where the diaper should fall on the baby's little belly, and how to check the legs to make sure the diaper was fitting properly. Then she did something that was forever burned in my mind. She tucked her index and middle finger under the edges where the diaper met and said, "Always remember to put your fingers between the diaper and the baby, exactly where you are going to push the pin through. That way, if the pin slips and someone gets hurt, it's the mom and not the baby.

"The most important thing, Rachael," she had said, "is to keep the little ones safe." And my mom did that by sacrificing herself.

Then she outfitted me with my own set of cloth diapers and pins and let me practice on my Cabbage Patch doll. Every time I changed its diaper, I did it just as she'd shown me, folding it precisely, checking my doll's position on the diaper, and inspecting the leg openings. Then I'd put my fingers between the diaper and my doll, turn the fold over to make sure my fingers were in the right spot, take a deep breath, and push the pin through. And do you know what? I never once poked my doll. Of course, every time I practiced, I felt a twinge of concern that I'd jab my finger with that pin. But I just kept reminding myself, The most important thing is to protect the baby. That's my job.

Five years later at McDonald's, that instinct was every bit as strong.

That's my job.

I scrambled down the slide as fast as I could, not even trying to avoid the shock-inducing metal bolts, and ran over to the older boy. I reached my siblings in record time, and without hesitating, grabbed the bully's wrists. I pulled him away from my siblings and held my arms stiff to keep my body away from his swinging foot. He glared at me and tried to free his wrists, yelling for me to let go. I took a deep breath and quietly held on. I didn't strike back; I just felt fiercely protective and resolved. I made sure to look the boy squarely in the eyes as I spoke firmly and calmly.

"Stop. You're hurting them, and you're old enough to know better. If you try to hurt anyone again, I'll go find a grown-up."

He tried to fight back. I held on.

"Stop," I repeated. "You're old enough to know better."

Angrily he paused and then grunted a defiant "Fine."

My siblings were now out of reach, so I let go and the boy stomped away. My mom and the mother of our friends, who had looked up from their table outside the play area to see me holding the boy's wrists, made it to the door and popped their heads in.

"Is everything okay?" my mother called out.

I glanced over my shoulder at the boy, now sulking in the distance. "We're fine," I assured her.

We went back to playing, and I was filled with relief. My siblings weren't hurt. I'd done my job. I had used what I'd been given — my age, my strength, and my words — to protect them.

I knew what to do that day because I'd been explicitly taught that you always have a right to defend yourself and others. My parents even gave me specific guidelines for what speaking up should look like and had me practice, so if I ever did need to speak up, I would know exactly what to do and say.

"You always have a right to defend yourself and others," they had said, "but never ever lash out in anger. Don't become what you are fighting. Do only what is necessary to keep everyone safe."

In other words, my motivation needed to be love — not anger, not revenge — which meant doing only what was necessary to restrain without a desire to harm the other person.

They also taught me that often kids who act out are angry and hurting, so it was important to feel compassion for them too. They told me to tell bullies the truth and remind them that they could, and should, be better — that they were responsible for their choices. And they told me to seek the help of an authority figure rather than angrily mete out my own form of justice.

* * *

Given these early lessons from my parents — as well as the fact that I was incredibly stubborn and argumentative if I felt I was in the right — I don't think my mom and dad were surprised when, at age eight, I announced that I wanted to become an attorney someday so I could protect families and children. I drew up my first "contract" not long afterward.

I had determined one afternoon that my mother was spending too much time on the phone helping a friend through a crisis and not enough time helping me with my math homework. I vividly remember my frustration. I knew her discussions were important, but goodness, if she expected me to do my math, she had to hold up her end of the bargain! We simply had to have some concrete, definable boundaries in this household. So in exasperation, I found a piece of paper and a pencil and sat down to fix this problem. Righteous indignation burning within me, I drew up a contract. I outlined an agreement in which she would pledge to spend a specified, limited amount of time on the phone and a required amount of time helping me with my math. In exchange, I would complete my lessons. Then I drew two lines at the bottom — a place for each of us to sign — and brought it to her. I got my point across. In the future, my math lessons were completed in a timely manner, and my parents continued to opine that law was a natural career choice for me.

