Small Great Things
By Jodi Picoult
PBT Review #17
I’ve had to think on this book and review for a couple of days now. Trying to find the words to do some justice for this book is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I feel like anything I say will be insignificant to the true meaning of this book. But I have to express the affect this book has had on me and encourage others to PLEASE PLEASE read this book!
“There are just some feelings, I’ve learned, for which we never invented the right words.” That’s exactly how this book left me feeling and why it took me almost a week to find the rights words for this review.
This is probably going to be my longest book review ever. There’s so many important things to talk about and I can’t decide which ones I should leave out. So please bare with me.
To be honest, I don’t know how Jodi Picoult found the words to describe this issue so flawlessly. Once again talking about an issue that is controversial, but definitely needs to be talked about. In my opinion, she did an AMAZING job!
Some (well a lot) of the things written in this book made me stop and think. For instance, “White people don’t mean half the offensive things that come out their mouth“. And its so true, I never thought too much about the comments that I make and now I’m wondering if I’ve possibly misconstrued a few things along the way.
As Ruth points out, we probably don’t even realize we move our purse as soon as a person of color walks by. The fact that it’s so embedded in our subconscious is quite freightening. The thing that gets me the most is that we don’t even realize we are being disrespectful at all. I’ve found myself paying attention to these little things in my every day life.
So many truths voiced in this book that we as a community are trying to avoid at all costs. This: there a certain African American people that feel like outcasts no matter what population they are surrounded by. The don’t fit in with the black folks from the hood and they don’t fit in with the white folks on the other side. That’s a real struggle and one I will never know. But it’s real for many, many people.
The lighter the skin the more opportunities a person has. Including light skin African Americans. I’ve heard many African Americans say the darker the skin the less opportunity that have, but I never wanted to believe that was true. When deep down I knew different.
To be 100% honest, I was so not ready for getting inside the mind of someone who is racist because I was scared for what I would read. I was born and raised in the Deep South so I know that everything portrayed in this book is true and it just makes me sad. I don’t understand why people focus so much on the color of someone’s skin but they do. Props to Jodi Picoult for tackling this very prevalent issue, not that she’s ever shied away from a touchy subject.
Another shocker, one that unfortunately is also true, is the white male supremacist seriously comparing killing an African American to killing a deer and then commented that at least you can eat the deer. Omg! My mouth literally feel to the floor. And he’s very contradictory when he goes to jail and makes best buddies with an African American man saying it’s different on the inside.
And it doesn’t just stop with race. It goes on to target homosexual people as well. I’m just baffled. I knew what the book was about but I didn’t know the extent it would go. I should’ve known given that’s it’s written by Jodi Picoult.
“The worst of all is anti racist White folks.” Wow. Just wow.
Is it sad that I was concerned about whether or not Jodi Picoult tries to make a point of the situation being reversed? Because it happens and I’ve experienced it first hand. It’s not just one sided. The answer is yes she does and Adisa is the epitome of it. I find relief in that because I feel that needs to be talked about as well.
Kennedys epiphany at the end is exactly what we need to happen to every single person. Kennedy is me and I know that is the point. Some people have racist actions and thoughts so engraved into their subconscious and claim they are not racist when in fact they just don’t realize it. I’m trying to do no finger pointing here, but I do know I am guilty.
This books needs to be read by EVERYONE! It really is a life changer because everyone could use the eye opener that this forces.
“You’re destined to do small great thing she told me. Just like Dr King said. She was referring to one of her favorite quotes: if I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” Beautiful.
I still don’t think this accurately describes the book, but I tried my best. I hope I worded everything in a tactful way. Please let me know your thoughts.