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Birdgirl: A Young Environmentalist Looks to the Skies in Search of a Better Future

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'Birdwatching has never felt like a hobby, or a pastime I can pick up and put down, but a thread running through the pattern of my life, so tightly woven in that there's no way of pulling it free and leaving the rest of my life intact.' Meet Mya-Rose - otherwise known as 'Birdgirl'. Birder, environmentalist, diversity activist. To date she has seen over five thousand differ 'Birdwatching has never felt like a hobby, or a pastime I can pick up and put down, but a thread running through the pattern of my life, so tightly woven in that there's no way of pulling it free and leaving the rest of my life intact.' Meet Mya-Rose - otherwise known as 'Birdgirl'. Birder, environmentalist, diversity activist. To date she has seen over five thousand different types of bird: half the world's species. Every single bird a treasure. Each sighting a small step in her family journey - a collective moment of joy and stillness amidst her mother's deepening mental health crisis. And each helping her to find her voice. Since she was young, she has visited every continent to pursue her passion, seeing first-hand the inequality and reckless destruction we are inflicting on our fragile planet. And the simple, mindful act of looking for birds has made her ever-more determined to campaign for all our survival. This is her story; a journey defined by her love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies. One of the most anticipated memoirs of 2022, Birdgirl is the perfect read for fans of H is for Hawk, Diary of a Young Naturalist, and any young or aspiring environmentalists.


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'Birdwatching has never felt like a hobby, or a pastime I can pick up and put down, but a thread running through the pattern of my life, so tightly woven in that there's no way of pulling it free and leaving the rest of my life intact.' Meet Mya-Rose - otherwise known as 'Birdgirl'. Birder, environmentalist, diversity activist. To date she has seen over five thousand differ 'Birdwatching has never felt like a hobby, or a pastime I can pick up and put down, but a thread running through the pattern of my life, so tightly woven in that there's no way of pulling it free and leaving the rest of my life intact.' Meet Mya-Rose - otherwise known as 'Birdgirl'. Birder, environmentalist, diversity activist. To date she has seen over five thousand different types of bird: half the world's species. Every single bird a treasure. Each sighting a small step in her family journey - a collective moment of joy and stillness amidst her mother's deepening mental health crisis. And each helping her to find her voice. Since she was young, she has visited every continent to pursue her passion, seeing first-hand the inequality and reckless destruction we are inflicting on our fragile planet. And the simple, mindful act of looking for birds has made her ever-more determined to campaign for all our survival. This is her story; a journey defined by her love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies. One of the most anticipated memoirs of 2022, Birdgirl is the perfect read for fans of H is for Hawk, Diary of a Young Naturalist, and any young or aspiring environmentalists.

30 review for Birdgirl: A Young Environmentalist Looks to the Skies in Search of a Better Future

