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

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Hodder & Stoughton, Jul 1, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages

The No. 1 Sunday Times and internationally bestselling account of life as a child with autism, now a documentary film Winner of Best Documentary and Best Sound in the British Independent Film Awards 2021.

'It will stretch your vision of what it is to be human' Andrew Solomon, The Times

What is it like to have autism? How can we know what a person - especially a child - with autism is thinking and feeling?

This groundbreaking book, written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, provides some answers. Severely autistic and non-verbal, Naoki learnt to communicate by using a 'cardboard keyboard' - and what he has to say gives a rare insight into an autistically-wired mind. He explains behaviour he's aware can be baffling such as why he likes to jump and why some people with autism dislike being touched; he describes how he perceives and navigates the world, sharing his thoughts and feelings about time, life, beauty and nature; and he offers an unforgettable short story. Proving that people with autism do not lack imagination, humour or empathy, THE REASON I JUMP made a major impact on its publication in English. Widely praised, it was an immediate No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller as well as a New York Times bestseller and has since been published in over thirty languages.

In 2020, a documentary film based on the book received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Jerry Rothwell, produced by Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee and Al Morrow, and funded by Vulcan Productions and the British Film Institute, it won the festival's Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary, then further awards at the Vancouver, Denver and Valladolid International Film Festivals before its global release in 2021.

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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wanderlustlover - LibraryThing

Spring 2018, audiobook: This is was a very insightful look into the mind of people with autism, written by a boy with autism. I found myself several times feeling almost close to tears, and always ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GlenRH - LibraryThing

This was very informative and helped me to understand what it is to be autistic. The author was a teenage boy used some very illustrative imagery to convey his struggles. It also help me to understand ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Naoki Higashida was born in Kimitsu, Japan in 1992. He was diagnosed with autism in 1998 and subsequently attended a school for students with special needs, then (by correspondence) Atmark Cosmopolitan High School, graduating in 2011. Having learnt to use a method of communication based on an alphabet grid, Naoki wrote The Reason I Jump when he was thirteen and it was published in Japan in 2007. He has published several books since, from autobiographical accounts about living with autism to fairy tales, poems and illustrated books, and writes a regular blog. Despite his communication challenges, he also gives presentations about life on the autistic spectrum throughout Japan and works to raise awareness about autism. In 2011 he appeared in director Gerry Wurzburg's documentary on the subject, Wretches & Jabberers.

David Mitchell is the author of the novels Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. He has been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize and won several awards for his writing. KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, and specialised in English Poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University.