—Victim Advocate, First to Publicly Accuse USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar, and One of the Army of Survivors Who Brought Him to Justice—to Pen Memoir and Children’s Book
What Is a Girl Worth? and How Much Is a Little Girl Worth? to be published by Tyndale House Publishers in September 2019
CAROL STREAM, ILL. (March 5, 2019) – For forty minutes in January 2018, Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) stood in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom and resolutely faced a slumped-over Larry Nassar, the now-disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor who had been her abuser years prior. Denhollander, the first to go public in accusing Nassar of abuse, was granted the opportunity by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to provide the final of the more than 150 victim impact statements before Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. Denhollander’s impact statement received a standing ovation in the courtroom and garnered widespread respect for her bravery and sacrifice as a key force in the #MeToo movement.
In September 2019, Denhollander, a former gymnast, lawyer, and mother of four, will publish her highly anticipated memoir, What Is a Girl Worth?, with Tyndale House Publishers (@TyndaleHouse and www.tyndale.com). The memoir ($26.99, ISBN: 978-1-4964-4133-1, Hardcover) will be accompanied by the simultaneous release of the illustrated children’s book How Much Is a Little Girl Worth? ($14.99, ISBN: 978-1-4964-4168-3, Hardcover)
“What Is a Girl Worth? will be one of the most important books to come out of 2019,” said Sarah Atkinson, associate publisher. “Rachael is the voice our culture needs right now on how to support survivors, create communities that are safe for the vulnerable and unsafe for predators, and do unimaginably hard things with integrity, courage, and faith. The impact of abuse is immeasurable and the cost of speaking out is high, but Rachael is fearlessly sharing her experience to help others. She is one of my heroes, and it is a privilege to be entrusted with her story.”
In requesting that the judge impose the maximum sentence, Denhollander asked, “How much is a little girl worth?” She answered her own question: “These victims are worth everything. . . . I plead with you to impose the maximum sentence under the plea agreement because everything is what these survivors are worth.”
Over the course of the next year, Denhollander was recognized as one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year and named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.
Additionally, Sports Illustrated recognized her as its 2018 Inspiration of the Year. In her acceptance speech for the award, Denhollander said in part, “I accept this on behalf of my sister survivors and on behalf of every victim who is still living in silence. May this be a reminder to us to stand with them. This award means that their voices matter, that their stories matter, and that we are here with them.”
The Nassar abuse story began in August 2016, when the Indianapolis Star began reporting on Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics. The Star’s five-month investigation led to a pivotal email from Denhollander. The initial article, written by Marisa Kwiatkowski, Mark Alesia, and Tim Evans, detailed several cases in which USA Gymnastics received complaints about coaches and filed them away, even as the coaches continued to abuse young gymnasts.
Denhollander wrote the IndyStar in an email: “My experience may not be relevant to your investigation, but I am emailing to report an incident that may be. I was not molested by my coach, but I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for USAG. I was fifteen years old, and it was under the guise of medical treatment for my back.”
Denhollander offered to be named in the story and to record a video testimony for the IndyStar. The article explained how USA Gymnastics learned about allegations against Nassar but did not tell either Michigan State University or Twistars USA gymnastics club—two organizations that continued to employ Nassar as a team doctor.
As a result of the article, a criminal investigation was opened and Denhollander became a key witness.
What Is a Girl Worth? will disclose the untold story of the systemic abuse that was reported and ignored for years. It will detail the system that looked the other way and refused to listen to and protect abuse victims. Denhollander will reveal the crushing impact that this abuse has had on her life; trace her journey in harnessing the courage to speak out against such abuse—both for herself and on behalf of abuse victims everywhere; and illuminate the path to a better way forward. The book will also enable readers to recognize the patterns of predators; understand the damage caused by abuse; and offer validation, hope, and healing to survivors.
The children’s book How Much Is a Little Girl Worth? is Rachael’s tenderhearted anthem to little girls everywhere, teaching them that they have immeasurable value. Armed with this understanding, girls will develop confidence and blossom into women who can face any challenge life puts in their paths.
The launch of Denhollander’s books will be supported by a significant marketing campaign and national media tour.
Since its founding in 1962, Tyndale House Publishers has been a voice to trust for generations of readers. Today, Tyndale is one of the largest independent Christian publishers in the world. Tyndale’s mission is to make the Bible accessible to as many people as possible in language that they can relate and respond to. Tyndale publishes the Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT), and offers nonfiction books that equip readers with Christ-centered insight, counsel, and life-improving stories. In addition, Tyndale publishes fiction from fresh new voices and celebrated authors alike, capturing the imaginations of millions of readers. With a deep understanding of the importance of nurturing future generations, Tyndale also publishes children’s products that make God’s Word and wisdom come alive. Tyndale’s independent status allows it to follow its founding model, giving a majority of annual revenue—more than $100 million throughout its history—to charitable missions. With every book purchased, Tyndale readers help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world.