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jemima Pett

    I find it strange that, when so much of Birdgirl is concerned with how to include people outside the dominant ‘white male’ domain of both extreme bird-watching and environmentalism, that the blurb makes no mention of Mya-Rose’s Bangladeshi heritage, because she certainly does! With ‘diversity’ being a ‘big issue’ it’s good to know that people like Mya are welcomed by nature organisations. But it is down to Mya herself that they realised they actually have to change to involve people of different I find it strange that, when so much of Birdgirl is concerned with how to include people outside the dominant ‘white male’ domain of both extreme bird-watching and environmentalism, that the blurb makes no mention of Mya-Rose’s Bangladeshi heritage, because she certainly does! With ‘diversity’ being a ‘big issue’ it’s good to know that people like Mya are welcomed by nature organisations. But it is down to Mya herself that they realised they actually have to change to involve people of different cultural backgrounds. Mya herself uses VME – visual minority ethnic – as a catch-all term, eschewing BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) as she feels it segments the problem incorrectly. Like Mya-Rose, birdwatching has always felt part of me. But not like Mya’s family does it! I know people who go everywhere in search of the next bird, who drop everything to see a rarity arrived on a British rock, but that’s not me. You don’t have to be a twitcher to enjoy this book. But it does open your eyes to the immense variety of our avian wildlife, and the threats they are under because of demands on their habitats. Her description of Rwanda is particularly vivid. I was astounded and enthralled by Mya’s activity and devotion to the cause. Admittedly she was enabled to do some of her community awareness-raising by several dynamic aunties and her parents, but it was her own ideas and passion that got people involved in climate change and wildlife action. All this while trying to keep a low profile among her schoolmates! The third strand of this extraordinary memoir is the relationship with her parents, and especially the struggle with her mother’s mental health. Eventually diagnosed as bipolar, Mum’s swings from mania to depression sound horrific, as they undoubtedly were. Birds, and birding, came to the rescue. I already know that when I’m birdwatching, I don’t think of anything else. For this family, going birding – twitching- brought them closer together, dropping all the other stresses apart from how to get the next bird on their list. The British Trust for Ornithology knows how important birds are to our mental health, and encouraged many new people to become birders during lockdown, watching and noting the birds from their windows. I hope more young people, and especially those with a VME background, find connecting with birds and their local wildlife an enjoyable and healing experience, as a result of reading Mya-Rose’s book – or her blog, Birdgirl. I’m not sure that many readers will enjoy the frenetic chase from country to country after different birds, but I did. The scope of Mya-Rose’s attention to the environmental problems she found and the insight into the role of indigenous people in solving climate change prompted me to give this five stars. She’s inspirational.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Margot McCuaig

    Absolutely breathtaking. I read this book in a day. I found it incredibly engaging, powerful, empowering and beautiful. A story of birds, nature, adversity, racial inequality and climate catastrophe, it is also a story of hope and love; the love of a family enduring crisis as they each deal with the impact of mental illness. It is astonishing that Mya-Rose has achieved so much at such a young age but it is her youth that is so inspiring. We need to listen to voices like hers and work alongside p Absolutely breathtaking. I read this book in a day. I found it incredibly engaging, powerful, empowering and beautiful. A story of birds, nature, adversity, racial inequality and climate catastrophe, it is also a story of hope and love; the love of a family enduring crisis as they each deal with the impact of mental illness. It is astonishing that Mya-Rose has achieved so much at such a young age but it is her youth that is so inspiring. We need to listen to voices like hers and work alongside passionate young activists as they fight to save the planet, people, birds and environment that we all share. I urge you to read this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This is a beautifully written memoir about a girls love of birds and her family and how their shared passion for birds and twitching brings them together. Since starting it I have found myself stopping and looking up to the skies more and love Maya’s words in the epilogue which are lessons for nudging but life more generally which encourage us all to stop, listen and be patient. Mya’s work around challenging inclusivity and access in nature spaces and groups is also a timely reminder that more n This is a beautifully written memoir about a girls love of birds and her family and how their shared passion for birds and twitching brings them together. Since starting it I have found myself stopping and looking up to the skies more and love Maya’s words in the epilogue which are lessons for nudging but life more generally which encourage us all to stop, listen and be patient. Mya’s work around challenging inclusivity and access in nature spaces and groups is also a timely reminder that more needs to be done.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Reader