I was blessed to have parents who recognized that stubbornness, properly directed, becomes perseverance and determination. As my mom would often remind me, our greatest weaknesses are also often our greatest strengths — if we direct them properly. So rather than attempting to squelch this part of my personality, they taught me how to channel it and use it to my advantage. Most important, they taught me to check my motivations. Was I fighting for something because I just wanted to win — even if I was technically right — or was I fighting for something because I loved God and other people? If all I wanted was to be right and win, I would ultimately be motivated by arrogance, and I would be tempted to compromise, bend or twist facts, manipulate, and maybe even ignore parts of the truth. If I were motivated solely by the desire to triumph, my gifts could become dangerous to others, and ultimately, to myself. But the safeguard against this, they told me, was to be motivated instead by love.

Love would ensure a willingness to hear and see the truth, even if it meant admitting I was wrong. Love would ensure compassion even for those who did wrong, while still enabling fierce pursuit of the truth. To that end, I was given the tools for speaking up early and often, and I was given permission to use them.

So I did.

The idea many people want to cling to — that survivors just don't know how to speak up — simply isn't true. It's a notion we need to let go of and instead do a better job understanding what really keeps victims silent.

A common thread in the societal response to abuse is the argument "I'm not saying it was her fault; I'm just saying I'd have responded differently." It feels safer to believe abuse happens only to people who "let it." But this is in fact blaming the victim, because it implies that if victims had just responded differently, they could have stopped the abuse. This myth needs to be abandoned, and we need to make an effort to better understand why survivors don't speak up during, or even after, abuse.

The truth is, I had the tools I needed, and I knew how to use them from an early age. Yet when the time came, they were not enough to help me be heard and be believed.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "What Is a Girl Worth?"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Rachael Denhollander.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Jennifer Sey

I was utterly inspired by Rachael even before reading her memoir. But reading the story behind the story further cements my belief that this woman is a hero in every sense of the word. The courage it took to come forward and bring Larry Nassar to justice is amplified by the struggle it took to get to that point. Her willingness to put herself in harm’s way to protect future generations drove her to speak out even when she thought the world might not hear her. This unflinching narrative, replete with the harrowing details of the impact of abuse and the traumatic emotional aftermath, is an act of bravery in and of itself.

Diane Langberg

Rachael’s account of her abuse shatters our certainties. A well-loved and protected child is abused by those assumed to be good. Hearing such stories makes us want to deceive ourselves. We want to look away and deny. Rachael teaches us clearly that deceit—not truth—is our enemy. The hard truth of her story brings light and hope. May we, like Rachael, have the courage to listen to the God of all truth as He teaches us through her words and her life.

Beth Moore

This is one of the most important books you’ll ever read.

Terry Crews

As men, we’re taught not to be afraid, not to ask for help, not to be victims. And so when abuse happens to us, we feel powerless to fight it. That’s my own story, but with God’s help, I've learned a better way. And through What Is a Girl Worth?, we can all learn how to walk together toward a safer, brighter future. Do not miss this incredible true story of Rachael Denhollander, the woman who stopped an abuser. She is a living example of grace and strength in the fight against evil, and I’m standing by her side.

Dominique Moceanu

Rachael Denhollander is a hero. She chose to speak her truth when it was painful, difficult, and certainly not the “comfortable” route to take. By doing so, she has played a significant role in making our beautiful sport safer and in protecting the livelihoods of countless child athletes. I will always stand beside her in solidarity and admiration, and I applaud her for taking the additional step of telling more of her story with this book. I know firsthand how challenging that can be, and I thank her for her courage.

Karen Swallow Prior

No two sexual abuse cases are exactly alike, yet Rachael Denhollander’s story reveals what they all have in common and the part we all can play in preventing abuse, defending the vulnerable, and pursuing justice. Sexual abuse does not take place only in dark alleys late at night. It occurs in brightly lit offices and in quiet church sanctuaries, in public spaces and in the privacy of homes. If you don’t understand how this can be, please read this book. If you know too well why this is, you have even more reason to read this book. Rachael writes with moral clarity grounded in biblical truth and love. What Is a Girl Worth? is a must-read for anyone who cares about protecting precious lives from predators and pursuing justice for those for whom we were too late.

