Buried Onions

( 27 )

Overview

When 19-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.

When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.

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Overview

When 19-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.

When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.

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Editorial Reviews

Beth Amos
Despite the lingering stench, pervasive fear, seedy squalor, and sweltering heat, there is an encouraging seed of hope in Gary Soto's Buried Onions , a tale of faith and survival in an out-of-control world. The title comes from the main character's image of a giant onion lurking just beneath the city streets, a bulb of sadness whose vapors leak above ground and make people cry. And while there is plenty to cry over in this story of a young man trying to escape what appears to be his destiny, there is also much to cheer about and celebrate.

Nineteen-year-old Eddie has spent his entire life in a crime-ridden and run-down Mexican-American neighborhood in Fresno, California, where kids are as likely to graduate from juvie hall as they are from high school. Drugs, desperadoes, and death are the norm; the streets are mean and the facts of life as cruel as they come. Hoping to learn a trade and improve his chances in life, Eddie enrolls in City College, where he often watches the mortuary students who also attend the school, wondering if they have handled any of the dead friends and family members Eddie has recently lost to violence. When a lack of money forces Eddie to drop out, he hits the streets in search of income, soliciting odd jobs wherever he can and struggling to get by. Then his cousin Jesús is killed, the victim of a senseless and cold-blooded knifing. Scarred by grief and scared for his own future, Eddie resists the urgings of his mother, aunt, and several friends to find Jesús's killer and avenge his death as cultural tradition dictates.

When he finds a steady job with a kindhearted and generous man, Eddie focuses on toeing the line and staying out of trouble. But soon both fate and the vicious cycle of violence spin wildly out of control, threatening to pull Eddie into the vortex. When Eddie's employer entrusts him to drive his pickup to the dump, it is stolen when Eddie stops by his apartment for a few minutes on the way back. Shamed and afraid, Eddie doesn't return to his employer, though he does write a note to him trying to explain. Then salvation seems at hand when Eddie spies the stolen truck a few days later while walking along the streets with a friend. While the friend stands beside the truck to keep an eye on it, Eddie heads to a nearby pay phone to call his employer and tell him where the truck is. But by the time Eddie returns to the pickup, he finds his friend has been knifed and left in the street to die.

When Eddie hears a rumor that it may have been a trusted friend who killed Jesús, he begins to fear for his own life, a fear that soon becomes all too real. As the pressures and bad luck mount, Eddie's life becomes a daily battle for survival. The temptation to give in to crime, violence, and easy money is great. His tenacity in sticking to his values and beliefs, in holding up when the pressures are pushing him down, is a lesson in all that is wondrous and precious about humanity.

With his powerful imagery and thought-provoking situations, Soto paints a vivid and affecting picture. He mimics real life with adept skill, evoking Eddie's feelings of desperation and misery while also revealing the hard-to-see lifelines of hope. There are no easy answers here, and an ambiguous ending. But the underlying theme of not giving up, of striving to break free of life's damaging bonds, offers an invaluable and heartening lesson in both life and hope.


