The Reason I Jump
The Reason I Jump is a remarkable book written by Japan’s best-known autistic blogger and author, when he was only 13.
Employing a Q&A format, occasional Thoughts for the Day and a short story, I’m Right Here, Naoki Higashida examines issues as diverse as why autistic kids engage in self-harm, how they perceive time and beauty, autism's most painful aspect, and whether they would wish to be ‘normal’.
As attitude-transforming as Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Reason I Jump proves that autistic people do possess imagination, humour, empathy, and a sense of the spiritual, contrary to popular belief, and shows that the problem is not a lack of these faculties, but rather an inability to communicate them to others.
The Reason I Jump gives a voice to non-verbal autistic children, explaining their behaviours, loves and foibles to their (often baffled) parents, teachers, relatives and carers.
The English edition includes an introduction by David Mitchell, whose son is also diagnosed with autism.
The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.
Katie McGowan manages the translation rights for The Reason I Jump
Translation Rights Sold
This is truly important, and anyone interested in autism should read it. Charlotte Moore
The Sunday Times Full Review
The prose throughout the book is crisp, conversational, and intimate. I had to keep reminding myself that the author was a 13-year-old boy when he wrote this; sometimes, it sounds as though it were the work of a prudent adult pretending to be a 13-year-old boy, because the freshness of voice coexists with so much wisdom.
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 Full Review
A voice breaks the silence
Does this book tell us something new? I believe it does. There is already some vague public awareness of the very different and special thought processes experienced by autistic people and Higashida illustrates this wonderfully, as does Mitchell in his introduction. Amanda Mitchison
The Financial Times Full Review
Its explanation, advice and, most poignantly, its guilt offers readers eloquent access into an almost entirely unknown world. Arifa Akbar
Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation. Kirkus Reviews
An extraordinary book. BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
FOR years Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell despaired at his young autistic son’s baffling behaviour, from the extreme grief at a scratched DVD to banging his head repeatedly on the floor, or the bewildering night-time energy bursts.
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. Luisa Metcalfe
The Daily Express Full Review
Autism? It's like being trapped inside a faulty robot
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. Marcus Berkmann
The Daily Mail Full Review
A glimpse into a corner of a secret world
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. Emma Claire Sweeney
The Independent Full Review
The Reason I Jump reads effortlessly, each page challenging preconceptions that autistic people lack empathy, humour or imagination. Higashida’s insights confirm some of my suspicions (perhaps the phrases that my sister repeats feel pleasurable, ‘like a game of catch with a ball’), whilst challenging other's... And raising new possibilities. The Independent on Sunday
...slight, modest yet highly provocative book. The Observer
This book is mesmerising proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else's. Adam Sherwin
The Independent Full Review
David makes the point that there are accounts from adults with autism, but to get an insight into a child or teenager's point of view with autism is a revelation, really. Alison Flood
The Guardian Full Review
Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell has co-translated a book written by an autistic child to be published by Sceptre later this year. Charlotte Williams
The Bookseller Full Review
Cloud Atlas author turns to teenage autism for next book
The Reason I Jump is intended to demystify the behaviour of autistic children for a ‘neurotypical’ audience and was first spotted online by Mitchell’s Japanese wife, Keiko Yoshida. Catherine Scott
The Telegraph Full Review