Mark Alesia

Rachael Denhollander stared down evil and changed the world. Parts of her memoir are heartbreaking, but it is ultimately uplifting, a story of faith, courage, and love. Rachael has become known internationally, but this book goes so much deeper than anything that has been said about her. It is a riveting memoir.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
APritchett 17 hours ago
How does one review a book such as this? Everyone should read it—I wish the need for it did not exist. Beyond the beautiful picture of family the book presents and Rachael Denhollander’s enjoyment of the sport of gymnastics in her youth, I wish none of the things in the book ever happened. But they did happen in the lives of many girls and young women. Repeatedly.  So I repeat: everyone should read this book. What Is A Girl Worth? should serve as a bucket of ice cold water to the American public. We in the church should pay special attention. Rachael Denhollander remains one of our own. She could not have a more particular Christian pedigree. She’s a homeschooling mom of 4 married to a working man who studies at one of the premier seminaries in the United States. Her story doesn’t concern ne’er-do-wells in some coastal city the evangelical world has dubbed a scary place. It unfolds in the Midwest and involves regular folks who could be anyone. Rachael Denhollander could be a woman I know.  Why should everyone read this book? You should read it because it concerns you. It concerns a great evil which existed and was allowed to exist for far too long.  As a man tasked by a small local church with leading and teaching teenagers, I have had the sad task of reading books and attending training on protecting children and teens from sexual abuse. In her memoir, Mrs. Denhollander verifies absolutely everything I have learned. She relates in a narrative format the things one learns from a good book like On Guard. Where consumption of books on policy and procedure can become perfunctory (even on such grave matters), a memoir such as What Is A Girl Worth? never does. The book contains incredibly clear writing and gripping story-telling. Even so, I found it incredibly difficult to read. Because it happened. Everyone should read this book. In the pages of her book, Mrs. Denhollander shows the reader exactly how an abuser grooms victims, executes abuse, and covers his tracks with obfuscations and power plays. She explains the confusion and trauma felt by those who suffer sexual abuse. She gives much time, energy, and space to detailing the difficulty of confronting sexual abuse both from the personal side of dealing with the trauma itself as well as the nearly impossible task of receiving a listening ear. I found myself wondering as I read, Would anything have happened if she had not pursued legal studies? I must say, I wonder the answer to the question still.  Human depravity proves a sad and multi-faceted thing. In my research on sex abuse, I gleaned information on grooming. Mrs. Denhollander’s book shows exactly what grooming looks like. It can be as simple as consistent compliments on one’s boots, the sort of thing which would set most men off as observant. Larry Nassar played such things to his advantage deliberately. Many with an eye on the news scratch their heads over the existence of impenetrable virtual fortresses which guard predators such as the former doctor, Larry Nassar. What Is A Girl Worth? reveals exactly how these virtual fortresses stay strong: through the seemingly small choices of those who do not want involve themselves and explain away the testimonies of those who become sexual prey.  But wait. Aren’t we overplaying this whole thing? Do things like this happen that often?  In the span of this very decade, we have seen two high profile sex abuse scandals at major American universities. We know the names of Larry Nassar a
LGibson 3 days ago
"I wasn't alone. I was not alone." So often those who have been abused feel alone. They try to bury it inside, afraid they will not be believed or that nothing will be done. When the perpetrator is well known and respected, there can be great pressure to remain silent. Telling the world about being violated, something so very personal, so life changing, is never an easy decision to make. What Rachael shares is deeply personal and shows us, once again, that "your voice matters." Her voice helped to stop and bring down a serial pedophile. She also reminds us how predators can be extremely manipulative. This time, such a man was exposed for all to see as a judge read Larry's own words to the world after Larry's performance in making his final statement. "A murmur of disgust rose in the gallery. Survivors who had sobbed at Larry's apology lifted their heads, seeing through the carefully crafted words and artfully expressed emotional facade from just moments earlier." It was done...and yet, it wasn't. And each day the number of voices grow stronger.
Nicadoo 3 days ago