--Beth Amos

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This bleak, claustrophobic novel perfectly captures the cyclical despair of its [19-year-old, Hispanic protagonist], said PW; Soto leaves this bitter street tale unsweetened to the end. Ages 12-up. Apr.
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
Eddie is trying to make a life for himself in Fresno; the only problem is that everyone and everything around him is trying to stop him. His father, his best friend, and now a cousin have all died unfortunate gun-related deaths. His aunt wants him to revenge his cousin's death by killing the alleged murderer. When Eddie who struggles to meet ends meet finally finds a job, teenage gang members cause him to lose his job and to possibly wind up in jail. Refusing to resort to violence to solve his problems, Eddie sees the military as a possible way out of his miserable environment. Much like Jamal in Walter Dean Myers's Scorpions who balks at joining his brother's gang, Eddie is determined to lead a legitimate life. Can he leave the city behind? This well-written, gripping book will fascinate teen readers in any classroom.
VOYA - Katie O'Dell Madison
Eddie is a nineteen-year-old, Hispanic city college dropout trying to make good on his own in Fresno, California. Every day Eddie is faced with death: his father's, his cousin's, and the threat of his own. He sees the city he lives in as being built over a huge onion, "that remarkable bulb of sadness" that makes strong men like him cry. He tries to separate his own identity from the violent nature and stupidity he sees in his compadres, but he cannot seem to avoid danger. Eddie gets a job landscaping for a trusting man, but when someone from his community steals the employer's truck, Eddie is too ashamed to go back and admit what happened. He lies low and avoids the phone. While contemplating his future employment, Eddie begins to suspect that his cousin-who was sliced open with a rough, dirty blade-was murdered by his best friend, and Eddie feels his own life might be in danger. In an action-packed second half, Eddie dodges through the dirty barrio, trying to avoid the suspected killer while also experimenting with ways to escape his neighborhood. In the end he turns to his one trusted mentor, a basketball coach, who points him to the military as a way to get out. Soto has created a beautiful, touching, and truthful story about one young man struggling to keep his dignity and not bend to the will of the glue-sniffing locals. Much like the modern classic film Boyz in the Hood, this story, that resorts to neither stereotypes nor clichés, portrays a young man fighting against society to make a place for himself in the world. The lyrical language and Spanish phrases add to the immediacy of setting and to the sensitivity the author brings to his character's life. Buried Onions is Soto's best fiction yet. Especially recommended to teen readers who enjoyed Walter Dean Myers's Scorpions (Harper, 1988) or Jes Mowry's Way Past Cool (Farrar, 1992). VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 9 UpLife is a struggle for 19-year-old Eddie as he survives one day at a time in Fresno, California. He lives in a rough neighborhood plagued by drive-bys, drugs, and desperate people. After his cousin Jess is killed, Eddie's aunt pressures him to avenge her son's death. Eddie drops out of City College and works odd jobs, all the while pondering this, the latest of the senseless killings that have become a fact of life within the community. A run of bad luck adds to his frustration as he is inextricably caught up in the violence he deplores. Soto's writing is apt; he provides readers with strong images through the eyes and voice of Eddie. The young man frequently describes his surroundings, "I returned to my apartment, which was in a part of Fresno where fences sagged and the paint blistered on houses....Laundry wept from the lines, the faded flags of poor, ignorant, unemployable people." Additionally, the author stirs more senses with his descriptions of smells and sounds. The only drawback to the story is that it is somewhat repetitious. Characters are introduced, then reenter the story with repeated delineation. Still, Soto's descriptions are poetic, and he creates deep feelings of heat and despair. A powerful and thought-provoking read.Mary M. Hopf, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Eddie, a young Mexican-American scraping by in the mean streets of Fresno, California, counts four dead relatives and one dead friend in the opening, in-your-face lines of this new novel from Soto (Snapshots from the Wedding,etc.).

In bleak sentences of whispered beauty, Eddie tells how he dropped out of vocational college and is attempting to get by with odd jobs. His aunt and friends want him to avenge the recent murder of his cousin, but Eddie just wants to find a way out. Everything he tries turns soura stint doing yard work ends when his boss's truck is stolen on Eddie's watchand life is a daily battle for survival. This unrelenting portrait is unsparing in squalid details: The glue sniffers, gangs, bums, casual knifings, filth, and stench are in the forefront of a life without much hope"Laundry wept from the lines, the faded flags of poor, ignorant, unemployable people." Soto plays the tale straightthe only sign of a "happy" ending is in Eddie's joining the Navy. The result is a sort of Fresno Salaam Bombay without the pockets of humanity that gave the original its charm. A valuable tale, it's one that makes no concessions.

From the Publisher
"Soto's descriptions are poetic, and he creates deep feelings of heat and despair. A powerful and thought-provoking read."—School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756972189
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Pages: 149
  • Sales rank: 1,077,696
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Soto 's first book for young readers, Baseball in April and Other Stories, won the California Library Association's Beatty Award and was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. He has since published many novels, short stories, plays, and poetry collections for adults and young people. He lives in Berkeley, California. Visit his website at www.garysoto.com .

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



I knew the mortuary students would get good jobs because my cousin had died recently and my father and two uncles were dead, all of them now with arms like the arms of praying mantises, crooked and thin as whispers. My best friend from high school was also dead, his head having been caught like bulk laundry in the giant rollers of a steel foundry. It was his first good job, and his last. I pictured him with a head like a hatchet, and if I met him, say in heaven, or some dream that was close to heaven, I wouldn't know if I should say something first or let him speak the tinny words of someone whose head had been flattened by iron. "Juanito," I decided I'd say, cheerfully patting a bench to invite him to sit next to me, but looking the other way. "You remember when you stuck your flnger in a bottle and couldn't get it out?"

I had gone to school with Juan since we were seven, and I knew his sister Belinda, now heavy with a baby, her second and possibly her last because her husband, junior, was in Vacaville prison. She hadn't softened. She was a chola with wings of blue over each eye and a tear tattooed on her left cheek.

