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

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,879 ratings  ·  679 reviews
ECPA 2020 Christian Book Award Finalist!

Written by Rachael Denhollander, 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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Tyndale Momentum
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Sarah It's certainly part of the story, but you don't have to be afraid that it's preachy in any way. Her faith was part of her healing process as much as i…moreIt's certainly part of the story, but you don't have to be afraid that it's preachy in any way. Her faith was part of her healing process as much as it is part of her drive to fight for justice, so it is certainly mentioned because otherwise this would not be an authentic book. But it doesn't expect anything of the reader. It's simply statements of fact about her own experience wrestling with her faith and also dealing with how churches reacted to her story. There's really just one chapter where she is dealing with her personal faith in response to what was done to her. Otherwise, it's sort of peripheral. I think, for someone who doesn't share Rachael's faith, it might actually be an honest portrayal of a Christian's handling of this sort of heartbreak, and that perspective might be worth seeing. (less)
Elease There are definitely moments in the book where Denhollander is explicit, and these moments mostly come in the latter half during her reporting of the …moreThere are definitely moments in the book where Denhollander is explicit, and these moments mostly come in the latter half during her reporting of the crime, the hearing, and the impact statements. She was explicit in these parts because the law demanded it (based on the approach she was taking to prove Larry's guilt) and because justice required it for her report to be taken seriously. She also gets a little graphic in discussing the child pornography charge.
In the earlier parts, where the abuse actually happens and in her years of internal struggle to recognize/respond to what happened, there are definitely body parts mentioned, but, to me, it felt like she only described as much as necessary to convey what happened.
Honestly, the moments of explicit descriptions were placed so effectively in the text, that they hit home and seemed meaningful, not gratuitous.(less)

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Start your review of What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2019
If I were basing my rating solely on Rachael’s determination and bravery in coming forward to bring Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics to justice then I’d give this book a 5 star rating. However, the writing, the structure, and emphasis on some topics held me back from that being my actual rating. I’m aware this is an unfair comparison, but reading this right after finishing All the President's Men really showed off the difference in the quality of writing between the two books.

This is definitely
Darby Stouffer
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
REVIEW: How Much Is A Girl Worth?

I have eagerly followed Rachael Denhollander since she first appeared “on the scene” when she bravely spoke with Christian love and wisdom at her abuser’s trial. I was so thrilled to learn she was writing a book, and so pleased to be able to get an advance copy to review for you, my friends.

I truly, truly cannot recommend this book enough. If you are an abuse survivor, you will feel seen, understood, ministered to, and pointed to Christ.

If you are married to an
Matthew Manchester
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am in awe of this book.

I was torn apart by this book.


There are a lot of memoirs in the world. When something tragic happens, it is almost expected for the victims and survivors to write a book about it, detailing their side of the story and what really happened. This is not that kind of book.

Denhollander is expertly and passionately focused on one thing: detailing what happens when people and organizations don't value children/people, particularly women and girls. This book will br
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Three stars is not because Rachael Denhollander isn't an amazing person, who did a brave, hard thing with tenacity and intelligence. I'm having a really hard time articulating exactly what I didn't like about this book, and it's hard, so I will start with the things I liked.

1) Denhollander is very aware that if someone from a loving, supportive family had trouble coming forward, and paid in multiple ways for doing so, that those without her resources suffered even more. (Not that this is the suf
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must-read. We need more people like Rachael Denhollander in our churches and communities today. While this book primarily focuses on her work in bringing down Larry Nassar, I've watched and admired the work that both her and her husband continue to do in helping to break the silence about what sexual harassment and abuses in churches and denominations as well. If you want to see what a portrait in courage looks like, this book is it.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Excellent).
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What is a girl worth? More than just the title of the book, this is the theme and question that is woven into every fiber of the book. From the first page to the last, you are presented over and over again with the dichotomy of people and institutions who do things right against those who cannot seem to do anything but wrong. Or, in other words, those who recognize and extend value and those who don't. 

