An 11-year-old girl who had been bullied for her love of bugs has become a published author!
Sophia Spencer has left the haters behind and is now inspiring others with her book The Bug Girl.
When Sophia was just two years old she went on a family trip to the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory and that is where her passion for bugs began. The youngster told Canada television show Your Morning of when a blue butterfly landed on her shoulder:
“A blue butterfly landed on my shoulder and it didn’t leave. It was there for the entire trip and when we were leaving the guard had to take it off of my shoulder,” she said.
When she was at school in grade 1, Sophia was bullied for bringing a grasshopper to school. Not only was she teased, her schoolmates killed the bug by stamping on it in front of her.
Sophia’s mother, Nicole Spencer, wrote to the Entomologist Society of Canada (ESC) to invite an entomologist to speak to Sophia and encourage her interest. Scientist Morgan Jackson posted the letter to Twitter, using the hashtag BugsR4Girls and sought after entomologists who would connect with Sophia. The tweet went viral with more the one thousand retweets and hundreds of responses.
The young bug fan had gained a lot of attention and support from news papers and entomologists across the country. Sophia and her mother decided to write a children’s book to encourage others to pursue their dreams.
“You can follow your passion too, you don’t have to give up,” Sophia said, noting that she hopes to become an entomologist and one day study grasshoppers, her favourite bug.
In 2017, entomologist Morgan Jackson and Sophia published a journal article in the scientific journal of Entomological Society of America about Spencer’s story and the effects social media has on entomology.