Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult - Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult Book Score: 4.5 0 5
4.5 star
2,207 Ratings

Small Great Things Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.


“[Picoult] offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book.”—Booklist (starred review)

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

Praise for Small Great Things

Small Great Things is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written. . . . It will challenge her readers . . . [and] expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice.”The Washington Post

“A novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today . . . a fantastic read from beginning to end, as can always be expected from Picoult, this novel maintains a steady, page-turning pace that makes it hard for readers to put down.”San Francisco Book Review

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Small Great Things Book Comments

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Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult Book Reviews

  • Amazing (kimberlyanneof)

    One of the most profoundly moving, insightful and important books I’ve ever read
  • Page TURNER (lalastvnsn)

    Absolutely in LOVE with this novel. I urge you to read Small Great Things
  • Powerful Book (Fiona 66dzx)

    This is the first book I’ve finished reading in the past 5 years. I always wanted to read books but “ never had time” to finish reading one until I started to read this one - small great things. I just couldn’t stop reading it. The novel describes couple of characters who have different but strong personalities. From them, I learned not only the racial differences but more importantly, how to be a better self, no matter who you are.
  • Blown Away (Ugdrcvjiyfxcnkllllknfddcv)

    🕯 BOOK REVIEW: Woah...this book covers some sensitive controversial topics in a powerful way. Small Great Things is my first Jodi Picoult book and I definitely will be reading more of her work. Why? Because it made me THINK, it made me feel big uncomfortable feelings and examine the reason why I’m experiencing them. This book is not a light read. I tore into this book and it tore into me. My gosh, it really made me process racism and bias in our country and examine the perspectives of all those it touches. Having worked as an RN and personally helped to deliver babies into this world, I felt a deep connection to the medical element of the story and it was fun to step back into that world through a book. The author really nailed it and did her research. In the first chapter, you discover the reason why Ruth became a labor and delivery nurse...and it’s not what you may have guessed it would be, but it is so moving it made my eyes tear up. I really enjoyed the court scenes and found the legal aspect fascinating, too. I came across some of the most profound and beautiful quotes in this book, as well as some of the most difficult to read excerpts with concepts that made me feel so furious, disgusted, and frustrated. At times my heart felt tender and hopeful and at others my stomach was in knots. This is a book that will stay with me for the rest of my life, for better or worse. It was a thought provoking, eye-opening, challenging read that was extremely well written. Stay tuned, there is a movie starring Viola Davis and Julia Roberts coming out and you’ve got plenty of time to read the book first! It was very hard to stomach the perspective of the white supremacist, but it also opened my eyes to the reality and severity of hate that exists in the world. I truly feel this would be a relevant and beneficial educational read for current high school and college students to discuss within class to promote racial awareness. It’s enlightening and written in such a captivating way that it completely engulfs you. This book was worth pushing through the discomfort to reach the end when I could fully reflect and realize just how much I learned and discovered about my own self in the process. Outstanding.
  • Small great things (BW queen)

    Excellently written book about our perceptions of differences based on appearance alone. Great read!
  • Small Great Things (Her2boys)

    Wow! I loved this story. Thank you,Jodi, for always writing books that I cannot predict the ending. You always take me by surprise. 😊 I wish all your books would be made into movies.
  • By far the best (Hkate3)

    Book I’ve read in a long long time
  • Great (Bunmom88)

    I have never read one of her books I didn’t like but this one was fantastic. I couldn’t wait to get home at night to finish it. The characters and feelings in this story were powerful. Definitely worth reading, like all her other books.
  • Great Book! (Nicbro)

    I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I love the different perspectives of how race is expressed through each character. I would love to see this book as a movie!
  • Wow. (imjazed)

    Picoult has answered many of the questions I have had but never knew who or how to ask. The answers come in a way that I have been able to internalize them. I feel shaken in many ways, and as soon as I finished, I started reading it over again because there was still so much I didn’t feel like I ‘heard’ well enough. The opening quote of Benjamin Franklin “Justice will not be served untill those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Meant something completely different to me after the first reading. I read 7 - 10 books a week and have to say this is the first book this year that I have read twice, or written a review of.

Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult Book Reviews

  • A MUST READ for everybody (Hannah828)

    This book was thought provoking, challenging, moving. This book has already started so many good conversations. I don't want to say any more. Buy it. Read it. You will not be disappointed.
  • Small great things (Smgrtngs)

    Excellent thought provoking - in Jodi Piccoult's style. A perfect book to discuss in book group - an internal examination of our personal feelings as white middle class women - prejudice vs racism. Most timely study in our current political times!
  • Uncomfortably beautiful! (kcarey16)

    One of the most eye opening, uncomfortable, beautiful, emotionally upsetting books I have ever read. Thank you for bringing this subject and reaching my heart and mind with an awareness that I never realized.
  • Loved it! (Benlam188)

    I recently read this book and loved it!
  • Not earth shattering. (Terikosan)

    It was well written in the sense that it was an easy read and flowed from beginning to end. However I didn't feel deeply invested in any of the characters and the heavy weight of the subject matter somehow didn't come through for me. I didn't feel the horribleness of living a disenfranchised life nor did I even feel that mortified by the white supremacist, Turk. Maybe the hatred and evil of the racial condition is better left in a biography, having been experienced first hand by the author.
  • Excellent (Smartpaws)

    This is quite an eye opener for both people of color and whites.
  • Phenomenal Read (Morelikemimi)

    This book taught me things about myself I never knew. I want everyone to read this immediately.
  • Excellent! (Ttm621)

    I admit as a black nurse I was quite skeptical to hear how this author would depict a character like myself. Well she did a great job! I was not prepared to learn so much about white supremacy either, I had no idea that so much about that topic would be in this book. Anyways, this was a very good read, I couldn't put it down.
  • Small great things (Handakina)

    It took guts to write this one and Picoult stepped up and did it. Racism has to be addressed by ALL sides and art/literature does it best. The characters are well developed, the dialogue and prose excellent, and the story line takes you into your own "heart of hearts". Don't miss the author's comments at the end of the book or the wonderful reference list.
  • Small Great Things (Reads2me)

    Excellent telling of one woman's struggle for racial equality in a very cruel world. One would never know the author was not a woman of color. Very well done.

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