Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Reason I Jump (April 22)

I haven’t done one of these Friday posts for a long time, so I thought it was time to get started again. The book I have chosen is one I’ve been looking forward to read for quite a while now – The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. I just got the book this week, but I’m hoping to get into it over the weekend. The subject is one that is quite close to my heart, so for this reason, as well as others, I want to get it read soon. GoodReads has the following description:

reason i jumpA story never before told and a memoir to help change our understanding of the world around us, 13-year-old Naoki Higashida’s astonishing, empathetic book takes us into the mind of a boy with severe autism. With an introduction by David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon, Cloud Atlas, and translated by his wife, KA Yoshida.
     Naoki Higashida was only a middle-schooler when he began to write The Reason I Jump. Autistic and with very low verbal fluency, Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagines others most often wonder about him: why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal? The result is an inspiring, attitude-transforming book that will be embraced by anyone interested in understanding their fellow human beings, and by parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends of autistic children. Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy.
This book is mesmerizing proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else’s.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Reason I Jump:

When I was small, I didn’t even know that I was a kid with special needs. How did I find out? By other people telling me that I was different from everyone else, and that this was a problem.

Unfortunately, different is often seen as a problem, when the reality is that it is not necessarily so. Sometimes the lack of acceptance by others, because of perceived differences, is more of a problem. I think I’ll probably enjoy reading this one.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Reason I Jump:

As for people who don’t show any signs of pain, my guess is that they’re unable to keep those signs on display. I think it’s very difficult for you to properly get your head around just how hard it is for us to express what we’re feeling. For us, dealing with the pain by treating it as if it’s already gone is actually easier than letting other people know we are in pain.

Normal people think we’re highly dependent and can’t live without ongoing support, but in fact there are times when we are stoic heroes.

There is so much that we don’t understand about autism, so it’ll be good to get this one started this weekend. I’m on holiday, so I should have some time for this.


Posted on April 22, 2016, in Autism, Book Beginnings, books, Friday 56, reading. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Love this book. Although everyone with autism is different, my son has so many of the same behaviors. When something seemed particularly pertinent, I would ask my son if he agreed with the author. He always said yes. Since my quest is to find ways to understand and help my son the best possible way, this book was a huge help in that journey!


    • I haven’t read as much of it yet as I had hoped to, but have found it helpful so far. Our son is on the spectrum, but on the mild end of it. However, we’re currently going through the teen years with him as well, so have been having some ‘fun’ moments. Thanks for visiting and good luck with the journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have an autistic nephew who is mostly non-verbal so it’s very difficult to understand what he needs or how he is sometimes feeling – I think this is an excellent choice and will be adding it to my list. we really don’t know enough about autism, it’s causes and our culture doesn’t do well with people who are “different”. I’m really going to be looking forward to reading this. Here’s my Friday meme


  3. Sounds like a great read but an emotional one. LOVE those! Happy weekend!


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