December 15 2016

Book to Read: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

In today’s world, there’s no denying the fact that one of the most sensitive discussions we’re having is about race relations. Groups like Black Lives Matter have spurred us to look deeper into outright racism especially when dealing with the police.

In the book Small Great Things, author Jodi Picoult tries to get its readers to see how life might be in the shoes of a black person. Without giving away too much away, the story is about a black labor and delivery nurse, with more than 20 years of experience, who, during a routine shift, was told by white supremacist parents that they don’t want her to touch their baby.

The hospital complies with this request. Ruth is told to stay away from the baby, however when the team is short staffed she’s the only one to care for him and he goes into cardiac distress. Ruth must decide whether to obey orders or intervene.

The baby dies and, subsequently, Ruth is charged with a serious crime. The book is told from three different perspectives: Ruth, the white supremacist father and Ruth’s lawyer.

In the Acknowledgments, Picoult thanks those who helped her write the book. They include doctors and nurses who helped her with “their lingo”, her “crackerjack legal team” for “vetting the court scenes for accuracy’s sake” and even a social justice educator who “vet” her words. You could tell there was a lot of homework involved, from the hospital scenes to the legal ones.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. It is a true page-turner!

As Amazon states,”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.” I couldn’t agree more.

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