Sally Nicholls
Things A Bright Girl Can Do

Andersen Press (10+)

9781783446735 (paperback)

In 1914 the world stood on the edge of change, but in Britain women still had no vote. Although Evelyn is rich and clever she doesn’t want the life set out for her, she’d prefer freedom and choice and the opportunity to go to university even if it means paying the highest price alongside her fellow Suffragettes. Meanwhile May is campaigning tirelessly for women’s votes with other anti-violence suffragists. When May meets Nell, who has grown up in hardship, she finds a kindred spirit and together they dream of a world where all kinds of women can find their place.

The historical detail and contemporary dialogue are exemplary in this richly enjoyable yet hard-hitting and illuminating novel. By contrasting the social status, events and points of view of the main characters, the stories and dilemmas of the original women’s movement is brought vividly to life in a jaunty, breezy style that shines a light on unexplored lives in the era of the Great War. Through their activism and engagement three very different young women achieve both apolitical and personal awakening. A timely and rewarding account of the inspirational struggle and sacrifice of women a mere century ago to establish their universal rights that will stay with the reader long after the final chapter.


Sally Nicholls grew up in Stockton-on-Tees, and after school, travelled the world, working for a period at a Red Cross hospital in Japan. Sally's first novel, Ways to Live Forever, won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and she has been shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Costa Children's Book Award. She lives in Oxford.

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