     Rachael's memoir is not for those who want to avoid the hard situations or who shy away f
Kristen Mcknight
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story is not for the faint of heart. The author is a strong, resilient and tenacious person who fights for girls (including herself) who have been sexually abused so that their voices are heard. The institutional coverups by Michigan State University, and US Olympic Committee and the US Gymnastics organization are appalling.
This book is an eye-opener and is recommended for every parent and adult who desires to be an advocate for children.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars.

Unfortunately, as much as it pains me to say it...this wasn't all that well-written. There were so many moments, so many pieces of dialogue, that were just so incredibly cringe-worthy.

The worst part is, many of these instances came during an incredibly powerful and/or heartbreaking moment of the book. So I would be so incredibly invested, in tears or nearing there, and then there'd be a line of dialogue or a cliche-sounding sentence, and it would bring me right back out.

Despite all
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly well-written and compelling look at the story behind Rachael Denhollander's courageous battle to take down Larry Nassar. She gives you every detail on how she strategically planned to ensure the truth came out. Reading, however, you will learn that this was much more than just about Nassar. Rachael sends a powerful message about community protectionism, the power of Christ's love and JUSTICE. I couldn't put it down and was honored she would share her story in so much honest, beautiful ...more
Christina DeVane
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was heavy, fascinating, hard to read, and hard to put down all at the same time. I feel like I understand so much more what goes through a person’s mind when they are abused and how they can feel powerless to speak up or think they are the problem. And some do speak up but they are silenced or not believed.
I appreciated how Rachael gives the clear Gospel, yet shares her struggles and frustration with the justice of God and their church community.
This scandal was so outrageous because
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Raw. Real. Heartbreaking beyond belief.
Immense thanks to Rachael Denhollander for being brave enough to share her story. My youngest daughter was a competitive gymnast for ten years, and we have been following this story closely since it broke. My heart is shattered for what these girls went through at the hands of this doctor, but also for the fact that it was next to impossible for the perpetrator to be tried and convicted. We must do better for victims of assault of any variety, but especiall
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
The second half of this memoir is a phenomenally detailed account of the Larry Nassar court case, and it was riveting. The first half was a very drawn out autobiographical account of a super churchy Michigan gymnast, growing up in the burbs, getting an education, and dealing with the aftermath of a sexual assault by a physician. While I find everything Denhollander did as a survivor, an advocate, and an attorney commendable, and respect her work, I didnt particularly care for the first half of t ...more
Todd Starowitz
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a culture-changing book and a must read.
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An important book that I hope will shake complacency about abuse on an individual and societal level!
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I have the utmost respect for Rachael Denhollander as a woman and what she’s done as a leader in bringing down serial sex offender Larry Nassar. I’m much less of a fan of WHAT IS A GIRL WORTH? than I am Denhollander.

Rachael grew up isolated from those with different thoughts and beliefs in part due to being homeschooled and a member of a small church. She wasn’t exposed to much diversity, though her overprotective parents were more naïve than oblivious. The beginning of the book was slow, until
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up later than I intended last night and finished "What is a Girl Worth?". I had followed the Nassar case after connecting with Jacob Denhollander on Twitter. He shared his wife’s story in the Indy Star article – a victim/survivor who had come forward to stop an evil man who had been abusing children for decades. As I read the articles and watched the news coverage, Rachael came across as so brave, strong, and capable. Her training as an attorney was evident in the clarity and power of h ...more
I cried at the end of this book. I was trying not to make audible sobs while listening to it on the bus ride home. Rachael is eloquent, sensitive, and wise. There are graphic details in here but not gratuitous. They are necessary and she explains the heart-wrenching struggle behind the decision to share them.

This book showcases the perversity of human nature and the damning silence of people who should have helped. It also tells a rare story of justice finally achieved, the incredible cost of o
Hannah Mwanthi
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"How Much is a Girl Worth?" is so much more than a memoir. It begins with a dedication "To every survivor.... it is not your fault. It is not Your shame. You are believed. May you know how much you are worth." It ends with, "So much work remains. So much evil to fight. So much healing to reach for. So many wounded to love. Consider this your invitation to join in that work. To do what is right, no matter the cost. To hold to the straight lines in the midst of the battle. To define your success b ...more
Christa Harrison
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so hard to read, but I’m so glad I did. The evil one man can wield and the ignorance and turning of heads from large organizations that should be PROTECTING these victims was horrendous. But what a great God who exposes (through amazing truth and justice warriors like Rachael) evil and is always good. Come, Lord Jesus.
Ryan Akers
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"People have no idea what it costs survivors to stop an abuser." @R_Denhollander #WhatIsAGirlWorth

This book is something every parent ought to read. Every teacher. Every coach. Every law enforcement member. Every pastor. Every adult who loves children.

