Two preteen girl superheroes struggle with their personal differences and contend with a diabolical geriatric.
In this second episode of the Bug Girl series, aside from training together, seventh-graders Emily (who still has not found her superhero moniker) and Bug Girl/Amanda are far from a happy duo. In school, Emily is obsessed with popularity, while Amanda is way more interested in its entomology club. Amanda is extremely concerned about the creature living in the town’s grotesquely polluted lake, but Emily wants little more than to be queen of the upcoming dance. Amanda’s superpowers, among them flight and a protective exoskeleton, spur Emily’s jealousy, as her abilities are seemingly lackluster. Meanwhile, the school’s passel of upper-echelon girls is dwindling as they begin to disappear. There’s also a new student, Geri, who ups the ante on how to be a mean girl, dishing out fashion-violation tickets and otherwise bullying relentlessly. There’s also something about Geri that makes Amanda’s antennae tingle. Each chapter begins with a quirky bug fact, and the plentiful illustrations are a nod to superhero comics. The key characters appear to be white. Told in the third person primarily from Amanda’s perspective, the hijinks and variety of comical ne’er-do-wells combine to make a case that envy may be the most venomous evil of all.
This entomological adventure celebrates teamwork and girl power. (Adventure. 7-12)