The reason I jump The inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism

Naoki Higashida, 1992-

Book - 2013

Written by a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, this 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. With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point o...f 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. 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.--From publisher description.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Random House [2013]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Japanese
Item Description
"Originally published in Japanese by Escor Publishers Ltd. in 2007"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
xvii, 135 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
ISBN
9780812994865
0812994868
Main Author
Naoki Higashida, 1992- (-)
Other Authors
K. A. (Keiko A.) Yoshida (translator), David (David Stephen) Mitchell
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Just thirteen years old, effectively unable to speak , Higashida used a special alphabet grid to compose this slim, informative book, which provides an unprecedented look into the mind of a young person with autism. Constructed in a series of questions and answers, interspersed with short fictional stories, Higashida gallantly attempts to explain why he and others with autism do the things they do, which often confound caretakers and onlookers. He bares his heart by putting forth the questions people ask, or long to ask—such as "why do you talk so loudly and weirdly?" and "do you have a sense of time?"—providing insight into the life of someone with autism. Higashida often achieves a clarity and wisdom that is surprising for such a young person, like when he suggests that autism should be viewed as simply another personality type. Other times the reader is reminded of his age, when he earnestly pleads on behalf of himself and others with autism for understanding and patience. The result is a mixture of invaluable anecdotal information, practical advice and whimsical self-expression. This is imperative for Higashida because, as he so elegantly puts it, "being able to share what I think allows me to understand that I, too, exist in this world as a human being." (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Just thirteen years old, effectively unable to speak , Higashida used a special alphabet grid to compose this slim, informative book, which provides an unprecedented look into the mind of a young person with autism. Constructed in a series of questions and answers, interspersed with short fictional stories, Higashida gallantly attempts to explain why he and others with autism do the things they do, which often confound caretakers and onlookers. He bares his heart by putting forth the questions people ask, or long to ask—such as "why do you talk so loudly and weirdly?" and "do you have a sense of time?"—providing insight into the life of someone with autism. Higashida often achieves a clarity and wisdom that is surprising for such a young person, like when he suggests that autism should be viewed as simply another personality type. Other times the reader is reminded of his age, when he earnestly pleads on behalf of himself and others with autism for understanding and patience. The result is a mixture of invaluable anecdotal information, practical advice and whimsical self-expression. This is imperative for Higashida because, as he so elegantly puts it, "being able to share what I think allows me to understand that I, too, exist in this world as a human being." (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Co-translated by the Man Booker Prize finalist author of Cloud Atlas, a journey into the mind of a remarkable 13-year-old Japanese boy with severe autism shares firsthand insights into a variety of experiences associated with the disorder, from behavioral traits and misconceptions to perceptions about the world and social awareness.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A journey into the mind of a remarkable thirteen-year-old Japanese boy with severe autism shares firsthand insights into a variety of experiences associated with the disorder, from behavioral traits and misconceptions to perceptions about the world.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“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

Review by Publisher Summary 4

“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily ShowNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYNPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • BookishFINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERYou’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