Entomology is a very fascinating study of Insects. But looks like not many are supportive of this for the very lovely and young, Sophia Spencer. Spencer was seven years old when she was bullied by her peers just because she was completely fascinated by the world of worms and butterflies. But this didn’t let her love for the invertebrates lessen as four years later she published a book on the bugs named ‘The Bug Girl: A true story’.
Sophia first fell in love with insects when she was just two and a half years old while visiting a butterfly conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario. As soon as she walked in there, a blue butterfly perched on her shoulder. And it just went crawling all over her face and didn’t leave she recalled in a CBC interview. From that moment on, she was hooked. Her life revolved around Google for a really long time because if she found a bug outside, she’d want to know about it. At kindergarten, her peers were delighted by her bug knowledge. If they ever found a bug, they would go to Sophia, and ask what that bug was. And as thorough she was, she would usually know what it was.
But that changed in first grade when Sophia’s family moved ten hours away to Eastern Ontario in 2016. The kids at her new school called her “weird” and one classmate even broke her butterfly net while another stomped on her favorite bug, a grasshopper when she brought it in for show and tell. She then started to pack up all my bug stuff and all her bug nets. She then let go of all the bugs that were at home. This made her feel really upset, sad, and beat down.
Nicole didn’t want to see Sophia give up her love of bugs due to bullying so she emailed the Entomological Society of Canada (ESC) for advice. In that letter, she wrote all about how at a loss she felt on how to encourage her daughter in this field of science. She just needed to know from an expert that she is not weird or strange (what kids call her) for loving bugs and insects. In response, the ESC sent out a tweet to its community stating that a young girl who loves insects is being bullied and needs their support. Thousands of people around the world — from fellow bug-loving girls to female entomologists — responded using the hashtag #BugsR4Girls to reassure Sophia that there were plenty of insect fans just like her out there.
When she had an opportunity recently to share her story as a picture book, she was thrilled. Sophia wrote The Bug Girl with the help of writer Margaret McNamara, the author of The Dinosaur Expert, a fictional story about a girl being questioned about her love of paleontology. Kerascoët, an illustrator team made up of a wife and husband, provided the artwork, which captures the beauty of Sophia’s bugs and her love of the outdoor world.
In an interview, McNamara said that she believes Sophia’s story can give girls “a tremendous boost, and belief in themselves, and a sense that they can have their own likes and their own personality and it can lead to great things. For her part, Sophia knows that insects will continue to be a big part of her life and quotes that she will definitely, definitely, definitely want to study bugs when she grows up.