Reviews for Reason I Jump : The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism


Kirkus Reviews 2013 July #1
A 13-year-old Japanese author illuminates his autism from within, making a connection with those who find the condition frustrating, mysterious or impenetrable. For the renowned novelist David Mitchell, who provides the introduction and collaborated on the translation, this book is "a revelatory godsend." The father of a young autistic son, Mitchell had never felt well-served by books written by others who provided care for the autistic or by more scholarly analyses of the condition. The book takes the form of a series of straightforward questions followed by answers that are typically no longer than a couple of paragraphs or pages. "We really badly want you to understand what's going on inside our hearts and minds," writes Higashida. "And basically, my feelings are pretty much the same as yours." He describes the difficulty of expressing through words what the brain wants to say, the challenge of focusing and ordering experience, the obsessiveness of repetition, the comfort found in actions that others might find odd, and the frustration of being the source of others' frustration. "We don't obsess over certain things because we like it, or because we want to," he writes. "People with autism obsess over certain things because we'd go crazy if we didn't. By performing whatever action it is, we feel a bit soothed and calmed down." In addition to demystifying his condition and translating his experience, the author intersperses some short fables and a concluding short story that shows remarkable empathy and imagination, as the death of an autistic boy leaves a family transformed. "[Higashida] says that he aspires to be a writer, but it's obvious to me that he already is one," writes Mitchell. Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #4

Just thirteen years old, effectively unable to speak , Higashida used a special alphabet grid to compose this slim, informative book, which provides an unprecedented look into the mind of a young person with autism. Constructed in a series of questions and answers, interspersed with short fictional stories, Higashida gallantly attempts to explain why he and others with autism do the things they do, which often confound caretakers and onlookers. He bares his heart by putting forth the questions people ask, or long to ask--such as "why do you talk so loudly and weirdly?" and "do you have a sense of time?"--providing insight into the life of someone with autism. Higashida often achieves a clarity and wisdom that is surprising for such a young person, like when he suggests that autism should be viewed as simply another personality type. Other times the reader is reminded of his age, when he earnestly pleads on behalf of himself and others with autism for understanding and patience. The result is a mixture of invaluable anecdotal information, practical advice and whimsical self-expression. This is imperative for Higashida because, as he so elegantly puts it, "being able to share what I think allows me to understand that I, too, exist in this world as a human being." (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Just thirteen years old, effectively unable to speak , Higashida used a special alphabet grid to compose this slim, informative book, which provides an unprecedented look into the mind of a young person with autism. Constructed in a series of questions and answers, interspersed with short fictional stories, Higashida gallantly attempts to explain why he and others with autism do the things they do, which often confound caretakers and onlookers. He bares his heart by putting forth the questions people ask, or long to ask--such as "why do you talk so loudly and weirdly?" and "do you have a sense of time?"--providing insight into the life of someone with autism. Higashida often achieves a clarity and wisdom that is surprising for such a young person, like when he suggests that autism should be viewed as simply another personality type. Other times the reader is reminded of his age, when he earnestly pleads on behalf of himself and others with autism for understanding and patience. The result is a mixture of invaluable anecdotal information, practical advice and whimsical self-expression. This is imperative for Higashida because, as he so elegantly puts it, "being able to share what I think allows me to understand that I, too, exist in this world as a human being." (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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