Small Great Things
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.

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Small Great Things Reviews

  • Melissa
    Oct 27, 2016


    4.5 starsThis is an incredibly heavy read - one that’s told with brutal honesty and a lot of heart.My initial reaction after I read the final page of the story - why would she choose to end things on that note? After all of the hate and uncomfortable feelings throughout this story...

  • Jennifer
    Oct 26, 2016


    "Here’s the thing about racism – it’s systemic and institutional, but it’s both perpetuated and dismantled in individual acts. Most of us don’t talk about racism because we don’t HAVE to, and because we are afraid of offending people. It’s my hope th...

  • Debbie
    Oct 18, 2016


    Oh dear, sigh sigh. I’m sad I didn't like this book more--I so wanted to. Lots of friends love Picoult, so I feel sort of like an alien, one standing at alert, with her handy but annoying Complaint Board right here front and center.The story line drew me right in. A black labor an...

  • Tracey
    Oct 18, 2016


    I have tried to write this review several times. I guess I have a lot of thoughts about this novel.My first thought is that Jodi Picoult did not write this for me. I don't know what the demographic is for Ms. Picoult's novels but being a book person for a long time and having been to a...

  • Susan
    Oct 16, 2016


    4.5 starsNormally I zip right through a Jodi Picoult book but this one I would have to stop and take a break every time I read a chapter with Turk Bauer because I would get so mad and aggravated I thought my head was going to pop off my shoulders and explode!!! Small Great Things tackl...

  • Deanna
    Oct 14, 2016


    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...I could probably write a twelve page review on everything I want to talk about from this book, everything I learned from this book. However, my reviews are long as it is so I will try my best to keep it short (well...

  • Emily May
    Oct 13, 2016

    Emily May

    “The State just sees a dead baby. They’re targeting you because they think you failed as a nurse.”“You’re wrong.” I shake my head in the darkness, and I say the words I’ve swallowed down my whole life. “They’re targeting me because I’m...

  • Lori
    Oct 13, 2016


    This was a 'beast' of a novel for me... not in the sense that it was long, but in that it was a difficult topic. I, like Picoult, think of myself as not discriminating in how I treat people, however, the issues this novel raises had me questioning that. A very thought provoking novel t...

  • Lola  Reviewer
    Oct 11, 2016

    Lola Reviewer

    AVAILABLE NOW!!Look up at the dark sky. See those stars? They all belong to Small Great Things.The Small Great Things at the end is not the same Small Great Things it is at the beginning, meaning that so much is happening, so much is revealed that there’s no way to read the first ...

  • Taryn
    Oct 11, 2016


    Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. —BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Ruth, a black nurse, is forbidden from caring for a white supremacist's newborn. An unfortunate set of circumstances leads to Ruth being left alone with the baby for a...