Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shine” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,037 ratings  ·  375 reviews
Jodi Picoult tackles issues of race and privilege in this ebook original short story, a prequel to her upcoming novel Small Great Things. In “Shine,” the master storyteller and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Time and My Sister’s Keeper introduces readers to the unforgettable Ruth Brooks.

Today is Ruth’s first day of third grade at Dalton. The prestigious i
ebook, 42 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Ballantine Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shine, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tamera This book is an original short story by Jodi Picoult for her newest novel Small great things and you can only get it in an ebook form that only has…moreThis book is an original short story by Jodi Picoult for her newest novel Small great things and you can only get it in an ebook form that only has pages 50 pages in total. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,037 ratings  ·  375 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

I have been looking forward to reading Jodi Picoult's upcoming new novel "Small Great Things" and I was pleased to find this prequel to the book. "Shine" is not a long book but it was quite an interesting read and a great way to introduce some of the characters that will be in the new book. In "Shine" we meet a wonderful and unforgettable character, Ruth Brooks.

Ruth is nervous about starting her first day of third
Pouting Always
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Ruth has recently enrolled in Dalton, a school she couldn't otherwise afford and which is miles apart from her old school in Harlem. Despite her intelligence, Ruth finds it hard to gain acceptance from her peers due to her race and must learn to deal with the exclusion she now faces at school while still ensuring her mother think she's doing well. A short novella meant to introduce a character in Jodi Picoult's novel that came out around the same time. I havent read the novel so that might be wh ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Light on pages, but packed with emotion and a little girl’s heart-wrenching reality, this short story sets the stage for the stellar novel Small Great Things.

Smart and curious, Ruth is an eight-year-old girl that doesn’t really fit in. No matter how hard she tries, she’s different. A scholarship kid from Harlem, she’s the only black girl in a sea of white faces at a prestigious school, and it’s tough. The behavior of her new classmates, the teacher, her supposed “friend” and even her own family
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I really liked Small Great Things, so I couldn’t pass up a chance to read this brief prequel that deals with a slice of Ruth’s childhood. Part of me wishes I hadn’t taken the bait. In Small Great Things, Picoult did an excellent job of tackling a complicated topic, and looking at it from the perspective of three very different characters. This included looking at the experience of racism through the eyes of middle aged Ruth, an Africa America nurse who grew up in Harlem. In Shine, Picoult paints ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
I haven’t read the book that this extremely short story is the prequel to and I wonder if I would have liked this better (or “gotten it”) if I had. To me it was too short to have much of an impact. The audio was just an hour long but the narrator was good and the “ending” did hit me, so I’m rounding up...but overall it felt like a teeny, tiny sprinkle of a beginning of a story. 2.5 stars
"Maybe we're more alike than different."

SHINE is the enticing prequel to Jodi Picoult's new novel SMALL GREAT THINGS that has just moved up on my to-read list.

Eight year old Ruth is an addictive little character and smart as a whip young girl who lives in Harlem with her hard-working mama and sister Rachel, but an apprehensive Ruth will now ride to a prestigious school on the Upper East Side in a limo......and mama didn't answer her question.

"Would there be anyone else at Dalton who looked like

With Ruth’s Mama working for Ms Mina it meant that her daughter Christina and Ruth were friends, playing and spending time while Ruth’s Mama was working, then travelling home on their bus to Harlem. Eight and a half year old Ruth Brooks had left her old school in Harlem and was about to start school on a scholarship at Dalton in New York’s Upper East Side. She was both excited and nervous – Christina would be the only person she knew…

But Christina had her own friends and Ruth felt excluded in th
Rebecca McNutt
Shine is a powerful story of friendship, prejudice and understanding, written from the mind of a third-grader confused yet intrigued by the world around her.
Judy Collins
Talented Jodi Picoult returns following Leaving Time landing on my Top Books of 2014 with SHINE, a small book but big in so many ways. Packed with lots of heart, dreams, and the brightest of shining stars.

A special young girl you will fall in love with, as she learns at a young age the injustice of a cruel world of prejudice, race, and privilege.

Set in 1979, readers get a look at Ruth Brook’s life at an early age, prior to moving into the highly anticipated SMALL GREAT THINGS, where we
5/5 🌟

My reviews can also be found on my blog: https://readingbetweenwinessite.wordp...

It is rather foreign to me how Jodi Picoult can cultivate so much emotion in me in just 42 pages, but she did. There is no way I could give this short story less than 5 stars, even though I only rated Small Great Things a 4. There is just something about a short story that pulls at the heart strings that makes me want to give high ratings.

This ebook touches on race, friendship, and so much more. I highly recomm
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This novella introduces readers to Ruth, one of the main characters in the recently released "Small Great Things." Although it is brief, it sets up the issue of rascism seen through the eyes of a third grader.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Eight-and-a-half year old Ruth starts third grade on scholarship in the private school of her mother's employer's daughter Christina and experiences culture shock from her previous school in Harlem. Ruth experiences subtle and not so subtle racism, as well as kindness from a loving teacher. Most disturbing is the difference in how Christina treats her in private and public.

