Two Book Nerds Talking Presents


8 Books. Discussions. Interviews. In-Class Activities.

Ep 8: What Can Girls Do To Make A Difference In The World?

Episode Notes:

Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nichols (2017)

Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction / LGBTQ


An in-depth look at the issues that drove the suffragette and suffragists movements in the UK, and the lives of women of the time, in particular how women were affected by the First World War. In the podcast we will discuss the significance of the suffragette movement for global women’s emancipation, and also talk about the different factions and their beliefs and methods. In Things A Bright Girl Can Do we meet three young women who played their own small parts in helping the women’s suffrage movement. Even though individually they played very minor roles in bringing about the right of a woman to vote, they were a part of a movement that ultimately achieved a goal that changed the world. Sally Nicholls mentions in the epilogue of the book that her book’s title is inspired by a 1914 book entitled 301 Things a Bright Girl Can Do, which teaches girls fascinating craft and handiwork such as building stage carpentry, making a photocopier, and cremating themselves alive as a Christmas ornament.  In this final discussion we invite our listeners to think of small ways that they can work to help continue the goal of equality for all. 

Further discussion: In this episode we will also discuss the way that history helps to shape the world that each generation of girls live in, and how each subsequent generation sees changes in how girls are treated in the world.

Content Warnings (for the book): Mention of prison brutality (force feeding) and violence towards Suffragettes (rubbish thrown at them, violence at riots, etc) and one woman’s experience of prison and going on hunger and thirst strike. The word suicide occurs three times. Instances of homophobic and xenophobic language. One character struggles with gender identity. Short descriptions of kissing and undressing between two girls.


Classroom Materials:

1. Google World War I, definition of suffrage, suffrage movement in Britain.

2. Are women’s voices important in political affairs of a country? 

3. Name some contribution and participations that the UK relied on women for their country during WWI. 

4. Name some shock tactics that the suffrage movement employed in order to get their voices heard.

5. Name some jobs women were allowed to work in. What did the government do to help working women?

6. Google 301 things a bright girl can do. What are some of the things you found interesting in this book?

7. Education today is considered to be a human right. How does education for women help countries in today’s world? 

Eg: strengthens economies, reduces inequality, contributes to a more stable and resilient society, gives all individuals including men and boys opportunity to fulfill their potential because women are caregivers and they are people who raise children. 

8. Do you think STEM should be for everyone? Both men and women?

9. Name some women who are in the STEM (science technology engineering and mathematics) industry.

10. What is gender equality? Discuss 

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