The Reason I Jump: One boy's voice from the silence of autism

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Naoki Higashida

The Reason I Jump
192 pages
2014
ISBN: 9781444776775

"Composed by a writer still with one foot in childhood, and whose autism was at least as challenging and life-defining as our son's, The Reason I Jump was a revelatory godsend. Reading it felt as if, for the first time, our own son was talking to us about what was happening inside his head."

Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding.

Renowned author David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism, and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. Like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective.

The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.

"This extraordinary book, written by a 13-year-old autistic boy, challenges popular preconceptions of the condition. Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/29/reason-jump-autism-naoki-higashida-review"
- Ned Denny, The Observer, Sunday 28 July 2013