    Before reading Mya-Rose Craig’s excellent ‘Birdgirl’ book I had the impression that her young life was simply dominated by numbers be it the thousands of birds sighted or the numbers of countries and continents visited. If that had been the case, she would remain a footnote in birding annuals simply for these feats. Now I know there is far more depth to her story. ‘Birdgirl' is both courageous and entertaining. She has shown great courage in opening up about the illness her mother suffers from an Before reading Mya-Rose Craig’s excellent ‘Birdgirl’ book I had the impression that her young life was simply dominated by numbers be it the thousands of birds sighted or the numbers of countries and continents visited. If that had been the case, she would remain a footnote in birding annuals simply for these feats. Now I know there is far more depth to her story. ‘Birdgirl' is both courageous and entertaining. She has shown great courage in opening up about the illness her mother suffers from and the affects it has had on the family. This illness and the families utter love of birds and wildlife in general are intertwined and central to the book's narrative. Her courage continues when it comes to voicing her concerns and convictions on a number of subjects. On top of this she has taken positive action to tackle a number of the issues raised in the book. I learnt so much about birds encountered, like the Harpy Eagle which appears on the book’s cover, that I have never heard of let alone seen. Even the first bird covered at length, the Golden Pheasant sounds like a mythical bird plucked from the pages of a Harry Potter book or, maybe ‘Lord of the Rings’. The Albatross is a better-known bird but beforehand I knew little about it as a living species. The many wonderful stories, e.g., visiting Bolivia and combating altitude sickness and camping on the Antarctic, leap of the page. Mya-Rose has travelled ‘far and wide’ but she also writes engagingly about her ‘local patch’ around the north Somerset Chew Lake and with huge respect when it comes to her fellow bird ringers at the Chew Lake Ringing Station. During Mya-Rose’s first twenty years she has suffered more than her share of mental bruises but overall, this is a life that so far has been extremely well lived. I never thought Dara McAnulty’s ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist would be matched. That is not the case now. What next Mya-Rose? Andrew Harrison

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I really enjoyed this book. I am a wildlife enthusiast and human being with concern for our planet and all its occupants. Mya’s knowledge and enthusiasm for birding shine through and I learned a great deal. The book is also a very personal memoir of experiences growing up in a family challenged by mental illness . This is most moving and at times a challenging read. A well written and beautifully illustrated book that touched on many other issues. I look forward to much more from the author especi I really enjoyed this book. I am a wildlife enthusiast and human being with concern for our planet and all its occupants. Mya’s knowledge and enthusiasm for birding shine through and I learned a great deal. The book is also a very personal memoir of experiences growing up in a family challenged by mental illness . This is most moving and at times a challenging read. A well written and beautifully illustrated book that touched on many other issues. I look forward to much more from the author especially further writing on engagement especially of VME youth. Thanks Mya

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Sheasby

    An amazing book! I found it so engaging. Mya's descriptions of birds read like poetry. I learnt a lot about the climate, racial inequality, mental health and, of course, birds! A fantastic read, I would really recommend this to any nature lover. An amazing book! I found it so engaging. Mya's descriptions of birds read like poetry. I learnt a lot about the climate, racial inequality, mental health and, of course, birds! A fantastic read, I would really recommend this to any nature lover.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carole Tyrrell

