• West Cork Literary Festival 2021

Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist wins at the British Book Awards

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Dara McAnulty has won the Nibbie for best Non-Fiction: Narrative book at this year’s British Book Awards for his inspirational book, Diary of a Young Naturalist.

Dara McAnulty is a young autistic naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland. After writing his online blog Naturalist Dara for over three years and writing articles for many UK Wildlife NGOs, he published Diary of a Young Naturalist which also won the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, and was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize – the youngest ever author to do so. Dara has featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Ulster, Springwatch, Countryfile, Homeground, BBC Bitesize, Observer, The Irish Times, the Irish Independent, Positive News and The Big Issue.

Dara is a passionate and fervent campaigner for the natural world and dedicated fundraiser, volunteer and wildlife recorder. He is the youngest ever winner of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for services to conservation and nature. He is also the recipient of 10 Downing Street’s ‘Points of Light’ and the winner of The Daily Mirror Young Animal Hero award. He lives with his family and Rosie the rescue-greyhound at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

About Diary of a Young Naturalist:

Rediscover the natural world with the multi-award winning phenomenon and youngest ever major literary prize winner in UK history.

Evocative, raw and lyrical, this startling debut explores the natural world through the eyes of Dara McAnulty, an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist.

Shifting from intense darkness to light, recalling his sensory encounters in the wild – with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more – McAnulty reveals worlds we have neglected to see, in a stunning world of nature writing that is a future classic.

Diary of a Young Naturalist is a powerful and scintillating portrayal of the beauty of the natural world, as it shines a light on autism and of overcoming severe anxiety. It is a story of the binding love of family and home, and how we can help each other through the most difficult of times.

‘Miraculous memoir . . . profoundly moving’ Observer

‘Dara is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical’ Robert Macfarlane

‘It’s a diary but essentially timeless . . . It’s really, really special’ Chris Packham

WINNER OF: THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING 2020, AN POST IRISH BOOK AWARD FOR NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2020, BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2020; SHORTLISTED FOR: BRITISH BOOK AWARDS 2021, WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 & LONGLISTED FOR: THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2020

‘This diary chronicles the turning of my world, from spring to winter, at home, in the wild, in my head.’

Order your copy online here.

‘Book of the Year’ 2021 British Book Awards

Audiobook

Jay Shetty, Think Like A Monk (HarperCollins Publishers)

Children’s Fiction

Junior MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, The Highland Falcon Thief (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Children’s Illustrated and Nonfiction

David Olusoga, Black and British: A Short, Essential History (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Fiction

Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet (Tinder Press)

Fiction: Crime and Thriller

Robert Galbraith, Troubled Blood (Sphere)

Fiction: Début

Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain (Picador)

Nonfiction: Lifestyle

Caroline Hirons, Skincare (HQ)

Nonfiction: Narrative

Dara McAnulty, Diary of a Young Naturalist (Little Toller)

Pageturner

Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing (Corsair)

Top Author and Illustrator, British Book Awards 2021

Author of the Year

Richard Osman 

Illustrator of the Year

Charlie Mackesy
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