The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice Of A Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism

by Naoki Higashida
Translated by Ka Yoshida, David Mitchell

Knopf Canada | August 27, 2013 | Hardcover

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice Of A Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism is rated 4.35714285714286 out of 5 by 14.
A story never before told and a memoir to help change our understanding of the world around us, 13-year-old Naoki Higashida's astonishing, empathetic book takes us into the mind of a boy with severe autism. With an introduction by David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon, Cloud Atlas, and translated by his wife, KA Yoshida.

Naoki Higashida was only a middle-schooler when he began to write The Reason I Jump. Autistic and with very low verbal fluency, Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagines others most often wonder about him: why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal? The result is an inspiring, attitude-transforming book that will be embraced by anyone interested in understanding their fellow human beings, and by parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends of autistic children. Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy. 

This book is mesmerizing proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else's.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 pages, 7.57 × 5.12 × 0.76 in

Published: August 27, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345807804

ISBN - 13: 9780345807809

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant exploration of autism Thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida has a desperate need to communicate what it is like to live with autism. This book is filled with compassion, not only for autistics, but for people who want to help and understand their situation. This book is a must read for anyone in the mental health field and for people who have a loved one with autism.
Date published: 2015-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard to put down It’s fascinating, heartbreaking, and inspiring to learn firsthand from a 13-year-old Japanese boy with severe autism. He describes his perceptions and reactions, and enlightens us about what the disorder means for him.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Reason I Jump What an excellent book. Written by a 13 y.o. autistic boy. WOW. This book should be a MUST read for EVERYONE in public service. Opens your eyes. Gives awesome insight into what they are thinking. I can not call them disabled after reading this book. I wish we had more books like this written by the people affected with different problems. It would be so insightful. Kudos to Naoki Higashida for being brave enough to do this. It is appreciated more than he will ever know.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting This question/answer book written by a thirteen year old autistic boy from Japan was very insightful. I work with autistic children, and some behaviours can be frustrating for them and me, this book helped me to understand and better react/treat some of these behaviours. Definitely worth a read if you are a parent, family member, professional, teacher, support worker, etc.
Date published: 2014-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard to put down Well worth reading for insights into the autistic mind. Quite enjoyed the first few chapters, then I began to question how Naoki could make comparisons to the way a non-autistic person experiences the world. Was this book a collaboration with his therapist or his mother? Still, a very interesting narration. I would recommend it to anyone working with and caring for a person with autism.
Date published: 2014-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting description Purchased as a gift but looks interesting enough that I may have to purchase a second copy for myself
Date published: 2013-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye opening details of an misunderstood condition This is a very informative book to help lay people understand this misunderstood condition that has been kept silent for far too long. Another very informative book on autism is "The Spark" by Kristine Barnett.
Date published: 2013-12-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Reason I Jump I would not have read this book were it not for Jon Stewart. His endorsement catapulted this book up the bestsellers list and brought it to the attention of thousands of people, including me. I'm not the parent of an autistic child, but I have friends with autistic children, so I wanted to see what insights the book might give me. I wanted to see if the book could guide me in establishing and maintaining positive relationships with those children. No other book like this one exists anywhere: An autistic Japanese teenager created the first draft one letter at a time on an alphabet letter board. K.A. Yoshida translated the work into English, and then David Mitchell took it a step further and gave the language a colloquial tone. The book is structured in a question and answer format, with the author's charming and illuminating short stories interspersed throughout. The author answers questions often asked of people with autism. "Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?" "Why don't you make eye contact when you're talking?" "Do you prefer to be on your own?" The clear, conversational answers give us insight into the personality behind the autism—the person we need to trust to be there even when language difficulties and behavioural issues get in the way of comfortable interactions. The series of translations—from autistic thought, to Japanese letters, to plain English, to everyday (slangy?) English—creates an uneasy result. Each pass through a different filter shapes the work until what comes out the other end feels a little too filtered. The book would have had a more authentic feel and would have been even more powerful with less processing. I hope the book gives parents and siblings of autistic children the inner strength they need to persevere in difficult circumstances. I hope the book leads others to treat people with autism with patience and compassion. Set aside the processing and look to the heart of the story.
Date published: 2013-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hi Fantastic book a must read for anyone who has an autistic person in their life. Also for anyone who works with the public on a regular basis.
Date published: 2013-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching A very enlightening book. I feel a much greater understanding and compassion for people living with autism. Well done!
Date published: 2013-10-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very eye opening This young man opened my eyes to autism in ways I never imagined. My grandson is autistic and I am thankful to understand him better.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful, informative and moving. Few books have made an impression on me as this one has. The insight into the mind of this autistic person is so shockingly normal in view that I couldn't put it down. Part child of wonder and feeling, part adult of conviction, his is a story of duality between mind and body, between imposed norms and reality. A beautiful, informing and moving read.
Date published: 2013-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The reason I jump I know have a greater understanding of the prison people with autism must deal with every second of their lives. I realize the actions and behaviors that marcel exhibited throughout his years and I hope that I will be more empathic, patient and caring as a parent who has a son with autism.
Date published: 2013-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read Everyone (teachers, doctors, therapists, caregivers, parents and grandparents) who interact with autistic children should read this book. It gave me a new understanding on autism and how my grandson's mind works. I loved it.
Date published: 2013-10-03

