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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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 12-02-18

Short story prequel to Small Great Things

SHINE is the prequel to Jodi Picoult's 2016 blockbuster novel Small Great Things. In the novel Ruth Jefferson is an adult and a nurse. In this short story she is a third grader who shows the characteristics of the later adult. The short story can be skipped, but Small Great Things is an incredibly wonderful novel which I strongly recommend.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • olivia
  • HOUSTON, TX, US
  • 10-16-16

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!!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • jeanjie
  • Jupiter, FL United States
  • 01-10-17

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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Worst Jodi Picolt book ever

I understand that this was a short story, but it is very preachy. Every word written feels like a set up for how racist these white people are and How put upon this poor little black girl is. It’s kind of ridiculous. We all know the history of race relations in the US but this is very overt to the point of ruining the characterization.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Perfect Pairing

Jodi Picoult and Audra McDonald is the most wonderful pairing I never knew I needed. As usual, Jodi Picoult’s story is beautiful and heartbreaking all at once and SUCH a good addition to Small Great Things. And I could listen to Audra McDonald all day - singing or speaking! She tells the story so wonderfully, you really feel like you’re sitting with Ruth, hearing her tell it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Don’t usually like short stories

Don’t usually like short stories but this was a good one. It was quite interesting.

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Great Intro to her new book "Dmall great things"

Loved it. very descriptive. I am now going to read Small Greta things. I have the soft cover.

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Yep! good read

Has Jodi ever written a "bad" book?! I've loved some of her other books more but this one was entertaining!

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Write what you know

I love this author but being a black female, I felt like it was a bit contrived. First of all a third grader with spelling words like corn would not be this poignant in knowing what is going on. I was in the same situation, but didn’t figure out what things meant until much later in life. This child does not act or speak like a child and it bothers me.

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short but so poignant

as indicated in the book description, this is a short take but a poignant one. it is a tale of injustice and prejudice at the cost of a little girl's ability to give her own identity.