The Reason I Jump
The Reason I Jump is a memoir by a 13-year-old Japanese boy, Naoki Higashida, and introduced by author David Mitchell. The book has been popular in Japan since it was originally published in 2007, and it quickly became a favorite among English-speaking readers as well when it was published in 2013 after being translated by author David Mitchell and his wife KA Yoshida. Mitchell and Yoshida are themselves parents to an autistic son, so the translation and publication of the book was certainly a very personal project for them.
It may sound strange to some readers that a bestselling memoir was written by a 13-year-old, and especially one with autism. In fact, author Higashida does have trouble with verbal communication. He was able to complete his memoir by spelling out words using a Japanese alphabet letter board. The method may sound a bit tedious, but thanks to Higashida’s persistence we have a stunning account of what it’s like to live with autism.
The book is relatively short. Each chapter begins with a question such as “Why do you speak in that peculiar way?” and is then followed by the author’s unique answers. The insights and explanations that Naoki Higashida offer are sure to cultivate a greater sense of empathy and understanding in any reader.
Read more about The Reason I Jump in the original review from The New York Times.