I thought about Juan while sitting at a wobbly metal table on the campus of City College. The mortuary students all had clean fingers and sat over coffees that I imagined cooled quicker than the coffee regular students drank. I figured that when they handled the bodies, the dead stole some of their heat, and later, when they climbed the steps of the dank basement, the students of that ghoulish business had to stand in the sun and quiver until the heat returned to their bodies.

The sun was climbing over the treesof City College and soon the black asphalt would shimmer with vapors. I had a theory about those vapors, which were not released by the sun's heat but by a huge onion buried under the city. This onion made us cry. Tears leapt from our eyelashes and stained our faces. Babies in strollers pinched up their faces and wailed for no reason. Perhaps as practice for the coming years. I thought about the giant onion, that remarkable bulb of sadness.

I returned to my apartment, which was in a part of Fresno where fences sagged and the paint blistered on houses. The swamp coolers squeaked like squirrels. Dogs pulled at chains, the clover leaf of their padded paws hardened by years of this kind of traction. Laundry wept from the lines, the faded flags of poor, ignorant, unemployable people. The old sat on porches, fanning themselves, stirring up that onion smell so that it moved up and down the block. Some guys, all of them Mexican like me,. worked on their cars, and the young mothers stood on their front lawns, talking as they pushed their strollers back and forth a few inches. Still the babies cried, and their crying stirred up our frustration because we were like those strollers going back and forth, back and forth, getting nowhere.

For me, there wasn't much to do except eat and sleep, watch out for drive-bys, and pace myself through life. I had dropped out of City College, where I was taking classes in air-conditioning. I quit not long after my cousin, mi primo, Jesus got killed. He was at a club with Angel, his best friend and carnal, a blood brother. On that night he was exactly that, a blood brother, as Angel eased Jesus down to the sticky black-and-white tiled floor. My poor primo. He had died all because he told another guy that he had yellow shoes. They were in the rest room, at the sink I imagined, and my cousin was happy he had a job and a new woman, so happy that he wanted to talk. Jesus made the mistake of looking down at this guy's shoes and saying something. This guy pushed a dirty blade right into my cousin's clean heart. Or so I heard.

I tried not to think about Jesus, or Juan, or my father and uncles, all of them on their racks of black, black earth. But on those days when I saw the mortuary students huddled together, I couldn't help but think of them. I shook off those images and opened the door to my apartment. Roses flowered near the living-room window, sweetening the entrance. I had no more than a couch and two chairs, college books that I intended to resell, a bed and dresser, and family pictures angled so they almost looked at each other. I had a print of a ship riding the ocean, its sail full, going somewhere. It was fake art, the kind of thing you can pick up at a swap meet or get as a gift when you buy a gaudy red sofa from a Mexican furniture store.

The apartment was stuffy, hot. I turned on the swamp cooler, poured myself a glass of cold water from the refrigerator, and sat down with a sigh on theporch steps. I got up and checked the mail slot nothing just a reddish rust stain on my fingertips. There never was anything, just junk mail and my gas and electric bill. Even my mother, who lived in Merced with her sister Gloria, who had hearing aids in both wrinkled ears, seldom wrote. I sipped my water while studying a red ant that was hauling a white speck, the bread of its living, pinched in its mouth. I chuckled. The ant was earning his keep.

of "Keep running, little dude," I muttered. I told myself to keep a steady weight on my shoulders and to stay out of trouble and run a straight line-to stay away from the police and the rumblings of vatos who have nothing to do.

Buried Onions. Copyright © by Gary Soto. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Both moving and gritty, Buried Onions paints an unforgettable portrait of life in a gang infested, inner-city neighborhood in California as seen through the eyes of an impoverished Mexican-American teenager. The narrator of the book must deal with the stress of gangs, family, and poverty while fighting to maintain his integrity and values in the face of these pressures.

His father, best friend, and cousin dead from recent acts of violence, nineteen-year-old Eddie is doing his best to survive on the mean streets of southeast Fresno without suffering a similar fate. All he wants is to forget his violent past, hold down an honest job, and walk a straight line. But Eddie, pressured by his aunt and friends of his cousin to avenge his cousin's death, finds himself slipping closer and closer to a dangerous and violent end.

Set in a poor barrio, where heat vapors swelter from the asphalt and thirteen-year-old boys carry knives, Buried Onions is the tale of a teenager trying to escape the influences of the gangs and violence around him. But making an honest living proves to be easier said than done.

