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Reviewed by:
  • The Bug Girl (a true story) by Sophia Spencer
  • Elizabeth Bush

Spencer, Sophia The Bug Girl (a true story); written by Sophia Spencer with Margaret McNamara; illus. by Kerascoët. Schwartz & Wade, 2020 [38p] Library ed. ISBN 978-0-525-64594-8 $20.99 Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-525-64593-1 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-525-64595-5 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys R 5-9 yrs

A close encounter with butterflies as a two-and-a-half-year-old infected author Sophia Spencer (who has now barely reached her double digits) with bug mania. As she recounts, her advanced knowledge was initially perceived as charming and her enthusiasm contagious; plenty of kindergarteners genuinely shared her delight, and her bug hunter club was as fully respectable as the class karaoke club. But, oh, the misery around the corner in first grade, when what was once cool was now weird, and Sophia felt pressured and isolated enough to retreat from entomological fandom. Mom staged an intervention, though, contacting a scientist for suggestions on others who might pen pal with her bug-loving daughter; emails poured in, particularly from women entomologists, and Sophia's back on track with her career dreams, media appearances, and several new extracurricular pursuits as well. Kerascoët's sensitive watercolors are sweet when appropriate—e.g., when little Sophia's new hobby is on the ascent—and melancholy when they need to be—when bullying kids smash a grasshopper; when Sophia strips her bedroom bare of bug decor. The final section, "Sophia's Big Book of Bugs," serves as both endnotes for information on critters discussed and also as a six-page primer to ignite interest among potential enthusiasts. Whether preaching to a bug-loving choir, promoting respect for others' passions, or investigating a path toward middle-grade fame, this title will satisfy many audiences. [End Page 230]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-6766
Print ISSN
0008-9036
Pages
p. 230
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-20
Open Access
No
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