Diary of a Young Naturalist, Dara McAnulty


Little Toller, May 2020


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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

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.”

Dara is a young star of the conservation movement, and his first book, assured, mature and sensitive is sure to break the mould of modern “nature writing”, and cause a media stir. Already lined up for many media and festival appearances, and with much interest from publications all around the world, this book will be the break-out title of 2020.

‘Our planet and its wildlife are in a dire state, but if anyone can help save them, Dara can – and he’s bringing our generation along with him.’
Bella Lack

‘We share a mind, a fascination with nature and a forthright desire to make the world a better place for it. I can’t wait to read Dara’s book.’
Chris Packham




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