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

Paperback Sceptre

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

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  • Publisher: Sceptre
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 188mm x 16mm | 180g
  • Publication date: 19 June 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1444776770
  • ISBN 13: 9781444776775
  • Illustrations note: 11
  • Sales rank: 2,398

Product description

The No. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear 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. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective. The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.

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Author information

Naoki Higashida was born in Kimitsu, Japan in 1992. He was diagnosed with severe autism in 1998 and subsequently attended a school for students with special needs, then (by correspondence) Atmark Cosmopolitan High School, graduating in 2011. Having learnt to use a method of communication based on an alphabet grid, Naoki wrote The Reason I Jump when he was thirteen and it was published in Japan in 2007. He has published several books since, from autobiographical accounts about living with autism to fairy tales, poems and illustrated books, and writes a regular blog. Despite his communication challenges, he also gives presentations about life on the autistic spectrum throughout Japan and works to raise awareness about autism. In 2011 he appeared in director Gerry Wurzburg's documentary on the subject, Wretches & Jabberers. Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker. In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.

Review quote

An extraordinary account of how autism feels from the inside. Observer The most remarkable book of the year. The book throws a pontoon bridge over the chasm dividing autistic and neuro-typical experience. -- Charlotte Moore, Books of the Year 2013 Spectator The Reason I Jump reads effortlessly, each page challenging preconceptions that autistic people lack empathy, humour or imagination. Independent on Sunday 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. Evening Standard The freshness of voice coexists with so much wisdom ... it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human. The Times [The Reason I Jump] has been impossible to forget. -- Ian Thomson, Books of the Year 2013 Evening Standard