My book review of 'Diary of a Young Naturalist' by Dara McAnulty

Diary of a Young Naturalist

by Dara McAnulty
Recommended age: teen
Diary of a Young Naturalist
by Dara McAnulty

I'm late to this book as it's won numerous awards and glowing recommendations, and has proved a bestseller. Now I can add my endorsement!

It's a beautifully written, intelligent and deeply personal journal by a young man who wants to share with us his love of wildlife and the natural landscape, while he struggles to fit into a world that doesn't always understand him.

Dara McAnulty is a teenager with the usual issues of exams, homework, school rivalries and friendships, but he also has to deal with his family moving house. He has a passion for environmental issues and a desire to make a difference in the climate crisis. And he has autism.

Keeping a diary of all that he sees in the countryside around him throughout the passing seasons helps him to feel grounded and capable of countering the challenges he faces elsewhere in his life.

He writes with careful and affectionate detail about the blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, skylarks, bats, cuckoo flowers, hares and much more.

He also tells us about his warm and loving family and, through sharing with clarity and honesty about the difficulties he faces in everyday social interactions, he opens up the world of autism powerfully and vividly.

It is a tremendous book which offers so much on many different levels.

Review date: October 2021
Publication date: 29th April 2021