As an educational professional with 21 years of experience (13 of those in higher education), I started following the story of Larry Nassar and Michigan State University because of the cautionary tale it was regarding leadership (or the lack thereof) in higher education. I was appalled at how the university's "leadership" deflected and failed to take responsibility for their inaction over the years that alarms had sounded about his behavior. In the midst of this story, I read about Rachael Denhollander--a survivor of Nassar's abuse who contacted the Indianapolis Star after she read their report on abuse by coached in USA Gymnastics. By going public with her story, and filing criminal complaints against Nassar (thanks to a change in the law that extended the statue of limitations), the evidence against him snowballed and he will never again live life outside of prison. Having devoured so much of the news about this story, I thought I knew just about everything regarding Rachael's experience, strength, and leadership throughout the process of seeking justice for herself and the hundreds of other survivors of Nassar's abuse. I was wrong. Rachael reveals so much of her experience (but never in a gratuitous fashion), and she does so to let other survivors know that they are not alone, they are not imagining things, that what they are experiencing is wrong, and that there can be healing. It's difficult to summarize the importance of this book, or to narrow the audience of who should read it. If you are or aspire to be a leader, you should read it as an example of what selfless leadership is. If you are a parent or teacher, you should read it to better understand how to recognize the signs of abuse in children and to know better how to support children who have been abused. If you are a survivor of abuse, you should read it to know that you are not alone and you are worthy of healing. If you have ever wondered why a survivor "didn't say something sooner," you should read this book to understand exactly why people keep their abuse a secret. If you are a human being who is discouraged by the amount of evil in the world, you should read it to know that right can and does prevail, especially when we all contribute to fighting for what is right. This book is about a topic that is difficult beyond imagination, but it is so uplifting to know that there are still heroes in this world, and Rachael Denhollander certainly is one.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Rachael Denhollander does an outstanding job of providing insight into the complicity of individuals and systems in protecting sexual abusers, complicity that can be both accidental and intentional. This book provides tremendous insight into victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. Rachael's heart for victims is tremendous throughout this book, and it is clear throughout the book that the strong support of her family and her husband have provided her with much love and acceptance. She appropriately and courageously criticizes ways that churches are complicit in safeguarding abusers, as well; many writers with her background would shy away from doing so. Despite the strengths listed above, I do have some concerns with her book as well. First, she does not provide any conclusion to church issues; if anything, they may be tied up too neatly. While she and her husband may have had hopeful conversations with their former church in Kentucky, it is worth noting that both Sovereign Grace and the SBC at large remain slow to act and slow to protect and believe victims. I am also concerned that her book portrays a journey of sexual abuse recovery absent of counseling, a question I messaged Mrs. Denhollander to ask more about (I have not received a response). Her book demonstrates legal recovery, but I am concerned that victims and survivors of abuse may use her story to justify not seeking mental health/trauma counseling.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Rachael Denhollander does an outstanding job of providing insight into the complicity of individuals and systems in protecting sexual abusers, complicity that can be both accidental and intentional. This book provides tremendous insight into victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. Rachael's heart for victims is tremendous throughout this book, and it is clear throughout the book that the strong support of her family and her husband have provided her with much love and acceptance. She appropriately and courageously criticizes ways that churches are complicit in safeguarding abusers, as well; many writers with her background would shy away from doing so. Despite the strengths listed above, I do have some concerns with her book as well. First, she does not provide any conclusion to church issues; if anything, they may be tied up too neatly. While she and her husband may have had hopeful conversations with their former church in Kentucky, it is worth noting that both Sovereign Grace and the SBC at large remain slow to act and slow to protect and believe victims. I am also concerned that her book portrays a journey of sexual abuse recovery absent of counseling, a question I messaged Mrs. Denhollander to ask more about (I have not received a response). Her book demonstrates legal recovery, but I am concerned that victims and survivors of abuse may use her story to justify not seeking mental health/trauma counseling.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Rachael Denhollander does an outstanding job of providing insight into the complicity of individuals and systems in protecting sexual abusers, complicity that can be both accidental and intentional. This book provides tremendous insight into victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. Rachael's heart for victims is tremendous throughout this book, and it is clear throughout the book that the strong support of her family and her husband have provided her with much love and acceptance. She appropriately and courageously criticizes ways that churches are complicit in safeguarding abusers, as well; many writers with her background would shy away from doing so. Despite the strengths listed above, I do have some concerns with her book as well. First, she does not provide any conclusion to church issues; if anything, they may be tied up too neatly. While she and her husband may have had hopeful conversations with their former church in Kentucky, it is worth noting that both Sovereign Grace and the SBC at large remain slow to act and slow to protect and believe victims. I am also concerned that her book portrays a journey of sexual abuse recovery absent of counseling, a question I messaged Mrs. Denhollander to ask more about (I have not received a response). Her book demonstrates legal recovery, but I am concerned that victims and survivors of abuse may use her story to justify not seeking mental health/trauma counseling.