A richly felt first-person narrative guides us through Eddie's coming of age, from universal adolescent experiences like flirting with pretty girls and trying to find a job to inner-city trials like knife threats and police arrests. Gary Soto's poignant novel and moving narrative allow all teenagers to relate to the gritty reality of Eddie's life.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Eddie's experiences are greatly influenced by his neighborhood and ethnicity, yet any reader of the book is able to relate to Eddie. Throughoutthe novel he faces the issues of friendship, trust, girls, family, work, gangs, and death. How are Eddie's experiences similar to those of any teenager? What are some of his experiences that are a direct result of his environment?

  2. Buried Onions is rich with vivid language and imagery. What are some of the recurring images that appear throughout the novel? What do they help to convey about Eddie and the world he lives in? What mood, tone, and reaction do these recurring images elicit? How do they affect your reading of the book?

  3. Discuss the situation when Eddie and his nina take Queenie to be put to sleep. How does Eddie handle the situation? Eddie does something that he considers wrong by taking the money -- as he says, "I felt bad, but I had to do it; I was starving and had to go on living." Do you think it was wrong of Eddie to do what he did? What do Eddie's feelings on taking the money tell you about his character and situation? Does it blur your notions of a clear-cut sense of right and wrong?

  4. When Mr. Stiles's truck is stolen from Eddie's driveway, he does not call the police to report the theft. Likewise, when they find the truck, Eddie and José choose to handle it themselves instead of calling any authorities. Why? What does this imply about the reputation and perception of Mexican teenagers in Fresno? What would have been the likely reaction of the police?

  5. Although Eddie would like to accept Jesús's death and move on, he is pressured by Angel and his aunt to avenge his cousin's murder. Explain the two perspectives—Eddie's versus Angel's—on how Eddie should handle the situation. Why is it so difficult for Eddie to simply say no to them?

  6. Discuss Eddie's relationship with Mr. Stiles throughout the book. How do you think Mr. Stiles sees Eddie? What are some of the ways in which both characters stereotype each other? Put yourself in their shoes, and consider whether you can relate to each character's actions. Why or why not? If you were either one, would you have forgiven the other, as Eddie and Mr. Stiles forgive each other?

  7. How does Eddie feel about joining the navy? What does he see as advantages and disadvantages? Do you think these are good reasons to make such a big decision? Why? Why do José and Coach think it would be a good idea?

  8. Throughout the book José and Coach prove themselves to be loyal and trustworthy friends to Eddie. Describe how this is shown without ever being stated. What role do these characters play in each others' lives? What is the significance of the fishing trip?

  9. Buried Onions is told in the first person, how do you think this adds to the impact of the novel? Why is it stronger than if the story had been told in the third-person?

  10. Discuss the end of the book. What happened within Eddie? What do you think makes Eddie cry, and why? Do you think he went back to the van, or returned to Fresno?

About the author

Gary Soto is a distinguished poet and author of numerous books for adults and children. His work has garnered many honors and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Soto lives with his family in Berkeley, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Buried Onions is a story based off a young adult that is 19 yea


    Buried Onions is a story based off a young adult that is 19 years old. His name is Eddie. Eddie grew up in Fresno, filled with gangs, violence and trouble. He grew up with a very rough and difficult life with a lot of violence and deaths that affected him extremely. Eddie tries his best to stay out of trouble because he just wants to forget about his past and move on. The death of his cousin had a huge effect on him, after that Eddie went into depression. His cousin's mother wants Eddie to find the murderer and kill him for justice. When Eddie starts to get his life on track he got a job that he had to paint numbers on the street, after awhile he got a different job and gained trust with his boss who ends up letting Eddie take his truck. Although the truck ends up getting stolen so Eddie has to find a way to tell his boss who trusted him with the truck that it is now stolen. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults that are around the age of Eddie. I enjoy this book because it's not something made up and fake, meaning that this does actually happen in real life and it happens all around us, some of us might know someone like this. This book shows you how someone can go from being a troublemaker to someone who is just trying to work and make themselves better. It could also show you not to judge someone because they might not like the life they live or lived so that's why they are trying to make a difference for who they are.I would also recommend this book to someone that has or is going through what Eddie went through, it can encourage you to change seeing how Eddie tries.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    I read "Buried Onions" by Gary Soto, published in Orl

    I read "Buried Onions" by Gary Soto, published in Orlando, Florida by Harcourt Inc. The main character in this novel is Eddie, a nineteen-year old struggling to get along in the gang-infested streets of Fresno, California. Eddie has the instincts of a gangster, but he truly wants to get out of Fresno and make something out of himself. He paints curbs in the wealthier part of Fresno, and eventually gets a job working for a man known as Mr. Stiles. He does manual labor, and Mr. Stiles really begins to like Eddie. However, there are a couple of unexpected events throughout the novel that make you question how much Mr. Stiles trusts Eddie.
    Eddie has to deal with many things in his life, like the death of his brother, Jesús. His Tía pressures him to kill whoever is responsible for the killing, but he continues to avoid the issue because he doesn’t want to be like the rest of the “cholos” in Fresno. All Eddie really wants is to escape the 20 dollars per week he receives from his mother, and provide for himself.
    I liked this book because it kept me turning the pages, extremely intrigued with what the next page may have in store for me. Soto accomplishes this exceptionally well at the end of chapters. For example, Soto leaves us with this line: “The sick, the relatives of the sick, hospital workers, at least two nurses, all scattered as we rolled over each other down a narrow flight of stairs” (139). This leaves the reader with a hole that is just waiting to be filled with the following pages. I also enjoyed the occasional interjection of words in Spanish that I had never heard, such as “cholo” (121), meaning gang boy, and “ratoncito” (86), meaning little rat.
    The theme of this novel taught me to be thankful for what I have. Eddie was just happy to have “cereal and milk, Top Ramen, and scarred plums” (88), he considered his cabinets to be full. Reading things like this really made me appreciate the simple things that I have readily available to me, rather than being upset over not having a new electronic. Also, Eddie has to bike everywhere, and can’t afford a car. My family has two cars, and reading about how Eddie had to walk everywhere in the blazing hot Fresno sun made me realize how fortunate I am.
    I would recommend this to any boy 12 years and older that enjoys action novels. There are many instances of stealing and swearing, among other things in this novel that may be a little mature for younger kids. However, I loved the dialogue in the arguments and fights between Eddie and the other characters in the novel; it was engaging and interesting to me. A particular scene I really liked was towards the end of the book, where Eddie fought two gangsters, Angel and Samuel. It was action-packed and very detailed, from the dialogue in the fight, to different moves they used against each other.

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    I think it is so interesting. Eddie,a young boy, who just moved

    I think it is so interesting. Eddie,a young boy, who just moved to the city after his cousin,Jesus was killed in the restroom by a yellow shoes guy.It's hard to find a good job on the big city with a Mexican-American has nothing.He tried to find the job,but Angel,Jesus 's friend,always want him to find the yellow shoes guy and ice him as he did with Jesus.He found a job,everything seemed good after he lost Mr.Stile's truck by robbers in the front of his apartment. He was scared and want to run away with those gangsters and dangers always around him. He is tired. He wants to cry as the buried onions smell through his eyes in the hot day of summer.He decided to go to navy although he does not swim well.
    The story show to the readers how hard to live alone,to find a better job.You should get education, try to stay out of trouble.You have to find them before they come to you.
    I like this book and "The After Life " also with the same author.
    If you never read this book,you should try to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    this is a very good book. i would recommend this book to anyone.

    this is a very good book. i would recommend this book to anyone. The challenges faced by the main character, Eddie, are magnified throughout the novel. Eddie's life in Fresno, California is dreary, and everyone either dies or makes little money for a living. This book is about a boy name Eddie that has a hard time to find a job also the dude that iced his cousin at the club because some one said that he was wearing yellow shoes. And the dude stabs his cousin with a blade in his heart. And now his aunt is trying to get the dude that killed his cousin and she is telling Eddie to slaughter the dude for killing Jesus at the club but Eddie has a hard time looking for him. He lost his job with Mr. Stiles because they hot-wired his truck and Mr. Stiles thinks that Eddie is responsible for his truck. Then he and his cousin went out to eat at restaurant when they saw the truck pass by the restaurant and they run out fast to catch them. When they got there his cousin told Eddie to go call Mr. Stiles so Eddie ran back to the restaurant to use the pay phone to call Mr. Stiles that they had found his truck and told him to get down there right away but¿ Mr. Stiles didn¿t believe that he was telling the truth about the truck so he hangs up the phone and he ran back to where the truck was parked. He saw his cousin on the floor bleeding and he saw the little punks running off. Anyways he was so messed up that he didn¿t know what to do if go and stay at his moms house for a few weeks or join the navy.

    kmmm

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2011

    WTH

    WHAT THE HELL WAS THE FREAKING ENDING DO NOT READ THIS BOOK I WANT ALL THE TIME THAT TOOK ME TO READ THAT BOOK BACK PLEASE!

