Thursday, September 24, 2020

Review - The Bug Girl: A True Story

The Bug Girl: A True Story

by Sophia Spencer & Margaret McNamara
illustrated by Kerascoët
Date: 2020
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 44
Format: e-book
Source: library

Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophie tells her story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself.

Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder--and wouldn't leave--at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies... but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia's mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response--letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs--and it worked! Sophia has since appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and NPR, and she continues to share her love of bugs with others.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Bug Girl is a wonderful (true) story of a young girl who follows her passion, even if the other kids her age don't understand it.

Sophia loved bugs from an early age. And the other kids thought that was cool... up until first grade. And then she was bullied for her interest. (Kids get mean earlier and earlier, it seems.) Hating to see her daughter so sad, Sophia's mom reached out to entomologists for support. And support they got! Sophia was inspired to allow herself to keep loving bugs and exploring the world of insects.

The story is lovely and the illustrations, done by husband-and-wife team Kerascoët, complement the text perfectly. There's also an informative (but easy-to-read) section at the back where Sophia shares facts about some of her favourite bugs.

This would be an excellent title for other budding entomologists, as well as for readers looking for books about bullying with an ultimately uplifting message.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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