– More About This Product –

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice Of A Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice Of A Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism

by Naoki Higashida
Translated by Ka Yoshida, David Mitchell

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 pages, 7.57 × 5.12 × 0.76 in

Published: August 27, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345807804

ISBN - 13: 9780345807809

From the Publisher

A story never before told and a memoir to help change our understanding of the world around us, 13-year-old Naoki Higashida's astonishing, empathetic book takes us into the mind of a boy with severe autism. With an introduction by David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon, Cloud Atlas, and translated by his wife, KA Yoshida.

Naoki Higashida was only a middle-schooler when he began to write The Reason I Jump. Autistic and with very low verbal fluency, Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagines others most often wonder about him: why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal? The result is an inspiring, attitude-transforming book that will be embraced by anyone interested in understanding their fellow human beings, and by parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends of autistic children. Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy. 

This book is mesmerizing proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else's.

About the Author

Naoki Higashida was born in 1992 and was diagnosed with autism at the age of five. He graduated from high school in 2011 and lives in Kimitsu, Japan. He is an advocate, motivational speaker and the author of several books of fiction and non-fiction.

KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, majored in English Poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University, and now lives in Ireland with her husband, David Mitchell, and their two children.

David Mitchell's works include the international bestseller The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Black Swan Green; and Cloud Atlas, which was a Man Booker Prize finalist and made into a major movie released in 2012.

Editorial Reviews

#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER  “[The Reason I Jump] brings the fascinating quirks of the autistic mind to life.... Naoki brings us into a sometimes nightmarish world of being trapped inside a mind and body that won’t respond as it should.... The definitive account of living with autism.” Daily Express  “The Reason I Jump...offers sometimes tormented, sometimes joyous, insights into autism’s locked-in universe.... Higashida’s child’s-eye view of autism is 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, which captured the inner world of childhood cancer. This book gives us autism from the inside, as we have never seen it.... Its explanation, advice and, most poignantly, its guilt...offers readers eloquent access into an almost entirely unknown world.... Descriptions of panic, distress and the isolation that autistic children feel as a result of the greater world’s ignorance of their condition are counterbalanced by the most astonishing glimpses of autism’s exhilaration. These are the most vivid and mesmerising moments of the book.” The Independent   “The Reason I Jump pushes beyond the notion of autism as a disability, and reveals it as simply a different way of being, and of seeing. Naoki Higashida shines a light on the autistic landscape from the inside.” BBC   “A 13-year-old Japanese author illuminates his autism from withi
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