Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Large Print - 2016 | Large print edition
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"A woman and her husband admitted to a hospital to have a baby requests that their nurse be reassigned - they are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is black, to touch their baby. The hospital complies, but the baby later goes into cardiac distress when Ruth is on duty. She hesitates before rushing in to perform CPR. When her indecision ends in tragedy, Ruth finds herself on trial, represented by a white public defender who warns against bringing race into a courtroom. As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other's lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, A part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781410463746
1410463745
Branch Call Number: PICOULT
Characteristics: 727 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print

Opinion

From Library Staff

This book challenged my own thoughts about race, and I thought I knew where I stood!

Comment
SurreyLibraries_Reads Nov 21, 2018

While I think you are either a Jodi Picoult fan or you definitely aren’t, I still recommend her latest novel. What draws me to all of her books is the character development and honesty she can relay to make the reader feel like they know the true thoughts and intentions of all the characters. Th... Read More »


From the critics


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SR806
May 05, 2020

I found this book to be disturbing, but in a good way. I have never thought of myself as being racist, but this book made me very aware of how much I take for granted. It is hard for me to understand how some people are so prejudiced, but this novel showed me that it is definitely real. The author did an excellent job portraying the different characters.

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amm3607
Apr 27, 2020

Stunningly written. The time and research put into this story was worth it! I felt Picoult portrayed the characters accurately and was captivated by this book. I would recommend to everyone I know.

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ChrisyT
Apr 22, 2020

What I love about Jodi Picoult's novels is that you become intimately entwined with each character as they work through a controversial or life shattering experience. Small great things put me right there with Ruth Jefferson. When she lost her mother, I cried and when she came out on top after the trial I celebrated!

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brangwinn
Apr 05, 2020

Jodi Picoult tackles another social issue. This time its race. Ruth the only black nurse on a neo-natal ward is not allowed to take care of a new baby at the request of the mother. Short-staffed she ends up watching the baby in the nursery. The baby stops breathing and Ruth ends up being charged for murder. Like all of Picoult’s works it is impossible to read without getting emotionally involved. The story is told from three points of view—Ruth’s, her public defender and the white supremacist father of the baby.

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maipenrai
Feb 23, 2020

Excellent, thoughtful book about racism and moral choices. Kristi & Abby Tabby

j
Jenkskitten
Jan 19, 2020

A good story even though a little heavy on racism. Learned some things about labor and delivery. P1 means number of pregnancies and G1 means number of deliveries that are not clearly explained in the book. One can also see the white supreme attitudes in the book even in today's society. The book gives the reader something to think about concerning their thoughts on racism.

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sgcf
Oct 13, 2019

It is commendable that Picoult tackled racism in this book and, regardless of how predictable her plots can be, they're still engaging. Yet I kept rolling my eyes as Picoult repeatedly emphasized her moral / message as she galloped roughshod as the social justice warrior. I’d like to be given credit for my intelligence and don’t need to be hit over the head with a 2 X 4 … with her ubiquitous italics. Consequently her message didn’t make an impact on me.
Unlike Ta-Nahisi Coates’ "Between the World and Me". Now there is a thoughtful book about racism!
Perhaps I’ve read too many of Picoult’s books (7) in the past several years and if it had been my first I would have liked it. But they all feature the same tedious format – chapters from each main character’s perspective, excessive backstory and personal anecdotes. All feature millions of metaphors that stretch out the word count, and metaphors whole paragraphs long whether or not it fits the character’s voice. Where is her editor?! This will be my last Picoult book.

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buttssarah
Oct 01, 2019

Truly excellent. I thought this was one of the best works of writing about race by a white privileged woman, speaking to white privileged people.

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Tica77
Sep 03, 2019

I have read three of Jodi Picoult’s books including this one. She had an amazing way of writing about controversial topics and Small great things does not disappoint. In the current political climate around the world, exposing white supremacy, racism and inequality is a propos. Ruth, an excellent nurse who happens to be black, is accused of murdering the infant baby of white supremacists Brit andTurk. I had a hard time putting this book down and although it has close to 500 pages, I read it in just a few hours. A good book for a book club discussion.

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BenHur56
Jul 18, 2019

I must admit to a bit of literary snobbery here. Because Jodi Picoult has written so many bestsellers, I thought she must be churning them out and they would be pretty formulaic. But my wife recommended this book to me and it is a gripping and thought-provoking story about race relations in America. In today's divisive world with Trump as US President, this is a timely read. I highly recommend this book.

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Quotes

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cknightkc
Apr 26, 2017

“The best lies are the ones that are wrapped around a core of truth.” - p. 113

c
cknightkc
Apr 26, 2017

“The only time people who look like us are making history, it’s a footnote.” - p. 119

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cknightkc
Apr 26, 2017

“Freedom is the fragile neck of a daffodil, after the longest of winters.” - p. 449

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“Admitting that racism has played a part in our success means admitting that the American dream isn’t quite so accessible to all.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“It’s the difference between dancing along the eggshell crust of acquaintance and diving into the messy center of a relationship. It’s not always perfect; it’s not always pleasant—but because it is rooted in respect, it is unshakable.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“You say you don’t see color…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“Equality is treating everyone the same. But equity is taking differences into account, so everyone has a chance to succeed.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“In a lot of ways, having a teenager isn't all that different from having a newborn. You learn to read the reactions, because they're incapable of saying exactly what it is that's causing pain.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“It just goes to show you: every baby is born beautiful.
It's what we project on them that makes them ugly.”

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Age Suitability

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pink_flamingo_961
Aug 17, 2018

pink_flamingo_961 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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a
abaumler
Sep 06, 2017

This stunning new novel is Jodi Picoult at her finest--complete with unflinching insights, richly layered characters, and a page-turning plot with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart. 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

Notices

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a
AliciaMochi
Jan 06, 2018

Coarse Language: This book does use common swear words as well as the n-word

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