Wild Child | Granta

  • Published: 01/04/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783781935
  • Granta Books
  • 352 pages

Wild Child

Patrick Barkham

‘Entrancing… If ever there was a book to fuel the ecological interest of future generations, this is it. An inspiration for parents, grandparents and teachers, it is equally about showing adults how to recover their own joie de vivre’ Isabella Tree, author of Wilding

From climbing trees and making dens, to building sandcastles and pond-dipping, many of the activities we associate with a happy childhood take place outdoors. And yet, the reality for many contemporary children is very different. The studies tell us that we are raising a generation who are so alienated from nature that they can’t identify the commonest birds or plants, they don’t know where their food comes from, they are shuttled between home, school and the shops and spend very little time in green spaces – let alone roaming free.

In this timely and personal book, celebrated nature writer Patrick Barkham draws on his own experience as a parent and a forest school volunteer to explore the relationship between children and nature. Unfolding over the course of a year of snowsuits, muddy wellies, and sunhats, Wild Child is both an intimate story of children finding their place in natural world, and a celebration of the delight we can all find in even modest patches of green.

Wild Child is such an important book, full of tender and insightful moments. As well as a moving memoir, it is a manifesto for change, which includes many wonderful ways in which you can encourage children to find themselves in nature and, in the process, heal the disconnect experienced by adults too

Dara McAnulty

Engaging... elegant and moving. The book brims with tender scenes and small epiphanies

Horatio Clare, FT

Compelling... Wild Child is a book that deserves to flourish


The Author

Patrick Barkham is natural history writer for the Guardian. He is author of The Butterfly Isles, Badgerlands, Coastlines and Islander. His latest book is Wild Child. He lives in Norfolk with his family.

More about the author →

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