Title: Small Great Things
Authors: Picoult, Jodi
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 467
Year: 2016
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Language: English
Description: Ruth Jefferson, an African American labour and delivery nurse, faces a dreadful dilemma - follow the hospital's ruling that she is not to care for the child of white supremacists or throw caution to the wind and intervene when the baby stops breathing. This no-win situation leads to Ruth's appearance in court relying on a white lawyer who is convinced arguing racism will not keep her out of prison.

Powerful and compelling, and narrated from three different viewpoints, this is a courageous story confronting racism and white privilege in 21st century America.
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Grief/loss, Human Rights, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, America, 2019 Titles


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By: NELS 061 2021-05-31 13:08:41
The beginning of this book was quite distressing to read, but very relevant in today's 'Black Lives Matter' movement. Fab book.

By: MILT 003 2021-05-21 12:03:58
Our group was impressed with the author's research into this story. She began her research with people of colour and listened to their story. She talked to white supremacists who had changed their lives around, and were now working for the good of all people, and trying to help kids into a better life. Our group enjoyed the book - our discussion was about Ruth and the hardship she had to go through.

By: NELS 007 2020-11-11 10:24:04
Best discussion we have ever had. Relevant today. Book about racism and white supremacy and privilege in the USA.

By: DUNED 099 2020-07-29 11:45:53
Excellent book for robust, interesting and helpful sharing of perspectives.

By: WHAKA 018 2020-07-27 14:36:53
Book loved by all.

By: CHCH 480 2019-09-04 09:53:30
The group felt that the writer provided a very balanced view of characters and issues, showing no bias. The writer provoked individual thinking, allowing the reader to make up their own mind without being coerced by the writer's opinion. Obviously very well researched.

By: CHCH 001 2019-04-15 11:47:21
A mammoth book, confrontational, educational and brilliantly researched. Having each of the central characters narrate their own stories allowed the reader insights into their lives and backgrounds - a powerful novel based on real happenings.

By: INVER 015 2019-04-15 11:37:48
Generally enjoyed by all our book club members.

By: CHCH 113 2019-04-15 11:37:02
'Small Great Things' led to one of our most animated discussions, as we explored what was meant by 'white privilege', and how we had all benefited from this. The topic was an absorbing one, but all thought there were several coincidences that were very unlikely ( eg. the discovery, by accident, of the baby's full test report), and that Turk Bauer was most unlikely to have transformed himself in the way he did. 2 nurses in the group found the topic particularly interesting!

By: CHCH 320 2019-04-15 11:32:53
A challenging read but a highly worthwhile one. All but one of our group scored it 8 or higher, out of 10. Picoult is a superb writer who researched this book to the "nth" degree. It was close to perfection how each character was portrayed, and how she alternated chapters between the three main characters. As well as the overt racism, we remembered vividly some of the more subtle instances of discrimination in the story. Some found the ending contrived and a little corny, but it will remain a book which generated introspective reflection. Well done, Picoult.

By: WHAKA 017 2019-04-15 11:21:09
"Extremely good read; confronting; enlightening, and "I never realised how racist I was" - were some of the comments. Clever use of a story to portray a common issue, with all view points well explored. Some members felt the ending was poor - having achieved the purpose of discussion on racism, she wrapped up the ends to provide the classic happy ending with only minimal reference to the story.

By: WHITBY 004 2019-04-15 11:16:02
Very readable. We felt the ending was contrived and unnecessary. A great book for BDS. Great in depth discussions re racism and white supremacists.

By: TAIH 002 2019-04-15 11:14:07
Tremendous discussion - the subject really resonated with the group. I think we all came face to face with the fact we were not as unprejudiced as previously thought!

By: HAMIL 029 2019-04-03 09:24:20
We were very like the Christchurch group. The horror in Christchurch greatly affected our reading of the book - most of us laid the book aside for a time (those who actually read it). We are divided over Picoult's merits as a writer - is she a great commentator on current issues or just someone who knows what the reading public wants? So - the book deals with racism from several points of view - good - but the plot is over-eventful and some characters unconvincing - not so good. But we did have an interesting discussion on racism and prejudice in relation to this text.

By: CHCH 449 2018-10-07 22:18:42
The group was truly divided on this one - two members loved it, two members hated it (although only one of those two actually read it all), another three members had mixed feelings, and one just couldn't find the energy to read it past the first few chapters. Consequently we had a lively discussion on racial issues, characters and prejudices.

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