Review: The Bug Girl by Sophia Spencer

The Bug Girl by Sophia Spencer

The Bug Girl by Sophia Spencer with Margaret McNamara, illustrated by Kerascoet (9780525645931)

This is the true story of a little girl who loves bugs, written by her. She first fell for bugs at two-and-a-half years old when she visited a butterfly conservatory with her mother. She loved books about insects and noticed them everywhere she went. In kindergarten, everyone thought that bugs were cool too. Sophia started a bug hunter club at school and had her own collection of live insects on the porch at home. But in first grade, bugs weren’t cool anymore and the other kids started to call Sophia weird for liking them so much. Sophia was dejected and tried to stop liking bugs, but that didn’t work. So her mother went online and reached out to scientists about their own love of bugs. Stories poured in, supporting Sophia and her passion for insects. Sophia was now making news herself and also got her name on a scientific article, all because of being the bug girl.

Written in Sophia’s own voice, this picture book is entirely engaging. It demonstrates how finding one’s passion in life is a powerful thing, but that the world can also be less than encouraging if you are a girl exploring science and creepy crawlies like insects. The change from kindergarten to first grade is dramatic and impactful, even resulting in one dead bug, killed right in front of Sophia. The end of the book offers an example of the sort of bug book that Sophia would love to write, filled with information on a variety of insects. 

The art is bright and fresh, done in watercolors on white pages. They move from full-page illustrations to smaller ones that capture events in a brisk and friendly way. 

A book about following your bliss, particularly if it’s a trail of ants. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Schwartz & Wade.

News to Wake Your Brain Cells Feb. 14


9 charming facts about E.B. White’s Stuart Little – Mental Floss

13 books for young children that feature protagonists of color – Business Insider

Funny females take center stage in new novels for kids – Publishers Weekly

‘Hair Love’ wins Oscar for Best Animated Short – Publishers Weekly

Planet Omar: Why it’s about time young Muslims saw themselves in children’s literature – The New Arab

Underdogs – Ten books you may have missed in 2019 – ALSC

‘Whitewashing’ Australia and how children’s books are fostering racial bias – WAToday

Who inspired the backstory for ‘The Old Truck’? – MindShift

Why author Jason Reynolds writes for the youngest generation – Essence


ALA takes FY 2021 budget cuts seriously, urges members of Congress to visit libraries – ALA

How I came to love Connecticut’s libraries – Hartford Courant

How public libraries can help close America’s digital privacy divide – Inside Sources

On Wikipedia, a fight is raging over coronavirus disinformation – Wired

Pa. requires libraries in prisons. But not in schools. Why? – Pennsylvania Capital-Star

Technology is changing the way Wisconsin public libraries work – WPR


7 young adult novels to devour if you loved Netflix’s “You” – BuzzFeed

9 diverse YA romance books to enjoy for Valentine’s Day, and year-round – Teen Vogue

10 books with South Asian characters you should read in 2020 – Teen Vogue

LGBTQIAP+ YA books by black authors – YA Pride

My most anticipated YA fantasy and science fiction of 2020 – Stacked

Top new YA books in February 2020 – Den of Geek