Naoki Higashida was born in Kimitsu, Japan in 1992. Diagnosed with severe autism when he was five, he subsequently learned to communicate using a handmade alphabet grid and began to write poems and short stories. At the age of thirteen he wrote The Reason I Jump, which was published in Japan in 2007. Its English translation came out in 2013, and it has now been published in more than thirty languages. Higashida has since published several books in Japan, including children's and picture books, poems, and essays. The subject of an award-winning Japanese television documentary in 2014, he continues to give presentations throughout the country about his experience of autism. David Mitchell is the author of seven novels, including Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, and, most recently, Slade House. KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, and specialized in English poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University. KA Yoshida and David Mitchell live in Ireland with their two children.
"One of the most remarkable books I've ever read. It's truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid."--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show "Please don't assume that The Reason I Jump is just another book for the crowded autism shelf. . . . This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind--what it's like without boundaries of time, why cues and prompts are necessary, and why it's so impossible to hold someone else's hand. Of course, there's a wide range of behavior here; that's why 'on the spectrum' has become such a popular phrase. But by listening to this voice, we can understand its echoes."--Chicago Tribune (Editor's Choice) "Amazing times a million."--Whoopi Goldberg, People "The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . I had to keep reminding myself that the author was a thirteen-year-old boy when he wrote this . . . because the freshness of voice coexists with so much wisdom. This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human."--Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.) "Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies."--The Boston Globe "Small but profound . . . [Naoki Higashida's] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind."--Parade "Surely one of the most remarkable books yet to be featured in these pages . . . With about one in 88 children identified with an autism spectrum disorder, and family, friends, and educators hungry for information, this inspiring book's continued success seems inevitable."--Publishers Weekly "We have our received ideas, we believe they correspond roughly to the way things are, then a book comes along that simply blows all this so-called knowledge out of the water. This is one of them. . . . An entry into another world."--Daily Mail (U.K.) "Every page dismantles another preconception about autism. . . . Once you understand how Higashida managed to write this book, you lose your heart to him."--New Statesman (U.K.) "Astonishing. The Reason I Jump builds one of the strongest bridges yet constructed between the world of autism and the neurotypical world. . . . There are many more questions I'd like to ask Naoki, but the first words I'd say to him are 'thank you.'"--The Sunday Times (U.K.) "This is a guide to what it feels like to be autistic. . . . In Mitchell and Yoshida's translation, [Higashida] comes across as a thoughtful writer with a lucid simplicity that is both childlike and lyrical. . . . Higashida is living proof of something we should all remember: in every autistic child, however cut off and distant they may outwardly seem, there resides a warm, beating heart."--Financial Times (U.K.) "Higashida's child's-eye view of autism is as much a winsome work of the imagination as it is a user's manual for parents, carers and teachers. . . . This book gives us autism from the inside, as we have never seen it. . . . [Higashida] offers readers eloquent access into an almost entirely unknown world."--The Independent (U.K.) "The Reason I Jump is a wise, beautiful, intimate and courageous explanation of autism as it is lived every day by one remarkable boy. Naoki Higashida takes us 'behind the mirror'--his testimony should be read by parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and anybody who knows and loves an autistic person. I only wish I'd had this book to defend myself when I was Naoki's age."--Tim Page, author of Parallel Play and professor of journalism and music at the University of Southern California "[Higashida] illuminates his autism from within. . . . Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation."--Kirkus Reviews From the Hardcover edition.