    I had never heard of Dr Mya-Rose Craig prior to reading this book and, after reading it, I wondered how I had managed to miss her and her contribution to climate change forums and nature writing. A young environmentalist, still aged only 20, she initially began with a blog chronicling her bird watching adventures with her parents called appropriately enough ‘Birdgirl’. It began to have a reach beyond birdwatching and soon she was working with Chris Packham and Greta Thunberg on the urgent issues I had never heard of Dr Mya-Rose Craig prior to reading this book and, after reading it, I wondered how I had managed to miss her and her contribution to climate change forums and nature writing. A young environmentalist, still aged only 20, she initially began with a blog chronicling her bird watching adventures with her parents called appropriately enough ‘Birdgirl’. It began to have a reach beyond birdwatching and soon she was working with Chris Packham and Greta Thunberg on the urgent issues of climate change and deforestation. The author is from a Bangladeshi background, referred to as Bangla in the book, and her mother was often the only Bangla woman within local birdwatching circles So there was a family introduction to the largely white, male dominated perceived image of birdwatching. Dr Craig became a birdwatcher from only a few days old, as she puts it, as she accompanied her parents on their own birdwatching exploits. Dr Craig discusses the competitive nature of birdwatching; the determination and almost obsession to travel, often long distances, to see a particular bird, and to able to cross it off her list. ‘Twitching’ is apparently British obsession. I consider myself a very amateur birdwatcher, compared to Dr Craig but, as a photographer, I do like to be identify a bird. She and her parents have explored 7 continents and over 40 countries in their search for birds and their targets. I was surprised to learn that there are species of birds that can only survive in one particular habitat – if it goes then they go too. I felt that there was an element of stamp collecting in Mya ticking off species that she had seen from her list but that isn’t meant as a criticism. The book also discusses other important issues such as her mother’s bi-polar mental health condition and how being involved with bird watching and nature in general calms her and allows her to feel part of the world. Although Mya and her father have to keep an eye on her to be alert for the triggers. Like them, I have found that nature can often take you out of yourself. I felt that at times, the birds names did read like a list but the vivid and vibrant descriptions of nature, told in the first person, far outweighed this. The description of the Standard Wing’s mating dance was particularly memorable as was the description of Magellanic Penguins as ‘oversized humbugs’. Conservation initiatives, such as ecotourism amongst indigenous people as an alternative to say, cash payments for logging, were also touched upon and how they can support and empower these communities. The author also seeks to bring diversity into birdwatching by attracting more VME, or Visibly Majority Ethnic, people into the pastime. As she says in the narrative, ‘they may not want to take part, but they should have the opportunity’. However, there is another side to her work with birds and nature. As the blog, ‘Birdgirl’ takes off and its audience grows, she is faced with ‘aggressive teasing’ at her secondary school and I sympathised with her self consciousness as a teenager. This is often the time when you don’t want to stand out from your peers. She also has to deal with online trolls and the split between her everyday life and friends and her increasing recognition as an eco-activist. You may well be addressing political leaders and organisations and organising conferences but you still have homework and chores to do. An important book in its desire and success in bringing several strands together through her love of birdwatching. I also enjoyed the colourful illustrations of birds that featured in the chapter. I had one quibble in that my Kindle edition kept missing letter sand figures from word and sentences which at times meant that I would have to stop and really concentrate on what I was reading. After finishing the book, I was left with the uncomfortable impression that, if Dr Craig decides to have children and they follow in the family tradition then they may never see some of the birds that she has seen which is a very sobering thought. It could have become a worthy book but due to the quality of Dr Craig’s writing and descriptions, it became a lively book chronicling her encounters with birds. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    There is no doubt about it: British-Bangladeshi Dr Mya-Rose Craig, D.Sc. h.c. is an amazing young woman. She was born in 2002 to birders Chris and Helena Craig in a Somerset village and attended Chew Valley School near Bristol. Now 20 years old she is studying Human, Social and Political Sciences at St John's College, Cambridge. Her mother and father are both ardent birders and Mya-Rose was enchanted by their passion for bird spotting. The family used every possible opportunity to travel both in There is no doubt about it: British-Bangladeshi Dr Mya-Rose Craig, D.Sc. h.c. is an amazing young woman. She was born in 2002 to birders Chris and Helena Craig in a Somerset village and attended Chew Valley School near Bristol. Now 20 years old she is studying Human, Social and Political Sciences at St John's College, Cambridge. Her mother and father are both ardent birders and Mya-Rose was enchanted by their passion for bird spotting. The family used every possible opportunity to travel both in the UK and further afield, in pursuit of their passion. At the age of 11 Mya-Rose started her own bird blog and rose to fame as Birdgirl. Their holidays often included the hiring of a local guide especially when they travelled abroad. Their target birds were decided ahead of their travels, so by the age of 17, Mya has personally witnessed more than half of the world’s bird species and earned the accolade of becoming the youngest ever person to do so. When she was 13 years old she had also visited all 7 continents, giving her a fine understanding of conservation and the needs of indigenous peoples. Not only an authority on birds, Mya-Rose Craig had seen first-hand global inequality and this encouraged her to become a race activist and an environmentalist, campaigning for equal access to nature, to stop climate change and biodiversity loss and ensure Global Climate stability. To me these facts show a maturity beyond her age and a certain confidence that we must act now before it is too late. She has met Chris Packham, Bill Oddie, Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg through her campaigning. She believes each of us has a duty of care for our world and we must accept this responsibility so that in the future those who come after us can share the wonder of our beautiful world and look around us or up into the sky to marvel at the beauty of the natural world. ‘Birdgirl’ is an interesting and authoritative biography and follows a first foray into writing, a 64 page debut called ‘We Have a Dream’ published on 5th August 2021. I am interested in birds and enjoy finding birds that I have never seen before. I loved her comprehensive and lyrical descriptions of the new birds she saw in the seven different continents, birds I will never see myself. She was patient, driven and very talented. Hers was a labour of love and I shared her joy. I received a copy of this biography through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Vintage Digital in return for an honest review. Thank you most sincerely for my copy. I recommend it as an informative and lovely read for bird or nature lovers and those of us who want to find out more about our world and how we can help to save it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steven THOMAS

