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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism Paperback – March 22, 2016
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“Please don’t assume that The Reason I Jump is just another book for the crowded autism shelf. . . . This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind—what it’s like without boundaries of time, why cues and prompts are necessary, and why it’s so impossible to hold someone else’s hand. Of course, there’s a wide range of behavior here; that’s why ‘on the spectrum’ has become such a popular phrase. But by listening to this voice, we can understand its echoes.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)
“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People
“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . I had to keep reminding myself that the author was a thirteen-year-old boy when he wrote this . . . because the freshness of voice coexists with so much wisdom. 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 . . . [Naoki Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade
“Surely one of the most remarkable books yet to be featured in these pages . . . With about one in 88 children identified with an autism spectrum disorder, and family, friends, and educators hungry for information, this inspiring book’s continued success seems inevitable.”—Publishers Weekly
“We have our received ideas, we believe they correspond roughly to the way things are, then a book comes along that simply blows all this so-called knowledge out of the water. This is one of them. . . . An entry into another world.”—Daily Mail (U.K.)
“Every page dismantles another preconception about autism. . . . Once you understand how Higashida managed to write this book, you lose your heart to him.”—New Statesman (U.K.)
“Astonishing. The Reason I Jump builds one of the strongest bridges yet constructed between the world of autism and the neurotypical world. . . . There are many more questions I’d like to ask Naoki, but the first words I’d say to him are ‘thank you.’”—The Sunday Times (U.K.)
“This is a guide to what it feels like to be autistic. . . . In Mitchell and Yoshida’s translation, [Higashida] comes across as a thoughtful writer with a lucid simplicity that is both childlike and lyrical. . . . Higashida is living proof of something we should all remember: in every autistic child, however cut off and distant they may outwardly seem, there resides a warm, beating heart.”—Financial Times (U.K.)
“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. . . . This book gives us autism from the inside, as we have never seen it. . . . [Higashida] offers readers eloquent access into an almost entirely unknown world.”—The Independent (U.K.)
“The Reason I Jump is a wise, beautiful, intimate and courageous explanation of autism as it is lived every day by one remarkable boy. Naoki Higashida takes us ‘behind the mirror’—his testimony should be read by parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and anybody who knows and loves an autistic person. I only wish I’d had this book to defend myself when I was Naoki’s age.”—Tim Page, author of Parallel Play and professor of journalism and music at the University of Southern California
“[Higashida] illuminates his autism from within. . . . Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
David Mitchell is the author of seven novels, including Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, and, most recently, Slade House. KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, and specialized in English poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University. KA Yoshida and David Mitchell live in Ireland with their two children.
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I bought your book originally for a college class and began reading for pleasure after a long day at work. I knew Autism was a disability that most people look down on because I live with a younger brother on the spectrum. I was prepared to read the same information I’d seen in books my parents had purchased in the past to help them raise him to be a person who could survive in modern day society.
I soon found out that I was completely wrong about this. “The Reason I Jump” was nothing compared to those books. Unlike my parent’s books, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this through every page turn. Print media written by someone that has Autism, seems more helpful in comparison to something written about Autism by someone who has never lived a day in a person with Autism’s shoes.
In a media course I am currently taking at Corban University in Oregon, I have learned that the society in the United States has a transmission of culture with the media. We tend to pay attention to things that capture our attention at that very moment, instead of focusing on what is right in front of us. Our societies’ greatest concern is not helping people with Autism live to the fullest of their abilities, but to be how great can we make the next smartphone or tablet so we can live in a more lavish lifestyle.
We should be living a lifestyle that is not conformed. Romans 12: 2 tells us, “And not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This is a passage that speaks the truth about how we should live, which is that we must learn our priorities and help others in need, instead of helping ourselves, therefore, not being conformists to the media around us.
Your amazing book helped opened my eyes in such a way that it has helped me form a better relationship with my brother. I can now understand why he does certain things throughout the day that naturally make other people confused. He and I can share moments and live lives fuller since I have read your book.
It is a nice jumping off point for abled people who don't know much about being autistic I guess, but it shouldn't be taken as the be all end all of what it is like to be autistic, and I am afraid it will be.
When in a family with an autistic child things can get so frustrating. It is not only hard when you don't understand what our child wants but it's hard to know that they need something and you are unable to know what that something is. Naoki makes it easier for anyone to understand an autistic child. He gives you all the answers to everything you have been wondering. Even though not everyone who is autistic is the same this books gives you the ability to at least having a starting point which is important.
I loved reading this book and saw it as very helpful. Although I don't have a child that is autistic or spend every day living with someone who is, I do a ton of work with an autistic child and I found this amazing. Everything I read in this book I was able to relate to that child and now I am able to handle him better when needed. This book should be red by everyone because there are things that we all wonder that this book answers.
Autism is something that is to talked about enough because people don't have enough knowledge but reading this book can be a first step into understanding which is very important.
Top international reviews
I read the original version in Japanese first, which was full of extremely touching words, and I think this English version, offered by David Mitchell and his Japanese wife, Keiko, is translated in a faithful manner to the original version, and it offers a great opportunity for the readers in the world to understand the inner world of autistic children. This book has achieved to bring up the awareness of other 'healthy' people who read it to the level that they've never imagined what autistic children could feel or think. This book can also enlighten many people who can only judge others by observing whether they're able to behave and react in a 'normal' way. Autistic children may react differently in certain situations, but the young Higashida has managed to reveal what those children are actually feeling and trying to do, and how they want to be seen.
This is a must-read book as it teaches so much and will enlighten the people who read it.
The author describes some common autistic behaviour patterns, why they happen and how to respond to such incidents in a sympathetic, positive and supportive manner.
He also explodes the myths that people on the autistic spectrum are "loners", prefer to be on their own and are insensitive to other's feelings. None of these are true, quite the opposite! By perpetuating these myths, we cause severe upset, unhappiness and frustration.
I now feel better-equipped to understand and support my own child and have ordered more copies of this book to distribute among our family.
The book provides a key which unlocks a box full of understanding, communication and emotion. If you have a family member or friend who is on the Autistic Spectrum or work in the Caring Professions, I implore you to read this book.
Naoki Higashida and David Mitchell ( who translated the book ) have my utmost admiration and gratitude.