Diary of a Young Naturalist: Powerful, lyrical and wise observations

Book review: Dara McAnulty’s passion for the natural world has allowed him to navigate life as a neurodivergent person who has been subjected to serious bullying

Dara McAnulty has written a wise, lyrical and well-researched book about his passion for nature.

Dara McAnulty has written a wise, lyrical and well-researched book about his passion for nature.

There are plenty of things for an author to worry about in the run-up to a book launch. But who would have imagined a global shutdown the scale of which means that not only are launches and readings cancelled, but that bookshops and even distributors would be closed down? Even worse if this is you first book. And worse still if, like Dara McAnulty, author of the Diary of a Young Naturalist, you have just turned 16. And yet his is a book which should transcend the current crisis.

McAnulty was born in 2004 in Northern Ireland. At the age of five he was diagnosed with autism, a spectrum condition he shares with his mother and both of his younger siblings. One of the virtues of the diary is the insights that it provides to autistic mindsets, and behaviours such as “stimming”.

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