Diary of a Young Naturalist

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

WINNER OF THE 2020 WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING
WINNER OF THE AN POST IRISH POST AWARD FOR NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2020
WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2020
SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2020

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 startling and special book vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist.

In a work of power and hope, Dara recalls his sensory encounters in the wild – with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more – while drawing a moving portrait of a young activist dealing with change, and a family making their way in the world.

‘Really, really special’ CHRIS PACKHAM

‘An extraordinary voice and vision’ ROBERT MACFARLANE

‘One of the most talented and passionate writers of our era’ STEVE SILBERMAN

© Dara McAnulty 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Critics Review

  • 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.

    Robert Macfarlane
  • It’s a diary but essentially timeless. It’s about enduring, it’s about passion, beauty and connection. It’s really, really special.

    Chris Packham
  • Dara is only 16 and autistic, and is already on his way to becoming one of the most talented and passionate writers of our era.

    Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes
  • Feeling illuminates every page of this miraculous memoir … His portrait of loving parents raising three neurodivergent children on poetry, punk and puffins is profoundly movingintimate, sensitive, deeply felt

    Observer
  • 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

    Daily Mail

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