Small Great Things: A Novel

· Sold by Ballantine Books
172 reviews

About this ebook

#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

Ratings and reviews

172 reviews
Victor Padilla
October 11, 2016
If you consider yourself a "white person" now is the time to speak out for fairness, and equality in this u.s. a. . Don't be scared, learn, earn, shake off the fear and speak the truth of respect for all human beings. Lets live it. This novel will help you get the courage to clean up our country"s consciousness. Dr. P
32 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
December 16, 2016
This is a really good story about the subject of race. It does a great job of letting the reader feel everyone's point of view, and it gives so much food for thought. I was able to have empathy for all the characters even when I didn't agree on certain points. It brought things to the forefront that just don't come into a person's mind naturally. I'll definitely be digesting some of this story for awhile. Also, I didn't expect some of the turns the plot took toward the end. This book is definitely worth reading.
3 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Cassandra Ford
December 29, 2017
I was grateful for her thorough explanation at the end of the research she did to try to create an honest and accurate novel on race. It paid off, and I appreciated some of thoughts/beliefs that it challenged in me. The characters really come to life in this book, and it creates a very special empathy building opportunity. Enjoyed reading this great book about humanity, racism, and facing your truth.
Did you find this helpful?

About the author

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Rate this ebook

Tell us what you think.

Reading information

Smartphones and tablets
Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
Laptops and computers
You can listen to audiobooks purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like Kobo eReaders, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Follow the detailed Help Center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.