Bugs ARE for girls!

In kindergarten, Sophia Spencer’s love of bugs was a hit with her friends, but things changed when she switched schools in Grade 1. There, kids bullied her because they didn’t think bug hunting was something girls should do; in fact, they went as far as stomping on a grasshopper she brought to school with her one day.

Wanting to encourage her daughter’s passion for bugs, Spencer’s mom Nicole wrote a letter to the Entomological Society of Canada, hoping she could connect her daughter with someone to encourage her interests. However, Spencer’s story took off when scientist Morgan Jackson posted the letter to Twitter, using the hashtag BugsR4Girls. The tweet quickly went viral with more the one thousand retweets and hundreds of responses.

Spencer gained attention and support from the media and entomologists across the country. Not long after the viral tweet, Margaret McNamara reached out to Spencer asking if she would like to collaborate on a book together. Spencer jumped at the chance, and together they came up with a true story, which not only details Spencer’s love of bugs but encourages others to follow their passions and stay true to themselves.

As for what’s next for Spencer? She hopes to one day become an entomologist and study her favourite topic, insects.

After not letting anyone get her down or diminish her passion, 11-year-old Spencer is the proud author of the picture book The Bug Girl.

The true story details how her love of insects has affected her short life in big — and sometimes difficult — ways. She wrote the book with author Margaret McNamara, and it’s just been published by Tundra Books.

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