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Rachael Denhollander does an outstanding job of providing insight into the complicity of individuals and systems in protecting sexual abusers, complicity that can be both accidental and intentional. This book provides tremendous insight into victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. Rachael's heart for victims is tremendous throughout this book, and it is clear throughout the book that the strong support of her family and her husband have provided her with much love and acceptance. She appropriately and courageously criticizes ways that churches are complicit in safeguarding abusers, as well; many writers with her background would shy away from doing so. Despite the strengths listed above, I do have some concerns with her book as well. First, she does not provide any conclusion to church issues; if anything, they may be tied up too neatly. While she and her husband may have had hopeful conversations with their former church in Kentucky, it is worth noting that both Sovereign Grace and the SBC at large remain slow to act and slow to protect and believe victims. I am also concerned that her book portrays a journey of sexual abuse recovery absent of counseling, a question I messaged Mrs. Denhollander to ask more about (I have not received a response). Her book demonstrates legal recovery, but I am concerned that victims and survivors of abuse may use her story to justify not seeking mental health/trauma counseling.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Rachael Denhollander does an outstanding job of providing insight into the complicity of individuals and systems in protecting sexual abusers, complicity that can be both accidental and intentional. This book provides tremendous insight into victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. Rachael's heart for victims is tremendous throughout this book, and it is clear throughout the book that the strong support of her family and her husband have provided her with much love and acceptance. She appropriately and courageously criticizes ways that churches are complicit in safeguarding abusers, as well; many writers with her background would shy away from doing so. Despite the strengths listed above, I do have some concerns with her book as well. First, she does not provide any conclusion to church issues; if anything, they may be tied up too neatly. While she and her husband may have had hopeful conversations with their former church in Kentucky, it is worth noting that both Sovereign Grace and the SBC at large remain slow to act and slow to protect and believe victims. I am also concerned that her book portrays a journey of sexual abuse recovery absent of counseling, a question I messaged Mrs. Denhollander to ask more about (I have not received a response). Her book demonstrates legal recovery, but I am concerned that victims and survivors of abuse may use her story to justify not seeking mental health/trauma counseling.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Rachael Denhollander does an outstanding job of providing insight into the complicity of individuals and systems in protecting sexual abusers, complicity that can be both accidental and intentional. This book provides tremendous insight into victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. Rachael's heart for victims is tremendous throughout this book, and it is clear throughout the book that the strong support of her family and her husband have provided her with much love and acceptance. She appropriately and courageously criticizes ways that churches are complicit in safeguarding abusers, as well; many writers with her background would shy away from doing so. Despite the strengths listed above, I do have some concerns with her book as well. First, she does not provide any conclusion to church issues; if anything, they may be tied up too neatly. While she and her husband may have had hopeful conversations with their former church in Kentucky, it is worth noting that both Sovereign Grace and the SBC at large remain slow to act and slow to protect and believe victims. I am also concerned that her book portrays a journey of sexual abuse recovery absent of counseling, a question I messaged Mrs. Denhollander to ask more about (I have not received a response). Her book demonstrates legal recovery, but I am concerned that victims and survivors of abuse may use her story to justify not seeking mental health/trauma counseling.
Anonymous 5 days ago
I had the honor of hearing Rachel speak at SBC 2019. She spoke with incredible courage and clarity, in a way that was convicting and cutting - but without malice. She writes the same way she speaks, like a surgeon cutting a tumor out. There's not a word wasted here, which would be a feat in and of itself. What makes it all the more impressive is that Rachel is speaking about her experiences. It's a painful read, but it was absolutely a more painful write. Read it carefully. Engage with the work. Rachel has done the hard work here - and she's invited you to join in the response.
CandiceKraus 5 days ago
