Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Reason that I Jump - Naoki Higashia; trans. K.A. Yoshida and David Mitchell

Title: The Reason that I Jump
Author: Naoki Higashida; translated by K.A. Yoshida and David Mitchell
Pages: 176
Published 2013 (first published 2007)
Challenges: I Love Libraries, Non-Fiction
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: 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.  (via Goodreads.com)

Thoughts: I can't recall where I had first hear about this book, but wherever I saw it, it definitely piqued my interest.

At first I was quite impressed with the author's ability to express his thought and feelings in a fairly coherent manner, but as I moved on in the book I started to become skeptical of how much a 13 year-old would truly know about living with ASD (Austim Spectrum Disorder), especially since it is something that is so varied.  I also found that the voice of the author to be irritating at times, especially towards the end of the book.  I really was hoping for more, but was unable to find what I was hoping for and actually quit reading the book with one section left to complete.

Bottom Line: If you enjoyed such books as Three Cups of Tea and other first person "non-fiction" narratives, you probably would enjoy this read.  Recommended, but with strong reservations.

Rating: 2/5

Pages for 2014: 4066
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