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What is a Girl Worth

(Tyndale Momentum)

 

A compelling story of confronting sexual abuse.

 

Author: Rachael Denhollander

Genre: Memoir

Reader Appeal: Mature Teens and Adults

 

What is a girl worth? More than you can imagine, according to Rachael Denhollander. Now I’ll tell you right now her book is not a casual read. After you’re done with it, you’ll be angry, relieved, sad, happy and angry again. No book on the systematic sexual abuse of children is easy, but don’t turn away; listen to Rachael as she tells her story. It’s not easy, but it’s important.

 

The first accusation against Rachael’s abuser was in 1998. In spite of that, it wasn’t until 2017 that Larry Nasser’s medical license was finally suspended by Michigan State University. He was sentenced January 24 2018. Rachael lays out what when on publicly and privately in those years. She is brutally honest about her life as a survivor, how she was treated by the public, by her church, and by those who should have protected her—and hundreds of other girls who were abused.

 

When Rachael made the decision to go public, she went all in. She became a voice for those who couldn’t speak, and for those who were afraid. She became the face of a survivor and a warrior. When she gave interviews, she was brave and determined.

 

In this book, she’s open about her faith, admitting that any strength she has comes from God. The strength to write the first letter admitting she was victimized, to take on the media, to repeat dozens of times what was done to her in gruesome detail. To be a sounding board for the women and girls who came forward, hearing the details of their abuse. And finally, the strength to face her abuser, eye to eye.

 

Read this book and ask yourself the hard questions. Why was Dr. Larry Nassar protected by the school? Why did some coaches dissuade their young students from saying anything? Why did some adults tell the little girls they were wrong about what they thought was happening? Why did some in the media shine a bright light on money, but not on victims? Then maybe the answer to why victims don’t speak up can be answered.

 

What is a Girl Worth? Is a compelling story of confronting sexual abuse. Read it with your teens, and talk about it afterward.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:

 

• Have you ever kept quiet about something that you know should be shared? Why?

 

• When Rachael comes forth with her story, she knew there would be people who didn’t believe her or questioned her motives. She did it anyway. Has there ever been a time when you knew the right thing to do, but you were afraid of what people would say or think? What did you do?

 

• What advice would you like to give to Rachael Denhollander, and to girls like her? What advice do you think she’d give to you?

 

--JH

 

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