Diary of a Young Naturalist, Dara McAnulty

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"This book plots a course of 12 months – from one Spring Equinox to the next - over which the author turns 15 years of age and moves East from Co. Fermanagh to Co. Down. It details his often ecstatic, immersive engagement with the natural world. McAnulty’s sharing of his joy and knowledge is instructive and deeply moving, as is his account of his family and their love for one another. McAnulty is autistic and has said that expressing himself in everyday conversation can be difficult, but ‘writing gives me freedom to truly be my best self.’ His vital, passionate voice is a gift to everyone who reads this book which is a manual for attentiveness, feeling and appreciation of the variousness of the world and the plants, animals and humans we coexist with."- Nominated by Lisa Godson

Winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of Dara McAnulty's world, from spring to summer, autumn to winter, on his home patch, at school, in the wild and in his head. Evocative, raw and beautifully written, this very special book vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager juggling homework, exams and friendships alongside his life as a conservationist and environmental activist. With a sense of awe and wonder, Dara describes in meticulous detail encounters in his garden and the wild, with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, skylarks, bats, cuckoo flowers, Irish hares and many more species. The power and warmth of his words also draw an affectionate and moving portrait of a close-knit family making their way in the world.

224 pp. | 154 x 231 mm
ISBN: 9781908213792
Publisher: Little Toller Books