Eddie Lee Essay, Research Paper
The book I chose was “ Be Good to Eddie Lee” written by Virginia Fleming. The book is based on a little boy who has Down’s syndrome. The three main characters are Christy, Eddie Lee who has Down’s syndrome and JimBud. The story is about a hot summer day and a quest to find frog eggs in the lake that they all live near. Christy was taught by her mother to be nice to Eddie Lee even though he is different. JimBud on the other hand, is unkind to Eddie Lee because he thinks he is a dummy. After reading this book I found that many of the six values of teaching were touched upon.
The first value that I noticed was the one called “Envisioning Great Expectations”. This little boy Eddie Lee was allowed to play and go about as a normal child. There were no restrictions placed upon him based on his exceptionality. He was free to play down by the pond and walk in the woods just like the other kids.
The second value that was also used in this book was “Enhancing Positive Contributions”. This was shown when Eddie Lee took Christy to the pond he had found deep in the woods and showed her the frog eggs. Christy was really surprised by this because she and JimBud had been looking themselves and couldn’t find any. This made Christy realize that Eddie Lee was just as capable of finding things as Jimbud was, even though Eddie Lee was different.
The third value that I saw being used in this book was “Building on Strengths”. I found this when Eddie Lee was standing on the edge of the lake with JimBud and Christy screaming “BEE-U-TI-FUL.” This is when Christy realizes for the first time that there was more to the lake than just frog eggs. She sees what Eddie Lee is seeing and understands that some people see things different than others. She was to busy looking for frogs eggs that she didn’t even notice how beautiful the lake was and if it wasn’t for Eddie Lee she might not ever have.
The fourth value that I found being used in this book was “Acting on Choice” Even though Eddie was told to stay home by both Christy and JimBud he chose to follow them. After eavesdropping on there conversation, Eddie Lee takes the initiative and grabs Christy’s hand and takes her to where she can really see some frogs eggs. Especially since JimBud didn’t show her any like he said he would.
The fifth value that I found being used in this book was “Expanding Relationships” Christy’s mother told her that she should be nice to Eddie Lee. Just because he was different didn’t mean he wasn’t the same as her deep down inside. God made him special for a reason and because of that he shouldn’t be treated any different.
The sixth value that I found being used in this book was “Ensuring Full Citizenship”. This point was found throughout the whole book. For example, when Christy’s mother told her to be good to Eddie Lee because he was lonesome and when Christy saw that Eddie Lee could find frog eggs even though JimBud couldn’t. Eddie Lee saw beauty in the lake and she herself hadn’t even noticed.
In conclusion, this book is a good tool to use with young children to teach them about exceptionality. The lessons learned by Christy serve as a good example that even though another child may be different they can still learn from them. For the first time Christy saw things through Eddie Lee’s eyes and realized that he wasn’t nearly as different from her as she had thought. This book also demonstrates how Christy realized that she was right to be nice to Eddie Lee while Jim Bud was wrong for not giving him a chance just because of his differences.
Fleming, Virginia. Be Good to Eddie Lee. The Putnam & Grosset Group, 1997.
Turnbull, Ann., Turnbull, Rud., Shank, Marilyn.,Leal, Dorothy. Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools. Prentice Hall, 1999.