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The Reason I Jump

by Andrew Lee

Staff Writer

The No. 1 best-seller “The Reason I Jump” is now available in paperback. Written by Naoki Higashida, an autistic Japanese boy in his early teens, this incredible book gives readers a glimpse into what it’s like to be autistic, and along the way shatters many preconceptions people may have regarding those with autism.

The Reason I Jump, by Naoki Higashida Translated by KA Yoshida & David Mitchell.
SCEPTRE, Nonfiction.

In the book’s introduction, David Mitchell (author of “The Cloud Atlas”) explains how his Japanese wife discovered “The Reason I Jump” when they were seeking ways to help them understand their own autistic child. The two of them were so struck by the book’s message that they decided to translate the work and share it with a larger audience. Higashida’s own reason for writing the book was to explain to others what life is like for autistic people, which he does in almost 60 short chapters, each beginning with a question such as “What causes panic attacks and meltdowns?”

“Stuck here inside these unresponsive bodies of ours,” he answers, “with feelings we can’t properly express, it’s always a struggle just to survive. And it’s this feeling of helplessness which sometimes drives us half crazy.” A sentiment all of us can surely understand.