Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 | Penguin Random House Canada

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 

“[Higashida’s] thoughtful, syntactically complex writing puts the lie to the already dubious characterization of such individuals as ‘low-functioning.’ . . . Higashida still uses his genteel prose to explain how he processes the world—his anatomy of a meltdown should be compulsory reading for all parents of kids on the spectrum (or even off it for that matter). Ditto for his frequent pleas that caregivers exercise calm and avoid reprimanding for behaviour that’s already the source of enormous pain for its enactors.” —Toronto Star

“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

“[P]owerful.” —The Globe and Mail

“Compelling insight on every single page, gently challenging assumptions you didn’t even know you held on how others ‘should’ process the social and physical environments around us.” —Ellen Notbohm, author of Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

“Illuminating. . . . Higashida writes with confidence about his many interests, including nature and mathematics, and ‘the immutable beauties of autism,’ and he reckons himself lucky to be wired as he is. . . . Autism is a mysterious neurological condition. . . . Higashida gives us a thoughtful view of the art of living well in its shadow.” —Kirkus Reviews