Reviews

Diary of a Young Naturalist, by Dara McAnulty

flamepea's review against another edition

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hopeful informative inspiring

4.5

Wow, what a passionate and inspiring book. As a passionate young naturalist myself this book elevated my obsession with the natural world and inspired me to take action to pursue my dreams. 

ilovewongkarwai's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5

I loved the first half of this book, it was incredible to read someone so young (and autistic!) talking about the natural world, but at some point it got a little bit repetitive and I found myself feeling like I had already finished reading the whole book (and that's why I took me a long time to actually get to the end). I still enjoyed and appreciated Dara's diary a lot though and I look forward to reading other stuff by him as he gets older.

emilyesears's review against another edition

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hopeful informative reflective slow-paced

4.0

fragrantwoodshavings's review against another edition

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adventurous inspiring medium-paced

4.25

krystina_hird's review

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emotional informative inspiring medium-paced

4.5

veronicazhou's review against another edition

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funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted reflective relaxing medium-paced

4.5

onthesamepage's review against another edition

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informative inspiring reflective slow-paced

4.0

The blackbird was the conductor of my day, every day, for what seemed like a long time. Then it stopped and I thought my world would fall apart.

I can't say reading this has inspired me to start spending more time with my hands in the mud, searching out small bugs, but it was an interesting, beautifully written book, and it did make me do some thinking.

There's a seal with a strange red protrusion in its body: a wound made by plastic, healed over but with whatever the object is still lodged in place. The sight fills me with a solar flare of anger. How can we treat wildlife like this?

The author wrote this when he was 14, and it's a diary of one year out of his life. There are a lot of beautiful descriptions of nature, but I think this book would actually be even better if it contained either illustrations or photographs of the huge variety of birds, plants and animals that get mentioned. If, like me, you like to visualize while reading, you're going to be constantly interrupting yourself to Google what something means or looks like. There are also very frank descriptions of living with autism and how the author deals with that, which brought a very personal element to the book.

I don't think people realise what needs to happen behind the scenes so 'we autistics' can look like we're doing alright. Mostly though, we hold it in, so controlled, until we reach a safe space. Then release the pressure.

One anecdote that really stuck with me is of a mother getting angry at her child for picking up a feather (I think it was a feather anyway, but it might've been a bug) and tossing it away, claiming it's dirty. It made me think about how I would react in that situation, and why we think of nature as "disgusting", even though there's so much majesty and beauty to be found. Then there's the fact that, the Quran also talks a lot about nature and how humans should protect the earth, which means all Muslims should really be naturalists. It definitely made me reflect, which is always a good thing. 

casey_cd's review

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hopeful reflective slow-paced

5.0

topazriver's review against another edition

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emotional informative inspiring reflective

4.5

chloelad's review against another edition

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hopeful informative reflective slow-paced

3.75