The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism

The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism

Book rating: 05 Hardback Sceptre

By (author) Naoki Higashida, Translated by David Mitchell, Translated by Keiko Yoshida

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Format
Paperback $10.48
  • Publisher: Sceptre
  • Format: Hardback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 22mm | 268g
  • Publication date: 30 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1444776754
  • ISBN 13: 9781444776751
  • Illustrations note: 10
  • Sales rank: 6,011

Product description

'Composed by a writer still with one foot in childhood, and whose autism was at least as challenging and life-defining as our son's, THE REASON I JUMP was a revelatory godsend. Reading it felt as if, for the first time, our own son was talking to us about what was happening inside his head.' Written by Naoki Higishida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book explains the often baffling behaviour of autistic children and shows the way they think and feel - such as about the people around them, time and beauty, noise, and themselves. Naoki abundantly proves that autistic people do possess imagination, humour and empathy, but also makes clear, with great poignancy, how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding. David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism, and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. Like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective.

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Author information

Naoki Higashida is 16 and was born in Kimitsu, Japan. He has won a number of writers' awards, including two first prizes in the under 17 group at the Grimm Fairy Tales Contest in Japan. He has also given talks to advocate for people with autism.

Customer reviews

By anis 14 Jun 2014 5

gooood

Review quote

A book that acts like a door to another logic, explaining why an autistic child might flap his hands in front of his face, disappear suddenly from home - or jump. -- Neil Tweedie Sunday Telegraph A book that makes me want to say, "This is truly important, and anyone interested in autism should read it," is a rare find. The Reason I Jump achieves that status...[it] builds one of the strongest bridges yet constructed between the world of autism and the neurotypical world...There are many more questions I'd like to ask Naoki, but the first words I'd say to him are "thank you". -- Charlotte Moore Sunday Times As much a winsome work of the imagination as it is a user's manual for parents, carers and teachers. In its quirky humour and courage, it resembles Albert Espinosa's Spanish bestseller, The Yellow World...This book gives us autism from the inside, as we have never seen it. Independent Every page dismantles another preconception about autism. Higashida's language is precise and has a poetic quality that elevates it far beyond a self-help book for the parents of autistic children. His fictional stories, also included in this book, vary in length from a few lines to dozens of pages and are united by their beautiful simplicity. They all share a strong single theme, namely, that even if living is different and difficult, you can still find companionship and happiness. Once you understand how Higashida managed to write this book, you lose your heart to him. -- Caroline Crampton New Statesman This is a wonderful book. I defy anyone not to be captivated, charmed and uplifted by it. But above all, you will never feel the same about autism again. -- John Preston Evening Standard The freshness of voice coexists with so much wisdom...it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human. -- Andrew Solomon The Times We have our received ideas, we believe they correspond roughly to the way things are, then a book comes along that simply blows all this so-called knowledge out of the water. This is one of them... This book is an entry into another world. It was discovered by K.A. Yoshida, wife of the novelist David Mitchell, who gave us some memorable other worlds in Cloud Atlas... Naoki says he wants to be a writer when he grows up. David Mitchell points out that he already is one. This spectacular little book may or may not be the beginning of a prolific career, but it's a wholly realised work of art in itself, and its dignity and stoicism are sometimes almost unbearably moving. And no, he doesn't wish he was 'normal'. He says he is happy as he is, and I think I believe him. -- Marcus Berkmann Daily Mail An enlightening and heart-wrenching read. Naoki asks for our patience and compassion; after reading his words, it's impossible to deny that request. East Anglian Daily Times The Reason I Jump reads effortlessly, each page challenging preconceptions that autistic people lack empathy, humour or imagination. Higashida's insights confirm some of my suspicions (perhaps the phrases that my sister repeats feel pleasurable, 'like a game of catch with a ball'), whilst challenging others ... And raising new possibilities. Independent on Sunday Whether or not you have experienced raising a child who is autistic... this little book, which packs immeasurable honesty and truth into its pages, will simply detonate any illusions, assumptions, and conclusions you've made about the condition. ... What Higashida has done by communicating his reality, is to offer carers a way forward and offer teachers new ways of working with the children, and thus opening up and expanding the possibilities for autistic kids to feel less alone. All the in less than 200 pages? What an accomplishment. Glasgow Herald An enlightening and heart-wrenching read. Naoki asks for our patience and compassion; after reading his words, it's impossible to deny that request. East Anglian Daily Times An extraordinary account of how autism feels from the inside Observer A remarkable memoir. A touching and fascinating guide to the tangled byways of his mind. Every page dismantles another of our preconceptions about autism. Mail on Sunday