“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.
Praise for The Reason I Jump
“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)
“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People
“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.)
“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe
“Small but profound . . . [Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade
From the Hardcover edition.
The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism (Japanese: 自閉症の僕が跳びはねる理由～会話のできない中学生がつづる内なる心～, Hepburn: Jiheishō no Boku ga Tobihaneru Riyū ~Kaiwa no Dekinai Chūgakusei ga Tsuzuru Uchinaru Kokoro~) is a book written in 2005 by Japanese author Naoki Higashida, a then-13-year-old boy with autism. It was originally published in Japan in 2007 and the English translation by Keiko Yoshida and her husband, author David Mitchell, was published in 2013. The book became a New York Times bestseller and a Sunday Times bestseller for hardback nonfiction in the UK. Since then it has been translated into over 30 other languages. Higashida was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was five years old and has limited verbal communication skills. With help from his mother, he is purported to have written the book using a method he calls "facilitated finger writing", also known as facilitated communication (FC), a method which has been repeatedly discredited as pseudoscience and deemed invalid by numerous organizations since the 1980s, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association (APA), among others. Yoshida and Mitchell, who have a child with autism themselves, wrote the introduction to the English-language version. The majority of the memoir is told through 58 questions Higashida and many other people dealing with autism are commonly asked, as well as interspersed sections of short prose. These sections are either memories Higashida shares or parabolic stories that relate to the themes discussed throughout the memoir. The collections ends with Higashida's short story, "I'm Right Here," which the author prefaces by saying: I wrote this story in the hope that it will help you to understand how painful it is when you can't express yourself to the people you love. If this story connects with your heart in some way, then I believe you'll be able to connect back to the hearts of people with autism too...
Highly recommend this easy to read, enlightening book. I don’t quite know what else to say except that I will try to remember to be more patient with the person in my life who I believe has undiagnosed Aspergers when he’s doing annoying things... he can’t really help himself. 55
I really enjoyed this book. Raising a child with Autism is not easy and I learned a lot from this book. It help me better understand what my son goes through and how he sees the world. I see similarities with my son that made me smile while reading and some that made me cry. Its a great read. 55
The sample for this is the forward for the book. How does that tell me ANYTHING about the contents? 15
This book was a short, sweet, and to the point type book. I would highly recommend this book. Reading it gives you somewhat of an understanding of what someone with autism is thinking. Granted, everyone is different in his or her thinking, but it gives you a general idea. This book would benefit anyone. You never know when you are going to run into someone with autism, and being able to understand and not get frustrated with them when you are interacting with them will help both parties involved. 55
This is the most important book about autism I have read. 55
This book should be read by everyone who interacts with people with autism. It gives you a glimpse into a mind that works very differently than your own but has the same heartfelt desires as yours. it is enlightening and touching. As an OT that works with many children with autism I am going to read this book a number of times so the lessons contained in it can be fully absorbed by my mind and my soul. I am so glad this is available and I am going to share it with many others. 55
I read many reviews before purchasing this book. As a teacher and family member of a child on the spectrum, I decided to buy it despite several negative reviews I'm so sorry I did! This book was wholly unbelievable to me. I doubt its authenticity. It was not helpful in the least. Pass this one by. 15
Terrific...very intrigued by his thoughts..helped to explain the intrinsicitys of autism...leave it to a child to clear it up for us.. 55
I love this book. I have a six year old who has autism and after reading this book I feel more informed about why my son does some of the things he do. I have recommended this book to many people to better understand my son. Thank you for writing this book. 55
What a beautiful boy! You must truly be an angel. To give your insight was extraordinary. I hope everyone reads this book and gains your insight into autism. Truly moving. 55