Through a child’s eye: Letter by Dara McAnulty, author of Diary of a Young Naturalist

Through a child’s eye: Letter by Dara McAnulty, author of Diary of a Young Naturalist

Dear Better Readers,

As a kid, what power do I have? I can’t vote. I’m too young to go out into the world and have a job which will directly help to make the world a better place, every single day. What can I do, when I see society so disconnected with nature, our life support system? How can I, as a teenager, open their eyes and hearts?

How on earth can I do something BIG as an autistic introvert? I can write! I can use my knowledge and my experiences as a young naturalist totally fascinated by all living things! So that’s what I did. Starting at age 12 and for over three years, I wrote about nature: the wonder, the intricacies. I wrote and people listened. People from every corner of the earth. They asked for more and more….to understand. To see the world, in its diminished state, through a child’s eye. To reconnect. Blogs became a book. So bright and yellow and beautiful. My heart, head and hopes are on each page. Some pages were harder than others, being autistic can be really hard, being bullied can be catastrophic, but there’s always nature. So, always, hope. Seeing and feeling our place in the world connects us with every organism. My deepest hope is that in some way, my book can be the bridge that brings us back. That lures us to really, deeply, fall in love with the living world and every species on it. Lots of people on the other side of the world have read my book and they have cried, laughed…felt heard and yes, they are seeing the world through a different lens.

I really hope, that you will, too. So does my Great Uncle Jim and Auntie Karyl, because they want to see my book on their side of the world. Where so many Irish people made their home and their lives. Maybe they’d like a little piece of my side of the world on their bookshelves. In their libraries.

I have no real expectations, except that the world is cared for and respected and loved. I think Australians need a lot of love right now, because you have witnessed such horrific loss of nature, of life. I hope my book might help in some small way, to give a little hope.

Dara McAnulty (just turned 16)

 

Printable version of this letter here 

Reviews

A year of growth and wonder: Read an extract from Diary of a Young Naturalist

Review | Extract

23 June 2020

A year of growth and wonder: Read an extract from Diary of a Young Naturalist

Hero, conservationist, activist, naturalist: Read a review of Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Review | Our Review

23 June 2020

Hero, conservationist, activist, naturalist: Read a review of Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

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Deep sympathy for the natural world: Notes to help you delve further into Diary of a Young Naturalist

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Publisher details

Diary of a Young Naturalist
Author
Dara McAnulty
Publisher
Text Publishing
Genre
Children’s Non-Fiction
Released
25 May, 2020

Synopsis

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.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 McAnulty
About the author

Dara McAnulty

Dara lives with his mum, dad, brother Lorcan, sister Bláthnaid and rescue greyhound Rosie in County Down, Northern Ireland. Dara’s love for nature, his activism and his honesty about autism, has earned him a huge social media following from across the world and many accolades: in 2017 he was awarded BBC Springwatch ‘Unsprung Hero’ Award and Birdwatch magazine ‘Local Hero’; in 2018 he was awarded ‘Animal Hero’ of the year by the Daily Mirror and became ambassador for RSPCA and the iWill campaign; in 2019 he became a Young Ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute and became the youngest ever recipient of the RSPB Medal for conservation.

Books by Dara McAnulty

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