Environmentalist and bird enthusiast Mya-Rose Craig chronicles her life as a bird watcher--and how it shaped her into a social justice activist by young adulthood--in her moving memoir, Birdgirl: Looking to the Skies in Search of a Better Future. As the youngest daughter of a "well-known birding family" in Britain, Craig was exposed to birdwatching--also called "twitching" in the U.K.--from a young age.
Craig calls birding a "thread running through the pattern of my life," and she follows that thread across every page. The result is a memoir about birds and Craig's milestones as an ornithologist: completing a "Big Year" (an attempt to see 300+ species of birds in one year) at age nine with her parents; starting Birdgirl, the blog from which her memoir gets its title, at age 11; and, ultimately, at 17, becoming the youngest person to have seen half of the known bird species in the world. But Birdgirl is also about so much more than birds, just one of the fascinating threads in the memoir. "Becoming a political and environmental activist felt like a natural progression," she writes, an observation that becomes abundantly clear as Birdgirl unfolds and Craig begins to use her platform and voice to emphasize climate change, stories of Indigenous peoples and the challenges of racial equity in nature and conservation circles.
This memoir will inspire readers with an eye for nature--as well as those interested in climate change and conservation--to look to the skies and find inspiration for a better future in all of the majestic beauty that surrounds us. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer