1. The title of the book, Small Great Things is adapted from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” What does that mean? What does the characters do to show this?
2. The book is told in three people’s perspectives- Turk, the white supremacist, Ruth, the Black nurse, and Kennedy, the public defender. Did you enjoy reading these three points of view? Did it enhance your reading experience and the book?
3. How does Kennedy’s view of racism change from the beginning of the book to the end?
4. Which character in the book did you relate to the most? Why?
5. Did you find it uncomfortable to read Turk’s story? Did the hatred and his anger upset you?
6. Turk, Ruth and Kennedy all have some form of transformation in the book. Turk’s transformation was the most evident and extreme. Did you find Turk’s transformation surprising? Were you surprised by his transformation?
7. The book contained many themes such as discrimination, racism, friendship, family, parenthood, power and privilege to name a few. Which theme impacted you the most?
8. Why did Ruth’s son Edison act out? If Ruth was sent to prison, do you think Edison would have made it to college or do you think his life would have taken a different route?
9. What did you think of Kennedy’s closing argument? Do you agree with her that racism is about power and who has access to it?
10. What did you think of the ending? Were you surprised how it ended?
11. Did you read the Author’s Note? What was your take-away from it? Did it help you better understand the book?
12. After reading Small Great Things, who would you recommend it to?
Enhance Your Book Club:
Check out Study Guide: Small Great Things for more conversation starters and deeper look at the book.
Check out this video with Jodi Picoult talking about her book, Small Great Things.