    While reading this book I’ve been constantly reminded of many similarities with Delia Owens’ wonderful story ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’. These books have a young girl as the main character. Mya and Kya both have a deep love of wildlife, especially birds. These girls have mothers who they love unconditionally but who also cause them grief. They don’t get on at school and prefer to be out in the natural world. They are both passionate conservationists. They both feel empathy towards non-white people While reading this book I’ve been constantly reminded of many similarities with Delia Owens’ wonderful story ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’. These books have a young girl as the main character. Mya and Kya both have a deep love of wildlife, especially birds. These girls have mothers who they love unconditionally but who also cause them grief. They don’t get on at school and prefer to be out in the natural world. They are both passionate conservationists. They both feel empathy towards non-white people. Mya and Kya both become published, successful authors at a young age. I recently watched the Crawdads film which features beautiful bird illustrations. Similar images also grace the start of each chapter of Birdgirl. Okay, so Mya’s dad is not violent to Mya’s mum, who did not desert the family. Kya had not left her village while Mya had been to all Continents on the planet. The story of Birdgirl does not revolve around an unexplained death ….. although its not hard to imagine a certain someone could have fallen to a premature end on a steep mountainside in an exotic, remote location ……. I’m not likely to ever visit the North Carolina Marshlands or any of the wonderful locations Mya-Rose describes so well in Birdgirl. However, because of these wonderful books I can sit in my chair with a cup of tea and escape from the frightening issues that surround us in today’s world to places of almost unimaginable-to-me beauty. And for that I thank Mya-Rose and Helena and Chris ….. and Delia (do they know each other, I wonder?) Also, Birdgirl is just Chapter 1 of Mya-Rose’s story. I’m looking forward to what comes next. Oh, and being out in nature is good for mental health .... well, we all know that, don't we?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mr Joseph

    Really enjoyed this. I'm ashamed to say that going in I thought it may end up having an element of privilege to it. A girl who at a young age managed to travel all round the world to see half the birds in the world? That sounds like the domain of the rich. But I read every nature book going so I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. I'm very glad I was wrong. The circumstances as to why and how the family did this were so connected to to the issues they faced and their struggles to find ways to get Really enjoyed this. I'm ashamed to say that going in I thought it may end up having an element of privilege to it. A girl who at a young age managed to travel all round the world to see half the birds in the world? That sounds like the domain of the rich. But I read every nature book going so I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. I'm very glad I was wrong. The circumstances as to why and how the family did this were so connected to to the issues they faced and their struggles to find ways to get through, it's extremely poignant. I found myself relating to it through being close to similar mental health troubles in my own past, and it really hit home that they used nature, the thing I care about more than anything, to try to get through these troubles. Safe to say it's also great for any bird lover which I very much did expect, Mya is fantastic at conveying her love and adoration for our feathered friends. Finally it touches on some issues faced by birding and conservation as a whole. Mya is a fantastic case study for how wildlife and nature could be something we all enjoy, if it wasn't for the societal and cultural barriers that we've erected for no understandable reason. It is utterly beyond me that we bring prejudice of seemingly all kinds into the study and enjoyment of the outdoors and the natural world. Surely if there's one thing that shouldn't be affected by this kind of discrimination it's the study of organisms that don't even possess the concept. How can we expect to protect the natural world if only some of us are allowed to love it? The book starts to ask these questions. Mya's activism is just getting started, and this book acts almost as a manifesto for the positive force she is on her way to becoming.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Lostinagoodbookgirl

    Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for my free e-copy. This was such a different type of book that I would normally read that at the start when I realised this was a memoir rather than a fiction book I almost thought about not starting....but I am so glad that I did. I really loved Mya as a narrator and in fact it did tell a story of her and her families lives from a young age when she started birdwatching and a hobby turned into a full time passion and led to lots of amazing and exciting o Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for my free e-copy. This was such a different type of book that I would normally read that at the start when I realised this was a memoir rather than a fiction book I almost thought about not starting....but I am so glad that I did. I really loved Mya as a narrator and in fact it did tell a story of her and her families lives from a young age when she started birdwatching and a hobby turned into a full time passion and led to lots of amazing and exciting opportunities for her at such a young age. My Dad is and always has been a keen birdwatcher and some moments really resonated with me, he is always driving way too slow with his eyes in the sky instead of the road! The book was also very descriptive and I loved the nature and forests and jungles that she got to travel through to see these incredible and sometimes rare birds. Mental health is also spoken a lot through out the book as her mum has struggled to manage sometimes through her lives and the trips away and focus on birds really seems to help them and keep them going as a family. I loved how many countries and continents they travel through and it keeps the book exciting, I really enjoyed reading this and will recommend to others.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Reader

    Before reading Mya-Rose Craig’s excellent ‘Birdgirl’ book I had the impression that her young life was simply dominated by numbers be it the thousands of birds sighted or the numbers of countries and continents visited. If that had been the case, she would remain a footnote in birding annuals simply for these feats. Now I know there is far more depth to her story. ‘Birdgirl' is both courageous and entertaining. She has shown great courage in opening up about the illness her mother suffers from an Before reading Mya-Rose Craig’s excellent ‘Birdgirl’ book I had the impression that her young life was simply dominated by numbers be it the thousands of birds sighted or the numbers of countries and continents visited. If that had been the case, she would remain a footnote in birding annuals simply for these feats. Now I know there is far more depth to her story. ‘Birdgirl' is both courageous and entertaining. She has shown great courage in opening up about the illness her mother suffers from and the affects it has had on the family. This illness and the families utter love of birds and wildlife in general are intertwined and central to the book's narrative. Her courage continues when it comes to voicing her concerns and convictions on a number of subjects. On top of this she has taken positive action to tackle a number of the issues raised in the book. I learnt so much about birds encountered, like the Harpy Eagle which appears on the book’s cover, that I have never heard of let alone seen. Even the first bird covered at length, the Golden Pheasant sounds like a mythical bird plucked from the pages of a Harry Potter book or, maybe ‘Lord of the Rings’. The Albatross is a better-known bird but beforehand I knew little about it as a living species. The many wonderful stories, e.g., visiting Bolivia and combating altitude sickness and camping on the Antarctic, leap of the page. Mya-Rose has travelled ‘far and wide’ but she also writes engagingly about her ‘local patch’ around the north Somerset Chew Lake and with huge respect when it comes to her fellow bird ringers at the Chew Lake Ringing Station. During Mya-Rose’s first twenty years she has suffered more than her share of mental bruises but overall, this is a life that so far has been extremely well lived. I never thought Dara McAnulty’s ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist would be matched. That is not the case now. What next Mya-Rose? Andrew Harrison

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    3.5 Stars When I was given the opportunity to read this book I had great expectations. The book's subject was fascinating, but I found the narrative, not to my taste in some places. At times, it was written as more of a list than descriptive prose. I also hope the published book has photos of the birds described because I spent a lot of time looking up the avian subjects observed on the internet, which detracted from the flow of the text.   Mya-Rose Craig is a young environmentalist with a great f 3.5 Stars When I was given the opportunity to read this book I had great expectations. The book's subject was fascinating, but I found the narrative, not to my taste in some places. At times, it was written as more of a list than descriptive prose. I also hope the published book has photos of the birds described because I spent a lot of time looking up the avian subjects observed on the internet, which detracted from the flow of the text.   Mya-Rose Craig is a young environmentalist with a great future ahead of her. She has overcome many difficulties and challenges in her life so far, which she describes, with compassion in her text and I applaud her for her tenacity and empathy. This book has a lot going for it and as a first work is laudable.  I am sure Mya-Rose Craig has a great future and her voice will grow into a force within the environmental movement. #Birdgirl #Netgalley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kaye Fraser

