Book Review: How Much Is a Little Girl Worth
In a world where the worth of a person is largely weighed by what they can do or what can be taken from them comes a children’s book that challenges that narrative. Our society is driven today by celebrities, influencers, and athletes whose value is based solely on what they do for the consumer. We have designated people as desirable because of how well they can throw a ball, the clothes they wear, or the shape of their bodies. But when they can no longer throw that ball, their clothing turns to rags, and the bodies no longer fit society’s ideal they are discarded.
In How Much Is A Little Girl Worth?, author Rachael Denhollander attempts to correct the flaws in this thinking by starting to teach girls when they are young what true value is. In her letter to readers on the first page, she writes:
“I saw all the times girls, small or grown, would ask, “Is this enough? Does this give me value?” as they pointed to their accomplishments or their bodies, their intellect or their friendships, trying to determine where their value came from and if they’d done enough to be worth something. I remembered the look of grief or fear in the eyes of little girls when they made a mistake, got a poor grade, heard hurtful words, or recounted trauma, mutely asking, “What am I worth now? Does this change who I am? Do you value me less?” And I saw all the times I had asked this question or felt the weight, sometimes not even understanding what I was asking in my own heart.”
From this opening statement, Rachael then launches into the book by asking the question “How much is a little girl worth?” and contrasting that question against all that the world values.
This is a book to be read to and by little girls. Over and over as you read it you repeat the phrase “How much is a little girl worth?” and over and over you will say more than the sun and the moon, more than all the treasures of the world. You will teach little ones that they are worth fighting for no matter what that cost is. You will teach them their value is to be found in the fact that God loves them. Each reading will reinforce the message that the worth of a little girl is based solely on God’s creation of them and that his love for them is the one thing that brings value.
Rachael’s book is a beautiful book, not just in the message but also in the gorgeous illustrations by Morgan Huff. Every picture will engage the reader and even the littlest listeners with the changing scenes and characters. The scenes are bright and creative and the little girls pictured within change from page to page allowing each reader to identify with one of them.
My own little girl is now an adult, but this is a book I will keep close on the bookshelf to read to nieces, friend’s daughters, and, when the day comes, my granddaughters.