Book Review: The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida


Title: The Reason I Jump

By: Naoki Higashida

Genre: Memoir

Pages: 135

Release Date: August 27th, 2013

Publisher: Random House 

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

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.


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The title of this book spoke to me. My middle son jumps. He jumps all day long, day and night. Its who he is and what he needs to function properly. I think what really drew me to this story, was the author himself. He has sever autism. Learned to communicate through a handmade alphabet grid. He wrote this book when he was 13 and it was translated years later.

The insight into autism in this book, was not from an outsider looking in, but from the autistic person themselves. The author lays out his struggles and the reason behind why he reacts in certain ways. Why he jumps, when he flaps his hands in front of his face.

If you want a in depth look into the mind of a neurodivergent person, this is the book for you.

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