The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

83%

16 Critic Reviews

A 13-year-old Japanese author illuminates his autism from within, making a connection with those who find the condition frustrating, mysterious or impenetrable....Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish

FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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, KA 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.

Praise for The Reason I Jump

“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)

“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People

The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . 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 . . . [Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Naoki Higashida

See more books from this 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. DAVID MITCHELL is the author of the international bestseller The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Black Swan Green; Cloud Atlas, which was a Man Booker Prize finalist; Number9Dream, which was short-listed for the Man Booker as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and Ghostwritten, awarded the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for best book by a writer under thirty-five and short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.














































































Author Residence: Tokyo, Japan














































































Author Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
 
Published August 27, 2013 by Random House. 194 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon3
Peak Rank on Oct 20 2013
icon8
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
5
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Reason I Jump
All: 16 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 20 2013

A 13-year-old Japanese author illuminates his autism from within, making a connection with those who find the condition frustrating, mysterious or impenetrable....Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 23 2013

Constructed in a series of questions and answers, interspersed with short fictional stories, Higashida gallantly attempts to explain why he and others with autism do the things they do, which often confound caretakers and onlookers. He bares his heart by putting forth the questions people ask, or long to ask...

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Sallie Tisdale on Aug 23 2013

“The Reason I Jump” may raise questions, as many books have, about the nature of autism. But it raises questions about translation as well — that “icing.” Translation, at its best, is a dance between an objective search for equivalent language...The parents of an autistic child may not be the best translators for a book by an autistic child.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Ned Denny on Jul 27 2013

What sets this book apart from the reams of professional theorising on autism is the fact that it is written by an autistic, and a child to boot. Its short, question-headed chapters aim to disclose the 13-year-old author's "inner self", to make people "understand what we really are, and what we're going through".

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Financial Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Amanda Mitchison on Jul 05 2013

In Mitchell and Yoshida’s translation, he comes across as a thoughtful writer with a lucid simplicity that is both childlike and lyrical. His mind is subtle and ingenious.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ... | See more reviews from Financial Times

Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott on Sep 06 2013

Many parents of autistic children will want to read THE REASON I JUMP and glean insights and inspiration from it. Since there is currently no cure for autism, the book can only offer a glimpse into the private prison of the disease, not a way out.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Noah Cruickshank on Aug 26 2013

Higashida wants readers to feel his discomfort, and he manages it surprisingly well for a 13-year-old.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ... | See more reviews from AV Club

The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Emma Claire Sweeney on Jul 28 2013

Despite the Herculean effort of translating the autistic experience into language, The Reason I Jump reads effortlessly, each page challenging preconceptions that autistic people lack empathy, humour or imagination.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Louise Jones on Jul 01 2013

This is also a wonderful book to share with children, due to its simplicity. I read sections of it out to my own children, to help them get a better understanding of their little brother’s autism.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

Express

Good
Reviewed by Luisa Metcalfe on Jul 05 2013

Part memoir and part FAQ session interwoven with short stories and allegories, it brings the fascinating quirks of the autistic mind to life. Even more remarkable is that its author, “severely autistic” Naoki Higashida, was only 13 years old when he wrote it - by spelling out every word on a cardboard alphabet grid.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

We Love This Book

Good
Reviewed by David Stuart on Aug 31 2013

No two autistic people are the same, any more than any two non-autistic people are the same, but The Reason I Jump will inevitably provide assurance to anyone who spends time with someone with autism that their efforts to interact are not in vain.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Good
Reviewed by Jon on Aug 27 2013

This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA 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.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

The Age

Good
Reviewed by Dianne Dempsey on Aug 10 2013

Sometimes, in order to truly understand the nature of a condition, we need to hear from the person suffering. Such is the case with this slight but powerful book by an autistic Japanese schoolboy, Naoki Higashida.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

The Sunday Times

Good
Reviewed by Charlotte Moore on Jun 30 2013

Naoki Higashida is a severely autistic schoolboy. The insights he offers into his cut-off world are nothing short of revelatory.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

Off The Tracks

Excellent
Reviewed by Simon Sweetman on Aug 08 2013

Brilliantly he unpacks the confusing world that he lives in and the confused world that rushes to wrap him in cotton wool, pointing out – as Mitchell expounds too – that those with autism actually have an excess of the qualities they are supposed to (apparently) lack.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

The Tattooed Book

Good
Reviewed by TheTattooedBook on Sep 20 2013

Books as clear, poignant and important as this should instantly become reading list material for anyone wanting to broaden their horizons and understand more about helping people suffering from autism.

Read Full Review of The Reason I Jump: The Inner ...

Reader Rating for The Reason I Jump
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2153 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Alina Khaida

Alina Khaida 3 Nov 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Kelli Garza

Kelli Garza 26 Oct 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Andrew Novak

Andrew Novak 13 Oct 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 5 Oct 2013

Added the book to want to read list

604

604 22 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×