Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, self-aware, and charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, THE REASON I JUMP 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.
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 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, and his insights are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
In his introduction, David Mitchell, the bestselling novelist of Cloud Atlas, 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.”
“Astonishing . . . THE REASON I JUMP builds one of the strongest bridges yet constructed between the world of autism and the neurotypical world.
—The Sunday Times (UK)
“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about 90 minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”
—Andrew Solomon, The Times (UK)
“Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation.”