Reading Diary of a Young Naturalist is to see the seasons through Dara's eyes, all the splendor and magic of the natural world. It is also to see the immense challenges of living as an autistic person and a young person who deeply loves an Earth in crisis. Though it was written by a teenager, this book should be read by all ages; McAnulty's lyricism and profundity belong on the shelf with the likes of Robert Macfarlane, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Nan Shepherd.
— Hannah DeCamp
A BuzzFeed Best Book of June 2021From sixteen-year-old Dara McAnulty, a globally renowned figure in the youth climate activist movement, comes a memoir about loving the natural world and fighting to save it.Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of a year in Dara's Northern Ireland home patch. Beginning in spring--when "the sparrows dig the moss from the guttering and the air is as puffed out as the robin's chest"--these diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are vivid, evocative, and moving. As well as Dara's intense connection to the natural world, Diary of a Young Naturalist captures his perspective as a teenager juggling exams, friendships, and a life of campaigning. We see his close-knit family, the disruptions of moving and changing schools, and the complexities of living with autism. "In writing this book," writes Dara, "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." Winner of the Wainwright Prize for UK nature writing and already sold into more than a dozen territories, Diary of a Young Naturalist is a triumphant debut from an important new voice.