‘This diary chronicles the turning of my world, from spring to winter, at home, in the wild, in my head.’
Evocative, raw and lyrical, this startling debut explores the natural world through the eyes of Dara McAnulty, an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist.
Shifting from intense darkness to light, recalling his sensory encounters in the wild – with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more – McAnulty reveals worlds we have neglected to see, in a stunning work of nature-writing that is a future classic.
Diary of a Young Naturalist is a powerful and scintillating portrayal of the beauty of the natural world, as it shines a light on autism and of overcoming severe anxiety. It is a story of the binding love of family and home, and how we can help each other through the most difficult of times.
‘Miraculous memoir... profoundly moving’ Observer
‘Dara is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical’ Robert Macfarlane
‘It’s a diary but essentially timeless... It’s really, really special’ Chris Packham
‘Dara captures the essence of why we all spend time in nature. The excitement, the peace, the solace, the escape’ Mya-Rose Craig (AKA Birdgirl)