While reading SHINE, I couldn't help but to feel like I was reading a well researched story written by a white woman trying
Catherine ♡
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Whew. There were several scenes that were definitely heartbreaking, illustrating just how cruel children could be. The issue of race and privilege were definitely tackled, as stated in the blurb, but there were some scenes where Ruth sounded wise beyond her years, and I'm not quite sure if the change in voice was intentional.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shine is a prequel to Small Great Things, the 22nd full length novel by American author, Jodi Picoult. Eight-and-a-half year-old Ruth Brooks has just started at a new school. She loves learning, especially about the stars. She’s the only black girl at the prestigious Dalton School; she’s there on a scholarship, and she’s smart. But even though no one is openly racist, it’s still there.

Ruth’s mother, Lou works for Ms Mina, and Ruth’s best friend is Mina’s daughter, Christina. But at school, Chri
Ankita Singh
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Jodi Picoult is my idol. My Sister's Keeper was the first book I read by her and since then I've read almost all of her books. 

I listened to Shine as an AudioBook and it was all Jodi Picoult. I loved how, even in such a short story, she managed to create such deep characters. 

Ruth was a sweet, caring character, even when she was a small girl, and I'm so looking forward to read more of her story in Small Great Things. 

I love Jodi Picoult for writing about topics that matter, issues that need to b
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, fiction
3.5 stars. A quick, but thought-provoking listen, although I've read many books on racism, Jodi (as always) gets me to think about something that happens in this short story differently than I have before. I can't wait to read Small, great things - I've read 25 books by this author, and have enjoyed all except The tenth circle.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
By short ..... this is def short short .... 42 pages short. About a girl whose mother is the housekeeper for a white family whose daughter is smart enough to attend a private school with the families daughter. The 2 girls have grown up together but things change between them when they leave the house.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very short prequel to Small Great Things that is a good introduction to the characters in that book, in particular Ruth Brooks, an eight year old African American who receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious all-white school. Already a powerful story dealing with important issues. I'm looking forward to continuing with her story in Small Great Things.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very quick read. As usual this author creates interesting characters and tackles a controversial
Kristen Cook - A Book Ninja
A short prequel to Small Great Things. I loved this audiobook. It was like a visit with a beloved old friend. I just love Ruth and her voice in the audiobook.
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
I did like what I read but I don't think there was enough text for $1.99
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it and am looking forward to reading Small Great Things soon. She tackled prejudice and racism tactfully in this prequel.

Looking forward to reading more from Jodi Picoult.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved Ruth's voice. Looking forward to Small Great Things this fall.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This should be a must read for all.
Fiona R
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shine is a prequel to Small Great Things, due to be released in just a few weeks.

Before I started reading this story, I watched an interview in which Jodi Picoult discusses racism and privilege. It stayed with me as I read the story and led me to challenge my own attitudes and prejudices. Nobody likes to think of themselves as a racist, and it's an uncomfortable thought to admit that many of the privileges we enjoy ( level of income or career prospects) come at the expense of someone of another
This is a short prequel to Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things. It introduces us to a young Ruth Brooks, an 8 1/2 year old African American girl who is starting at a new school. A very prestigious, and predominantly white one. Ruth is attending on a scholarship, and she is smart, inquisitive and very bright.

This prequel tackles issues of race and privilege, in both an obvious and subtle way and it is an excellent introduction to the characters and themes apparent in Small Great Things. It is defi
Susan Peterson
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing prequel

Shine is a short story, the prequel to Small Great Things. It tells the story of Ruth, a young black girl who is awarded a scholarship to attend a prestigious school in 1979. Ruth is bright and determined to succeed, but quickly realizes that the other students will not accept her, or treat her fairly. This story was a perfect way to increase my interest in reading the full-length novel!
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love that this short story is an intro to the main character for Jodi's new book. LOVE. Totally brilliant idea. The story was short, but the details were grand. Enough history and anecdotes to warn us that there will be plenty to unravel once Small Great Things is released. I feel like Ruth is really going to be a force to be reckoned with. Bring it on.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Few pages, but this short story really sets the stage for the adult version of Ruth Jefferson in Jodi Picoult's novel, Small Great Things. Shine introduces readers to a young Ruth in third grade, who is already experiencing racism in both its outright and subtle forms.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Jodi Picoult always writes wonderful heart touching stories that have real life meaning and this prequel to her next novel shows what a wonderful story it is going to be already. I can't wait to read it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Before the Storm (Stillwater Bay #0.5)
  • The Littlest Bigfoot (The Littlest Bigfoot #1)
  • High Tide
  • Unwrapped
  • Positively Pooh: Timeless Wisdom from Pooh
  • Second Chance Hero (Texas Grooms, #6)
  • Nothing Matters
  • Antitype (Archetype, #0.5)
  • Sweet Southern Betrayal (The Boys are Back in Town, #3)
  • Hungry Hearts
  • Beginning Again
  • Montana Man
  • The Distance Home
  • The Dance Begins (The Dance, #0.5)
  • Fruits Basket Collector's Edition, Vol. 10
  • Crawlspace
  • The Kookaburra Creek Cafe
  • Road Trip
See similar books…
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, A SPARK OF LIGHT, is available in hardcove
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »