Shine by Jodi Picoult
Published: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: via Overdrive [audio]
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 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 only see 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.
I actually read Small Great Things first then read this one. I thought it was a wonderful short prequel that shows us Ruth’s background and how she grew up. We get to know the things that happened in her past that shaped her into how she saw things as an adult. I also loved that we got an in-depth look at Ruth’s mom and how her experience in life made her want more for her children. This was a great prequel and a good set up to the novel.