For such a difficult topic, this was an incredibly easy read. The length is misleading. Don't let the number of pages scare you away. The writing invites you in. Rachael allows you to ask hard questions, but answers them in an inviting yet firm manner. She engages you in a way few memoir writers really can. As for the content, the thing I appreciated the most was that Rachael puts her struggles into fill view, including her struggle with God. She relays the tough questions she asked about God and His goodness. She doesn't sugarcoat the struggle. Her struggle with remaining an engaged mom in the midst of the court battle can be understood by any mom who deals with split priorities from time to time. Highly recommend!
Nicholas Davis 5 days ago
This book will help you better understand the dynamics of abuse and cultures that make abuse not only possible but abusers nearly untouchable. Rachael walks the reader through her own journey of experiencing sexual abuse as a young girl, dealing with the trauma of it, and overcoming the guilt and shame of abuse to confront her abuser with the hope that others would no longer suffer abuse from Larry Nassar. We all need to make a better effort at understanding why survivors don't speak up during or after abuse. We need to better understand why victims stay silent. Rachael's memoir "What Is a Girl Worth?" can help us learn to better hear and believe survivors in our own communities. Get this book. Read this book. Learn from this book. And share this book with others! I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher to read in advance of release.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Many people followed the story. We read the headlines. We watched an abuser be taken down by an army of powerhouse women who rose up to hold a predator and the institutions that protected him accountable. What many don’t know, however, was the toll it took. The nights she wept for fellow survivors in her kitchen. The conversations with her husband about the sacrifices her family would inevitably make. The unseen work she, and her team comprised of fellow attorneys, legitimate medical professionals, prosecutors, and detectives did long before she stepped up to the microphone one that cold January day. When Rachael Denhollander stepped up to the microphone to look her abuser in the eye, she asked two questions directed at the judge, but also at the world that was watching. “How much is a little girl worth?” Rachael weaves a beautiful narrative that answers this question. Everything. She is worth everything. This book is a triumph. Rachael was bold and brave as she poured her experiences onto the page, turned her pain into purpose, and in-turn helped countless people find words for their own experience. Not only does she take the reader on a journey through her darkest days, but she invites them to continue the fight to make the world a safer place for the most vulnerable among us. It is hard, but it is so worth it. This book is a must-read.
QuietBookwormReads 5 days ago
"The more you love, the harder you fight." This book is a memoir of Rachel Denhollander's fight for justice against Larry Nassar. She writes a powerful, compelling book that offered many "Oh!" moments for me. Denhollander offers a thorough response for why survivors do not report their abuse and explains the vulnerability our society requires when reporting. I gained a new respect for the profound courage needed to report abuse. Rachael fights not just for herself but for all abuse survivors. She writes, "My greatest hope is that we reach a place in our culture where institutions and those in authority do what is right because they love." Love is woven throughout Rachael's story: her love for her children, her family's love and support for her, and her love for fellow survivors. The world would be a better place if we had the courage to love and fight as Denhollander does. Many thanks to the author and Tyndale Publishing for my advanced review copy. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous 6 days ago
This was an excellent read. Eye opening perspective on how all of this happening under her engaged parents’ watchful eye. I also appreciated the story of the risk she confronted in coming forward with her allegations. I highly recommend to all parents. Especially ones who feel they are already doing all they can to protect their children.
VioletMarie 6 days ago
Got my book and read the whole thing within the next two days. Powerful to read and hard to put down. I truly believe this is an essential book in many ways. Not only is Rachael's story gripping, but the truths she weaves into her writing are vital and impactful. This is not just a story of sexual assault or taking a predator to court, it is a guide to identifying and exposing abusive behavior and a reminder of how to love those who are suffering. Also, there is low-key a beautiful love story snuck into the middle of this book as well. So that was delightful to read. :)
Anxious_Librarian 7 days ago
This book was really triggering for me, so it took me weeks to finish reading it. But damn, was it worth the read. It's heartbreaking to know that others can relate to how I feel and live as a victim of sexual abuse, because they've endured similar horrors. But it's also so affirming to hear evil called "evil," and to see churches, pastors, authority figures, etc, called out for mishandling disclosures of abuse. If you're a victim/survivor, you should read this book. The author walks the readers through the times she tried to decipher the unspeakable reality of abuse as a minor, and her harrowing experience with the overwhelming thoughts that so many victims have: "It's my fault. I could have stopped it. If I hadn't done X... If I'd just done Y..." But she also outlines how she arrived at the truth: No one is to blame for crimes that someone else chooses to commit against them. It wasn't her fault. The abuse I experienced wasn't my fault. And whatever you survived wasn't your fault, either. If you aren't one of the 1-in-4 women or 1-in-6 men who've been abused, you should read this book. The author doesn't mince words about the pain and suffering she and her family will live with for the rest of their lives as the result of a felon's selfish, heinous actions. She clearly highlights people in her life who were supportive - and also those who weren't. She poignantly quotes William Wilberforce by saying, "You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know."
Elizabeth_Cantrell 7 days ago
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while now, and I think it is a must read for anyone who is a church leader, parent, anyone who works with children, abuse survivors, or really anyone who has a passion for seeing that all children are kept safe and given a voice. I already knew Rachael was an incredibly brave person just from hearing her story and watching her testimony during the Nassar case. Reading her entire story and all of the things she’s gone through is so hard to take in and quite eye opening. I appreciate her honesty in her story because I absolutely think it will help people answer questions such as “why didn’t they say something sooner” and dispel the notion we tend to have that child sexual abuse happens to kids who don’t have a loving family or parents who care or whatever it may be. Rachael makes it very clear to her audience that making excuses for people and/or not paying attention and listening to the kids in your life is not okay. She points out throughout her story that, as adults, our job is to protect the innocence of the children around us. Their value is higher than discomfort or reputation or whatever else. Honestly, her story is hard to read at some points. Very hard. But I believe it is one that needs to be heard in our culture today in order to prevent abuse and to create safe environments for victims.
K_Peterson 7 days ago
A personal and intimate look at a sexual abuse survivor's life and journey of healing. What is striking to me about this book is not just what Rachael was able to achieve by being the first voice to boldly proclaim the sexual abuse Larry committed for years and with hundreds, leading to hundreds of girls to come forward, but the conscientious way she tells her story. You really understand the utter agony she endured, the brokenness of the situation, the depravity, and how deeply abuse affects EVERY sphere of your life...for the rest of it. You learn the immense joy and relief that is felt with the final sentencing and justice that ultimately came with Larry's imprisonment. But woven throughout, what carried her, what lifted her from the bitter depths, what allowed her to truly heal, was her faith in Jesus Christ. That is glorious. And Rachael's journey is not over - she will continue to fight against abuse and for victims. This is an important memoir. You need to read it.
AHunt26 7 days ago
Received book for review What Is A Girl Worth? Rachael Denhollendar’s story of taking down Dr. Larry Nassar the United States Gymnastics Association team doctor is a powerful and important read. Everyone who works within organizations needs to read this book. Racheal deals with so much more than just Dr. Nassar, she is advocating for victims of abuse. Racheal lays out some very grim details about why abuse victims stay silent and never report. “I grasped for how to make my desire to make a report in person clear, while not striking any sour notes. The realities of reporting sexual abuse played in my mind constantly-out of every 230 rapes reported, only nine are even referred to a prosecutor. Only five result in conviction. The numbers are worse for nonrape sexual assaults. There are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits sitting in police departments across the country-each representing a woman who went through the trauma of having her violated genitals examined, swabbed, and photographed, only to have investigators never even consider the evidence. I knew that most people have no idea what survivors are up against when reporting. Trying to explain those dynamics was frustrating. Survivors are often judged as overdramatic or “too damaged to trust.” The vast majority of survivors are dismissed, with their abusers allowed to walk free.” pg 173 Rachael didn’t write this book for fame or to keep her name in the news. She wrote this book for every survivor of abuse who never was believed, never was heard, and who was never seen. Rachael is willing to take the scrutiny and the nastiness that comes with being a public figure, so those survivors and future survivors have a better chance of being heard. What for me was the most angering aspects of the story was how the churches dealt with sexual abuse. The church should be the place where we find refuge, not a place where power dynamics and reputation sweep abuse under the rug or a place where advocating for those that are abused and raising questions gets you under church discipline for being “divisive.” There were churches that showed the heart of Christ to Racheal and her family, but too many churches are like the former and not the later. Hopefully many pastors will read this and see ways they can shepherd their flocks better. “What Is A Girl Worth” is a must read. It is powerful and it is necessary.
Anonymous 7 days ago
