Diary of a Young Naturalist (Hardback)Dara McAnulty (author)
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The teenage star of BBC’s Countryfile and social media sensation, Dara McAnulty opens up about his autism and its interrelation to his love of the natural world, as well as providing fascinating practical advice and knowledge about British wildlife.
Winner of the British Book Awards Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year 2021
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2020
Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020
Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2020
A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
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.
"I was diagnosed with Asperger's/autism aged five ... By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system."
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."
Publisher: Little Toller Books
Number of pages: 224
'His portrait of loving parents raising three neurodivergent children on poetry, punk and puffins is profoundly moving.' - Alex Preston, The Observer
'Rich poeticism courses through the writing that belies his years.' - Hilary A White, Irish Independent
'Like reading William Blake or Ted Hughes, it really is a strange and magical experience...surely one of the most talked about nature books, or any books, this year.' - The Daily Mail
'I adored it.' - Lauren St John
'...the fanfare is wholly justified: this is an astonishingly assured book for one so young.' - Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller (Non-fiction Book of the Month, June 2020)
'This lovely and remarkable book.' - Charlotte Moore, The Spectator
'an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical' - Robert Macfarlane
'Breathtaking.' - Philip Marsden
'McAnulty's writing glows with his deep sympathy for the natural world' - Tim Flannery
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“Beautiful Prose, straight from his heart.”
The love, joy and solace Dara gets from nature, and his family, just shines out from the pages, as does his knowledge of, understanding and empathy with the wildlife he so loves.
This is an exceptional book by any... More
“Book of the Year...so far....”
Astounding debut from this young man. A beguiling mixture of autobiography, nature writing and activism, seen through the eyes of an autistic teenager. Dara's thoughts on all of these are enlightening. But... More
I am reading this book now. There is a great deal to learn here and to empathise with.
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