Reviews and Reports

Dara McAnulty. Diary of a Young Naturalist


  • Hannah Fleming Glasgow University



book review


On the 20th August in 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg sat for the first time outside the Swedish parliament demanding action be taken to tackle the climate crisis. The day before that, 14-year-old Dara McAnulty was walking through Tollymore forest when he came across ‘something discarded but utterly beautiful: a nest’ (118). He describes in his diary how he carried the nest with him, marvelling at the intricacy of the craftsmanship, before reluctantly setting it back down on the forest floor to provide shelter and the possibility of food for a nearby garden cross spider. This entry by McAnulty—a conservationist and environmental activist from Nothern Ireland—appears just over half-way through the book. The first and last diary entries are exactly one year apart, marking the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring, and in McAnulty’s mind, the midway point separating his late childhood from his adulthood.

Author Biography

Hannah Fleming, Glasgow University

Hannah Fleming is an Erasmus Mundus master student studying Children’s Literature, Media and Culture. She is currently working on her master thesis which explores the adaptation of graphic memoirs into audiobooks. This project will discuss how life writing told through the comics medium can be made accessible for children who are visually impaired. Email:





Reviews and Reports