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This little book is a precious collection of beautifully written snapshots of the young author's experiences as an Autistic teenager growing up in Japan. In each chapter, author Noaoki Higashida breaks down a different aspect of how being Autistic affects how he interprets and interacts with the world. It not only offered me generous explanations of things I didn't know and pointed out a great deal that I take for granted, but also inspired me to see the world in different ways and be more aware of how I communicate my needs and perspective to others. I also recommend the 2021 documentary of the same title that was inspired by this book.
The Reason I Jump
by Naoki Higashida
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. - Goodreads
Raina Mast, Spanish
Past picks by Riana: