Eddy is 10 years old and likes to play baseball and write mystery stories. He lives in Woodburn with his mother Erin, his father Howard, and older brother David, who has autism.
Although Eddy is the younger Franklin brother, he
assumes the role of teacher for David, showing him simple ways of
talking and playing. Eddy works with David, plays with him, and
tells his friends about his brother. There are times when it is
difficult for Eddy, and he speaks candidly about his ups and downs with
The boys’ parents, Erin and Howard, have worked with David’s teachers to gain as much understanding of autism as they can. Eddy’s patience and upbeat spirit are the result of his parents having taken the time to explain autism to him, so that Eddy’s pride in his brother is not clouded by guilt or fear. Perhaps because of the challenges that the Franklin family has faced, Eddy demonstrates a maturity level beyond his years. He has struggled to understand what it might be like for David, and he shares his insight with the people he encounters.
Despite his openness in discussing his brother's difference, Eddy has been harboring a secret from his parents. Recently, he has begun having problems with a boy at school who has been taunting him, pushing him around, taking his lunch money and waiting for him after school, either to humiliate him or beat him up. Eddy has been very upset about this, but has not talked to anyone, yet. He is ashamed and embarrassed and doesn’t believe that anyone can help him. He also feels somewhat guilty because when his friend, Jason, was having similar problems, Eddy didn’t do anything to help him out. In fact, much of his guilt comes from the fact that when Jason was being bullied, Eddy was secretly relieved that it was happening to Jason rather than to himself.