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Publisher's Summary

Jodi Picoult tackles issues of race and privilege in this original short story, a prequel to her upcoming novel Small Great Things.

In "Shine", the master storyteller and New York Times best-selling author of Leaving Time and My Sister's Keeper introduces listeners to the unforgettable Ruth Brooks. Today is Ruth's first day of third grade at Dalton. The prestigious institution on New York's Upper East Side couldn't be more different from her old school in Harlem. Despite being the smartest girl in her grade, Ruth suspects that her classmates and teachers see only her dark skin. She also notices that Christina, the daughter of her mother's employer, treats Ruth very differently when they're hanging out with the popular girls rather than playing together. Ruth must navigate between two worlds, never losing sight of the dreams she has for herself - in hopes that someday someone will see her for who she really is.

©2016 Jodi Picoult (P)2016 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

Empathy provoking!

A lovely story of coping in a environment designed for others. How unfair and cruel children (and adults!) can be to those who are different! The narrator did an excellent job. I was sad that the story was ended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding!

This story takes me back years ago when I was a third grader... I wanted a yellow ponytail. I thought - "myself if I could only have a yellow ponytail that swung when I walked, I would be just as good". Well, I'm 70 now and I still have short black hair and I know I am "just as good"! Bravo Jodi!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Too short!

Any additional comments?

This is a very short story about Ruth from Small Great Things. It was a good story, I just wanted more. Having already listened to Small Great Things, I really wanted to hear where she started. I didn't (but should have) realize when I purchased it that it was a short story.

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  • Story

Interesting beginning

Would you listen to Shine again? Why?

Yes I would listen again. It was beautifully written and Audra McDonald gave a wonderful reading.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Shine?

There were several moments for me: the article, the teacher's aide inability to remember names, and the ending with the headband.

What does Audra McDonald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

You can hear the emotions in her voice. When the grandmother is drunk and angry, you hear that anguish and pain in Audra McDonald's voice. Even with the mom at the end of the story. Gifted and talented voice actress.

If you could take any character from Shine out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Grandmother. She has a lot of stories to tell.

Any additional comments?

Beautiful story by Jodi Picoult. Audra McDonald's voice seems to perfectly add to this delicate coming of age story.

  • Overall

Gorgeous as always for picoult

Preface to Small Great Things. Worth reading... I wish there was a bit more, but I'll take what i can get. Smal Great Things was one of her best, in my opinion. I'd have loved to know even more about young Ruth though...

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Always my favorite author

I read Small Great Things first and liked going back in time to Ruth's childhood. Easy listening, nice prequel to the first book. I love Audra McDonald and enjoy listening to her narration.

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  • Story

Racial Bias For Thought

This story reminds us of how inequitable life can be. Often people are unfairly defined by their race or other physical characteristics.

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  • Story

Very moving modern tale

What did you love best about Shine?

I love Audra McDonald's voice, which sounds like velvet, and how it made me be in the room.

What did you like best about this story?

The whole story as a look into the life experience of different cultures, but especially how Ms Thomas as a shining example of the way teachers and people in general should be towards everyone.

Which character – as performed by Audra McDonald – was your favorite?

Ruth of course

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Momma took Ruth to the store

Any additional comments?

Everyone should listen to this story as part of history that should be changed for the better.

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  • Story

Ruth!

This gives additional insight on how Ruth's struggle began....been a long road for her. Ongoing.

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wonderful

Audra McDonald is a wonderful narrator. This prequel to Small Great Things gave me chills. Wonderful accompaniment to the novel.