This book is a mostly a series of questions posed to a 13 year old boy with autism. He is able to respond by pointing to letters, forming words that are then transcribed by his mother or teacher. The book was translated from Japanese to English by well-known author David Mitchell. Higashida attempts to give insights into the minds of autistic people, expressing their frustrations and limitations with communication and their sometimes puzzling and disturbing behaviors He doesn't, however, attempt to speak for all autistic people and admits that he is unable to explain everything about his condition. Higashida is articulate and inspiring. His longing to connect with other people comes through on every page.
Parents, teachers, and those looking to understand individuals with autism should read this book. I will admit that I am not totally without skepticism about the authorship of The Reason I Jump, having been burned by "nonfiction" authors like James Frye and Greg Mortinson in the past. For example, are we reading Higashida's mother's interpretation of what goes on in his mind, and is Mitchell's translation embellished? I went online to find out more about HIgashida, but there is very little available at this time. At this point, I'm willing to take the book at face value and accept it as Higashida's creation. I hope I'm not disappointed to find out otherwise in the future.