This was such an important book, and I hope it makes its way into the hands of a multitude of people! I followed Rachael's story during the Nassar hearings, and when I was able to get an advanced copy to read I was so excited. I also thought I knew most of the story, but I was wrong. Her memoir kept me shocked and jolted by all I didn't know. As someone who did not grow up with any kind of abuse, this book was a wake-up call to the internal and external pressures that victims of abuse face. Rachael does a wonderful job of laying out her story, and purposefully giving you a full picture of her pain amidst all of her advantages in her family, husband, and even in the strengths of her personality. She shows that despite those strengths, there was so much opposition. This book left me grieving for those who don't have such strong family members present, who don't find a trustworthy boyfriend/husband, and who don't have the background of law. This is exactly her point- and this is why so many need to read this book. So often I think we can justify that victims just need to go through the process- but we don't understand all that entails, both for their mental well-being, and through the red tape that is often required. We need this book as a jolt to the reality that survivors of abuse go through so that we can better encourage and advocate for them. I'm so thankful for Rachael, her husband, and their whole family for their sacrifice for the sake of what is right and for the sake of loving others.
MeganRowdy 7 days ago
What is a Girl Worth? The title question is woven throughout Rachael Denhollander's heartbreaking yet ultimately inspiring book. I took away much from reading this book but I think the thing that stood out the most was the stance of strength Rachael took when writing her story. Despite the horrific things done to Rachael (not only by Nassar but also by the organizations she trusted, the media, and even her church), she does not write from the perspective of a victim. She writes instead with the voice of a victor. A victor who won't stop fighting as long as there are battles to be fought. What is a Girl Worth? If nothing else, she's worth listening to. I received an advance copy of this book as part of the launch team.
TinaMWright 7 days ago
I can’t say enough good things about this book! Rachael’s writing style is griping and her story is powerful and moving. It’s clear that she was raised up for such a time as this. Her living example has been an inspiration to abuse survivors like myself and her fight for justice in the face of evil has been culture changing. I have highly anticipated the release of this book and Rachel did not disappoint. It definitely is a must read!
Geekyguyjay 7 days ago
It’s occasionally difficult to distill any book, particularly one of this weight, into words. This is a book that should never have needed to be written, and it is one of the most powerfully affecting books that I’ve ever read. This book is deeply challenging, and it is entirely possible to experience a huge range of emotions while reading it; I routinely cycled through anger, frustration, compassion, joy, and sadness as I turned pages in it. There are more than a few times when I had to put the book down and walk away from it simply because it was too emotionally demanding to continue reading, as this subject generally is. Other passages, particularly near the end, moved me to tears. Dealing with abuse, in its’ various forms, is a demanding and exhausting task on a variety of levels. Most people do not get involved because they believe that they will not be listened to, because they do not have the “tools” or the “training” to help, or because the challenges seem insurmountable. What Rachael Denhollander has done by sacrificing her own privacy and her own reputation in so many ways is a testament to the amount of dedication and work necessary to fight this evil. She continues to use some of the most heinous, perverse and vile things than can happen to a person as a tool to educate those who would remain in blissful ignorance or malevolent coverup. She’s continuing to lead a fight on multiple fronts even today for justice to be given to the perpetrators. This book is a gripping, powerful, disturbing, and honest look into the dynamics of abuse and abusers, and the thoughts and mentality of those who are abused. It also provides a clear explanation of the reasons this is such a difficult topic to handle and lays out some of the steps that any victim or witnessing bystander can take in an abuse or suspected abuse situation. What Is A Girl Worth is extremely well written, and extremely difficult to put down once picked up. I would recommend it to any, who are aware of the Larry Nassar story or the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements. I received a copy of this book as a part of the pre-launch release, in exchange for a review and I would absolutely buy this book even if I hadn’t agreed to write a review sight unseen. I fully intend to buy other copies for friends and acquaintances. It will likely be the best $20.00 you spend this year, and you’ll probably need to spend another $5 on pens and/or highlighters if you read the printed editions. Buy it now.
Haley Warren 7 days ago
Even though I had followed this case and knew much of what to expect, I was not prepared for how difficult and challenging this would be to read. Even so, Rachael’s story is so beautifully written even though it is about such a difficult topic. As she retells of the abuse through to present day as the recent trials, she is able to explain the mental and emotional struggles of abuse survivors better than anyone I have ever heard or read. I cried through this book, but have also been inspired by her faith and love for others. For readers who are Christians, Rachael’s story of dealing with pain and trauma in relation to faith will be one that many can relate to and will hopefully encourage you as well. I highly encourage everyone to read this book. *I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my review*