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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
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Group Read Archive > Group Non - Fiction Read - April 2014 - The Reason I Jump - SPOILERS ALLOWED

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Mar 07, 2014 05:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
The discussion thread is now open. Spoilers are allowed on this thread. Don't read on if you haven't finished the book. Can you also unclick the 'Add to my update feed' people don't see your comments in their home screen.


Sandra (sanlema) I read it at the beginning of this year. I felt moved by David Mitchell's introduction and I liked the first 40 pages. Beyond this point I started finding the author's voice unreal. I'm not an expert in the topic. This is just what I felt as a reader.


Kristen I liked the book but after a while I didn't appreciate the use of "we" to describe seemingly all or many autistics. Virtually everyone on the spectrum manifests in a unique combination of traits, so I felt that it may be somewhat misleading for uninformed readers. Otherwise, an authentic and thought provoking read.


Donna (drspoon) Kristen wrote: "I liked the book but after a while I didn't appreciate the use of "we" to describe seemingly all or many autistics. Virtually everyone on the spectrum manifests in a unique combination of traits, ..."

My thoughts exactly Kristen. This view doesn't take anything away from this remarkable young author's experience of things. But it's a slippery slope to assume his experiences and feelings are shared by everyone on the spectrum.


Debbie | 585 comments I agree the 'we' gets exasperating, however he does clarify at one section of the book that by 'we' he was speaking as he himself felt and possibly how others might. I decided to give him a little poetic license and gloss over the rest of the 'we's'. Admirable work for a 13 year old, autistic or not.


Kristen Debbie wrote: "I agree the 'we' gets exasperating, however he does clarify at one section of the book that by 'we' he was speaking as he himself felt and possibly how others might. I decided to give him a little ..."

Yes, definitely admirable! I'm trying to get my 11 year old daughter who is on the spectrum to read this book to see which parts she identifies with most. She is high-functioning yet I found definite overlaps in behavior through various parts of this author's story.


Lisa (mrswhams) | 730 comments Mod
I finished this a few days ago and, like everyone, found the David Mitchell introduction to be very moving and beautiful: it really gave a fresh perspective for me.

The writing is remarkable for such a young boy, so eloquent and, at times, a real plea from the heart. I loved his stories, too. I do agree about the 'we', as clearly his experiences are not universal, but it's still a fascinating insight into autism.


Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
I am most of the way through this now. As you say Lisa, it is very eloquent, though i imagine that is as much to do with David Mitchell's sensitive writing.

For me what is most impressive is the honesty of his writing. He manages to come across as a sensitive soul, untroubled by his autism, but also advising sensible precautions to others when he reacts to a situation in a way that they would not expect a 'normal person' to do so.


Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Finished this morning and reviewed here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Nikki Mcgee | 209 comments My review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I enjoyed this book, it has made me think an awful lot about the students that I teach with autism.

It is difficult not to be moved by a book written by a boy who has written such beautiful prose by pointing to single letters.

At times I was not sure where Naoki's voice stopped and Mitchell's took over and I was interested to read a NY times article that shared my reservations.

The sections on water taking Naoki back to a primeval world and the assertion that autism was a response to an over commercial world alienated from the environment read more like a liberally minded middle aged author than a 12/13 year old boy. On reelection this could be a cultural difference.


message 11: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy | 458 comments Nikki, I had that same feeling that how could someone so young have such insight. I chose to believe that he wrote the passages. I did consider the cultural differences to explain some of it.

Many of these children have special talents in which they excel.


Nikki Mcgee | 209 comments I considered that this was a savant talent which makes the book even more moving. It then does open two questions. If it is the voice of a young man with a remarkable talent - and his shirt stories suggest that it is - how far does he speak for others with autism? In particular his assertion that he is extremely sensitive to the wishes and feelings of others.

A second question, which as a teacher concerns me , is how many other children are cut off from this creative imaginative talent because they cannot verbalise their thoughts.


message 13: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy | 458 comments I hope that children with autism can reach their potential. Maybe sensitive teachers and parents can help recognize these talents. I realize that autism is on a spectrum, and each child or person is an individual, some with profound disabilities.
You have some excellent points.
( In the US we spell realize with a z ) :) lol


message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
It would be interesting to know someone who had read the original and to see if the same insights came across.


Nikki Mcgee | 209 comments I had the same thought Paul.


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