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, K. A. 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. Download and start listening now!