Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8

A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism

Publisher: Knopf Canada
A follow-up to its bestselling predecessor, The Reason I Jump opens an extraordinary, rare window into the mind and world of an autistic, non-verbal person--now coping with a young man's life.

Naoki Higashida wrote The Reason I Jump as a 13-year-old boy with severe autism, giving us all insight into a world never before open to us. Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a 24-year-old. Based on his hugely succesful blogs in Japan, he gives us, in short powerful chapters, his moving, beautiful insights into life, identity, education, his family, our society, and personal growth. He allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it's raining outside. Introduced by award-winning author David Mitchell (co-translator with his wife KA Yoshida), this book is part memoir, part critique of a world that sees disabilities ahead of the individual, part self-portrait-in-progress of a young man who happens to have autism and wants to help us understand his world better.


“The book rightfully challenges the methods and attitudes that prevail in supporting people with autism. It is rich in metaphor. . . . Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 should be read by many beyond the circle of parents seeking to understand their child. It places Mr. Higashida among the first rank of gifted writers, not just writers with autism.” —The Economist

“[Higashida's] work is deeply emotional and exudes empathy.” —Joyce Hackel, PRI 

“What is so special here . . . is Higashida takes us deep inside his mind and thoughts, showing us what it takes for him to experience daily life, things we take for granted. . . . If you’re searching for a summer read with substance and heart, this is it.” —Mark Abbott, The Province


“Higashida’s questions are basic but burning—eliciting exactly the sort of information an autistic parent would be most anxious to know. . . . His vision of the world through autism is filled with loneliness, fear and despair, but also moments of excitement and of dazzling beauty.” —Leah McLaren

“It helped me so much, and profoundly altered the way I viewed my son.” —David Mitchell

“I was hooked after a paragraph.” —Diane Keaton

“It is the most illuminating book I have ever read on the syndrome [of autism] and on the individual. . . . I don’t normally urge you—The Reason I Jump is on bookshelves. Please, if you get a chance, please pick it up. It is remarkable.” —Jon Stewart

“­Brave, smart and sometimes quirky, [The Reason I Jump] is a mix of stories, reflections and questions-and-answers about life in that alternate reality of autism.” —Toronto Star

“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.... Its explanation, advice and, most poignantly, its guilt . . . offers readers eloquent access into an almost entirely unknown world. . . . Descriptions of panic, distress and the isolation that autistic children feel as a result of the greater world’s ignorance of their condition are counterbalanced by the most astonishing glimpses of autism’s exhilaration. These are the most vivid and mesmerising moments of the book.” —The Independent 

The Reason I Jump pushes beyond the notion of autism as a disability, and reveals it as simply a different way of being, and of seeing. Naoki Higashida shines a light on the autistic landscape from the inside.” —BBC 

“A thirteen-year-old Japanese author illuminates his autism from within, making a connection with those who find the condition frustrating, mysterious or impenetrable. For the renowned novelist David Mitchell, who provides the introduction and collaborated on the translation, this book is ‘a revelatory godsend.’ . . . [Higashida] shows remarkable empathy and imagination. . . . Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[T]his incredible book . . . shatters many preconceptions people may have regarding those with autism.” —The Japan Times

Every writer aspires to write like this. Higashida has grown to see autism as one of his strengths, ‘preferring to be autistic versus normal.’ Reading The Reason I Jump, one is hard put to argue otherwise.” —Sangitha Krishnamurthi, The Hindu Business Line

This . . . will be invaluable to anyone who has struggled to comprehend the actions of someone with autism. This book may also give you a different perspective on autistic patients or loved ones, revealing complex, self-reflective thought processes where you and I might previously have assumed there were none. . . . The author’s ultimate hope is that even if autism cannot be cured, people with autism can build a greater connection with the rest of the world. This book is an important step in that process.” —Christine Contillo, Working Nurse

“This book is a wonderful testament to what can be unveiled if the communication difficulties are alleviated to allow personality, emotion, curiosity, thoughts and desires to be revealed. Under those curious behaviors of autism there lies a completely unique and wonderful human being, and that is something everyone should be made aware of.” —Liz Becker, Autism Daily Newscast