Small Great Things

  1. Do you think Marie (the charge nurse) handled the Bauer's request correctly? What, if anything, should she have done differently? ~ Cindi S.

  2. If you were in Ruth's situation, would you have felt compelled to stop attempting to revive Davis, or continue when you heard people coming in? ~ Nicole K.

  3. What does being a parent mean to Ruth, to Kennedy, to Turk? Is it different or similar for each of them? ~ Janette P.

  4. When the doctor was preparing to circumcise Davis, Ruth jokes "Maybe while you are at it, you can sterilize him". Was her comment warranted? ~ Cindi S.

  5.  The title of the book comes from the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that Ruth’s mother mentions on p. 173: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” What does this quote mean to you? What are some examples of small great things done by the characters in the novel? ~ Reading Group Guides

  6. Do you think this story could have had the same impact being told by only one perspective? Do you think it was absolutely necessary to tell all three? Why? ~ Rebecca L

  7. How do you feel about the different upbringing of Ruth and her sister, like different schools? ~ Nicole K.

  8. Let's talk about Turk. Do you see him as a victim in any way? ~ Cindi S.

  9. What does racism mean to you? It had different meanings to Ruth, Turk and Kennedy. Who do you agree with? ~ Praise

  10. Talk about the changes you saw in Ruth as the story progressed. ~ Cindi S.

  11. What do you think Kennedy learns about her own racial bias and the ways being white has shielded her from racial bias? ~Janette P.

  12. What was your first impression of Kennedy and her family? What did you think of Kennedy's development as the story progressed? ~ Cindi S.

  13. Do you think if the races were reversed (Ruth was white and the parents were black) there would have been a lawsuit or charges filed? How do you think it would have changed the story? ~ Janette P.

  14. What did you think about Ruth going to work at McDonalds although she had received DHHR services? Do you think Ruth made a good choice to pursue other avenues for income? ~ Cindi S.

  15. How do you think Ruth changed based on what she learned from her mother and how do you think Edison changed based on what he learned from Ruth? ~ Amy W.

  16. Who was your favorite character and why? ~ Cindi S.

  17.  Were you surprised by the ending? ~ Mary J.

  18. At the end of the story in the clinic, it was clear that Turk recognized Ruth. Do you think she recognized him back, and if so what do you think about how she reacted? ~ Lori C.

  19. Did you like this book? Was this your first book by this author? What rating did you give it? ~ Christina M.

by Jodi Picoult