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Diary of a Young Naturalist

Diary of a Young Naturalist

Dara McAnulty

  • awardWinner, Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, United Kingdom, 2020
  • awardWinner, Non-Fiction, Books Are My Bag Reader's Award, United Kingdom, 2020
  • awardWinner, Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year, Irish Book Awards, Ireland, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, United Kingdom, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Waterstones Book of the Year Award, United Kingdom, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Narrative Non-fiction, British Book Awards, United Kingdom, 2021
  • Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling.

    Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. ‘In writing this book,’ Dara explains, ‘I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.’


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    Dara McAnulty
    About the Author

    Dara lives with his mum, dad, brother Lorcan, sister Bláthnaid and rescue greyhound Rosie in County Down, Northern Ireland. Dara’s love for nature, his activism and his honesty about autism, has earned him a huge social media following from across the world and many accolades: in 2017 he was awarded BBC Springwatch ‘Unsprung Hero’ Award and...

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    Text publication date:
    3 August 2021
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    Praise for Dara McAnulty
    andDiary of a Young Naturalist

    ‘McAnulty’s writing glows with his deep sympathy for the natural world.’

    ‘Dara’s is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical, strong enough to have made him heard and admired from a young age.’

    ‘We share a mind, a fascination with nature and a forthright desire to make the world a better place for it. I can’t wait to read Dara’s book.’

    ‘Our planet and its wildlife are in a dire state, but if anyone can help save them, Dara can - and he’s bringing our generation along with him.’

    ‘A joyous celebration of beauty and wonder. McAnulty’s powerful connection with the natural world is both inspiration and rallying cry.’

    Diary of a Young Naturalist is a special book indeed. Candid, beautifully written and astonishingly mature for one so young, it vividly conveys its author’s intense connection to the natural world.’

    ‘Wise, lyrical and well-researched…reading this marvellous diary leaves me with the impression that whatever the future holds, with young people like McAnulty coming to the fore it will be in safer hands.’

    ‘Captivating…[Dara McAnulty’s] diary covers everyday events under the panoply of the eternal natural world…a brilliant achievement.’

    ‘The depth of [McAnulty’s] feeling illuminates every page of this miraculous memoir.’

    ‘An impassioned and original plea for protection for ‘our delicate and changing biosphere’…[a] lovely and remarkable book.‘

    Diary of a Young Naturalist is not only one of the finest pieces of modern nature writing produced on this island in recent years, McAnulty is one of our best young writers in any genre…This memoir is a shimmering, tactile thing that is almost as notable for what it says about the human world as the wild.’

    ‘[Dara McAnulty] weaves magic through his stories.‘

    ‘McAnulty is an extraordinary writer, and every page of this book thrums with life and feeling, every paragraph seems like some bud coming into eloquent flower.’

    ‘I was drawn in from the first page; the descriptive language is so beautiful, and the feelings that are expressed will resonate with anyone who longs for a better connection with the natural world, and a better response to climate change.’

    ‘A torrent of pure, unmediated fervour—think the poetry of Dylan Thomas in prose form…This is writing at its wild and unruly best; McAnulty’s prose is shot through with the imagination of a poet.’

    ‘Extraordinarily beautiful…If you love nature writing, then you must get your hands on this delightful book.’

    Diary of a Young Naturalist is a field guide for anyone, young or old, and no matter where they live, wanting to explore the natural world and their relationship with it.‘

    ‘Gifted Irish teen Dara McAnulty has written an exceptional memoir…his work is unforgettable, honest and uplifting…Diary of a Young Naturalist is distinguished by its lovely writing, strong, unique voice and rich sensory insights. It is a memorable, inspiring and powerful book that proposes a vision for the world.’

    ‘[Dara McAnulty] shows just how engaged with nature a young person can be…It would be easy to fall into praising him for the maturity of his writing beyond his youthfulness, but he is simply a fine observer of nature generally…[H]is book is also a lesson in observing on a small scale.’

    ‘McAnulty writes with great beauty and restraint about bats, buzzards blackberries, and evokes the intensity of a teenager’s life with autism and paints an intimate portrait of his family, who are “as close as otters”.’

    ‘Nature is McAnulty’s solace. Noticing is his method. Writing is his gift. This is a coming-of-age book with a difference…McAnulty’s pain is exquisite, yet it is written freshly, in ways that lift the spirit. The language is powerful, even uncanny at times.’

    ‘[McAnulty’s] writing seems to explode from the intensity of his observation and readers can find themselves effortlessly transported to the places and fauna he recalls and describes with such precision, poetry and delight…Diary of a Young Naturalist is a joyous and wonderful book that should find its way into many classrooms and the hearts of students.’

    ‘Just extraordinary.’

    Other editions ofDiary of a Young Naturalist
    • Diary of a Young Naturalist
      ISBN: 9781925923445
      25 May 2020
      Buy ebook
    • Diary of a Young Naturalist
      ISBN: 9781922330000
      25 May 2020