    There is much to admire and enjoy in this well written, passionate account of a life in birding. Mya-Rose’s passion shines through from when she was first old enough to recognise birds, and has continued as she develops into a thoughtful and intelligent young woman. Whilst her passion for birds and conservation in general continues undimmed, the list format in the book of her search to spot as many of the world’s bird species as possible became a little off putting at times. Her life story is to There is much to admire and enjoy in this well written, passionate account of a life in birding. Mya-Rose’s passion shines through from when she was first old enough to recognise birds, and has continued as she develops into a thoughtful and intelligent young woman. Whilst her passion for birds and conservation in general continues undimmed, the list format in the book of her search to spot as many of the world’s bird species as possible became a little off putting at times. Her life story is told with insight and compassion and she comes over as a woman with a great future ahead of her, in both her writing and her passion for birds and conservation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anya Keiller

    I liked her activism talk in the last chapter but honestly I couldn’t get into this book, it just didn’t resonate with me or really impress me as much as other reviews seem to suggest. As someone who loves being in nature I disappointingly found this book incredibly unrelatable mostly due to the privileged point of view that the writer seems to be coming from a family that sees driving constantly around the country and later the world as normal, which comes across as out of touch. Travelling to ev I liked her activism talk in the last chapter but honestly I couldn’t get into this book, it just didn’t resonate with me or really impress me as much as other reviews seem to suggest. As someone who loves being in nature I disappointingly found this book incredibly unrelatable mostly due to the privileged point of view that the writer seems to be coming from a family that sees driving constantly around the country and later the world as normal, which comes across as out of touch. Travelling to every continent before 15, constantly on the go and to places that most people would never afford. At one point she states our money went towards experiences other than items, when talking about travelling around then world unlike most people have bills and mortgages. I do realise what she is trying to say but I can’t help but find it unrelatable. Even with her charity there are contradictions - she wants to get VME working class kids to get into nature yet also sees her Bristol city classmates as mean and more judgemental from her peers. I also found that her narration (I am reading via audio book) is also quite badly paced in places.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Law

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not for me sorry. Personally I did not find the travelling and spotting different birds interesting. It felt like a long list of the names of the places and birds. The writing style did not flow naturally. I found the discussion and insights into the author's mother's mental health issue and her efforts of promoting diversity in the conservation field more interesting... Not for me sorry. Personally I did not find the travelling and spotting different birds interesting. It felt like a long list of the names of the places and birds. The writing style did not flow naturally. I found the discussion and insights into the author's mother's mental health issue and her efforts of promoting diversity in the conservation field more interesting...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Moss

    This is a really readable, entertaining and thought-provoking account of a young woman's journey through life so far - in which she and her family bond and deal with her mother's mental health issues through their shared love of, and quest for, birds. Mya-Rose also manages to interweave messages about racism and the environment, without ever preaching to the reader. Highly recommended. This is a really readable, entertaining and thought-provoking account of a young woman's journey through life so far - in which she and her family bond and deal with her mother's mental health issues through their shared love of, and quest for, birds. Mya-Rose also manages to interweave messages about racism and the environment, without ever preaching to the reader. Highly recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Theo Stowell

    Inspiring, strikes a nice balance between regaling us with memories that show a clear passion for birds, and touching upon serious and important topics of mental health and activism.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diyora

  20. 4 out of 5

    Holly Rebecca

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Wright

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tegen Evans

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  25. 4 out of 5

    libby

  26. 4 out of 5

    Justin Waerts

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paula

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hep

  29. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Brookes

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