The cost of doing the right things always goes up the more removed the need is from it's cause. Rachael illustrates this in no uncertain terms. So much heartache, so many wounds, so many damage done could have been avoided had those with the abilit
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is not just the gripping story of how one brave woman launched the investigation that would ultimately unmask one of the most prolific pedophiles known to history - it's also a very clear and uncompromising picture of what it's like to be a survivor of abuse, and what it's like to try to get anyone to listen to you, and what it's like to try to live a normal life afterwards. Everyone who is in a position of authority or who may be called upon to advise or comfort in such a situation sh ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an important and powerful book I'm afraid my words will not do it justice. An incredibly emotional read (I teared up at least 5 times!), Rachael speaks truth out of a desire to love what is love what is love sacrificially. In the face of gutwrentching and graphic sexual abuse, she boldy proclaims over and over: "Love has to be your motivation."

This isn't an easy read. It is uncomfortable. It is blunt. It forced me as man and leader in the church to fac
Jessi Irwin
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was worried about bringing this book as a vacation read, thinking the material would be too heavy and depressing. While some points were indeed heartbreaking/infuriating, it was also so full of courage and hope that I couldn't put it down. I had followed Rachael's story on social media and in the press but this memoir format really drew me in. I had also listened to the NPR podcast and I enjoyed hearing about the involved individuals from Rachael's perspective.

As someone who has participated
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Last year, I listened to the podcast (which is excellent) on the Larry Nassar investigation and conviction. I was fascinated - it isn't really something you like or enjoy - by both the victim experiences and the legal issues involved in the case. If you're interested in the overall case, then this isn't the best book to choose. While it does go through the case, Denhollander is very clear she's writing about her own experience only. I think this provides exceptional insight into a woman's experi ...more
Danielle Russell
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is hands down the best, most inspiring book I have ever read, and is a memoir I feel everyone should read... the book is well written and highly emotional as Rachael takes you on a journey through her life: her childhood, the assault, the traumatic emotional aftermath, and her finding her voice to speak out against Larry Nassar. As a fellow sexual assault survivor, I found her strength incredibly empowering.
I couldn't put it down. Such a moving practical theology of justice, so needed in a world that denies the value of women as God's beloved daughters. I'll want my own daughters to read this ASAP. Thanks Rachael! ...more
Kara Paulson
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing

“If they knew, they’d stop it, right? Surely no one really believes medals are worth more than little girls.” - R. Denhollander, “What is a Girl Worth?”
Jesse Doogan
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, audiobook
This is truly an incredible book. Denhollander tells her story with so much courage. It was an honor to get to read.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read. Profound. Beneficial. Sobering.

It's not an easy read, but an absolute worthwhile one that tells the story of how an abuser was served justice and the road to get there. The survivors, especially Racheal, are brilliant, strong, and brave women whose voices we need to hear.

I learned a great deal through this book and while MSU, and Nassar are appalling, there is such grit and hope throughout the pages, that I feel everyone who read will come away with so much more than an
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Phew. What a story. Lord, have mercy.
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Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 16 + 17 2 12 Oct 01, 2019 10:16AM  
Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 14 + 15 1 5 Sep 27, 2019 11:57AM  
Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 10 + 11 3 7 Sep 26, 2019 03:56PM  
Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 12 + 13 2 4 Sep 26, 2019 03:14PM  
Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 8 + 9 1 8 Sep 23, 2019 10:22AM  
Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 6 + 7 2 6 Sep 20, 2019 01:19PM  
Calvinist Batman ...: Chapters 4 + 5 1 6 Sep 18, 2019 08:20AM  

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Rachael Denhollander is an attorney, advocate, and educator who became known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history. As a result of her activism, over 250 women came forward as survivors of Nassar’s abuse, leading to his life imprisonment. Additionally ...more

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