The Bug Girl: A True Story
The Bug Girl: A True Story

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Annotation: Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophie tells her inspiring 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.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #205399
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: STEAM STEAM
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Karscoet,
Pages: 44
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-525-64593-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7153-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-525-64593-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7153-5
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2019007527
Dimensions: 30 cm
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
After Sophia visits a butterfly conservatory as a toddler, all she wants is to study, observe, and talk about bugs. Initially, other children share her enthusiasm, but by first grade, some begin to make fun of her, and Sophia is devastated when classmates kill a grasshopper she brought to school. Coauthored by fourth-grader Spencer, this memoir captures both the personal exhilaration of sharing a passion and the crushing disappointment when others misunderstand or belittle that devotion. Sophia's mother writes to scientists, searching for people to encourage Sophia's interest, and several bug enthusiasts reply, creating the hashtag gsR4Girls. Appealing ink, watercolor, and colored-pencil illustrations present Sophia and her arthropod friends in constant movement up, down, and around the pages. A six-page section highlights facts about bugs, including "Super-Cool Bug Facts" and Sophia's "Top Four Bugs and Why." Sophia says she likes gymnastics, swimming, time-travel books, and technology, but first and foremost, she still considers herself "the Bug Girl."
Publishers Weekly
Canadian fourth grader and social media phenomenon Sophia Spencer shares her first-person story and a guide to her favorite insects. Spencer-s mom supports her early passion for bugs, which begins at a butterfly conservatory, but things change in first grade: -I brought a grasshopper to school. I thought the kids would be so amazed by the grasshopper they-d want to know all about it.... Then they knocked that beautiful grasshopper off my shoulder and stomped on it until it was dead.- After her mother shares Spencer-s story with a few entomologists, it goes viral and supportive messages pour in: -I couldn-t believe how many people around the world loved bugs as much as I did. And how many of them were grown-up women!- McNamara-s skillful text centers Spencer-s voice, while Kerascoët-s loose ink, colored pencil, and watercolor illustrations render winning details with emotional sensitivity (Scott-s mother-s face as she gamely captures a flying roach). Includes Sophia-s Big Book of Bugs-a book-within-a-book presenting -Super-Cool Bug Facts.- Ages 4-8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 Fourth grader Sophia Spencer has always been fascinated with bugs. At first, Sophia's peers championed her joyful obsession, but by first grade, their encouragement turned to derisive cries of "Ew! Gross!" Following a particularly upsetting bullying incident, the young girl "took a break from bugs," prompting her worried mother to contact a group of entomologists. Neither mom nor daughter expected the outpouring of support from the scientific community, along with the birth of a viral hashtag (gsR4Girls) and requests for media appearances. Sophia eventually regained her enthusiasm and was ready to "get the word out that it's okay to love bugs." The book concludes with "Sophia's Big Book of Bugs," a browsable collection of facts and advice for fellow bug fans. Gentle ink and watercolor artwork by illustration team Kerascoët subtly reinforces the book's upbeat tone, especially during the outdoor scenes filled with fresh botanical greens and tiny, delicate insects. While very few children can expect to achieve viral fame, many young readers will appreciate the validation Spencer received. VERDICT Books about real-life kid scientists are rare, and there's always a need for stories about girls and women in STEM. A book that fulfills both needs with charm to spare. Rebecca Honeycutt, NoveList, Durham, NC
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/19)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (1/1/20)
Word Count: 1,132
Reading Level: 3.5
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 508968 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD580L
Guided Reading Level: M
Fountas & Pinnell: M

Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophie tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself. Makes a perfect gift for nature lovers on Earth Day and every day!

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.


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