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  • Posted November 9, 2009

    Great Book

    Have you ever read a book and able to connect so much to the main character? The book Buried Onions by Gary Soto is an interesting storyline where the message is that there is always a choice in every decision you make. In life everyone goes through making decisions and their decisions reflect how that decision is played out. I was able to relate to Eddie so much I did not want to put this book down. The title comes from the belief that buried onions are buried underneath the ground and asphalt, and making everyone decision making out of control. Eddie goes through many problems that he faces and many challenges, that get in the way. He is faced with keeping his fortitude, while many problems arise. One main problem Eddie has is deviate away from his aunt who wants him to avenge the death of her son, Eddie's cousin, by killing the man responsible. Eddies finds away to avoid his aunt but gets in deeper when he escapes her. Gary Soto really makes the character Eddie so unusually real that I can relate to him. I hope that when readers choose this book, they can understand that many people face Eddie's struggles and make much more opposite decisions. This book is amazing and I recommend it to everyone.

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    Great Book!

    Buried Onions by Gary Soto is an amazing book for many reasons. The challenges faced by the main character, Eddie, are magnified throughout the novel. Eddie's life in Fresno, California is dreary, and everyone either dies or makes little money for a living. Eddie makes up a fantasy place, where he thinks onions are "buried" under the ground. After Eddie's cousin Jesus is shot by an unknown murderer, Eddie becomes slightly depressed and he needs to find something constructive to do. His first job at the age of nineteen is to paint numbers on street curbs, a very low-paying job. He then finds a job working for an older man, who he gains trust with. The man eventually gives Eddie the keys to his truck and lets him drive to the trash heap by himself. Trying not to ruin things, Eddie takes the keys and drives off slowly and steadily. Since he has a very small apartment, Eddie felt the need to search for supplies. Trying to bring home a fridge in the truck, he feels he should put the fridge into his apartment. Leaving, he realizes that the truck he was entrusted with was ultimately stolen. This is just one example from Buried Onions of sadness and misery, which opens up characters' identities and shows the life of a real Mexican-American. I like this book because it shows an in-depth look at a sorrowful place in California. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to read, because it is very interesting and the book flows along. There is a different outlook at life in Buried Onions, showing what is close to a real-life experience of a poor nineteen-year-old in Fresno. There is a sad tone, but an even better moral in Gary Soto's Buried Onions

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    Buried Onions

    What do you think when you happen to see a Buried Onion title on a book.
    You ask yours is this Shrek book. lol. (laugh out loud). I recommend every teenager to read this book and try to understand other teens stories as in Buried onions. I could relate to the story as Eddie had the chance to to bad acts and suddenly Eddie stop. The author Gary Soto tells his story about a young boy and his irregular life in Fresno. Eddie the main character is seeking the truth and struggles behind his brother death. The author lets you feel like you are in the story as if you are Eddie's angel. Looking upon his side but with out having to speak to Eddie. Gary soto Purpose I my mind is that even in the Hardest area in where people live you can better yourself no matter what happens. All of us have the power to make decision that will impact are lifes. I like the way Gary Soto puts alot of details in the story. It gives you as a reader a clear picture as we once lived as a teen. Having are little spot or having a bow of cereal and adding alot of sugar. This book i will never get tried of reading. Thats how good it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2006

    Buried onions

    buried onion is teh interstin book that make people brain wash.I mean by the people mind, its very make sence when you read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    DYNAMITE!

    The story is a page-turner. Initially intrigued by the beautiful artwork on the cover, I could not put the book down. I felt like I was inside the story watching as it took place and wanting to intervene in Eddie's battles. You can't help but feel Eddie's frustration and solitude. I don't know how Soto did this, but a certain quietness resonates as the story unfolds. I'm an adult, and I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and am glad that I chose such an excellent book for my students' reading pleasure :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    buried onions

    buried onion was about a young boy name eddie who is just trying to go on with his life he had to deal with the daeth of his cousin jose and now is trying to go on by the good path not the bad. Eddies aunt dolores is trying to get the guy who killed her son they know the guy who killed her son was wearing yellow shoes. Eddie is getting pressured into killing that one guy but eddie doe not want to the atory is pretty much good the only bad thing about it it doesnt start since the beginning i think people should read this book to learn a little about life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Buried Onions

    This book was so cool that it was cool! This book is about a boy name Eddie that has a hard time to find a job also the dude that iced his cousin at the club because some one said that he was wearing yellow shoes. And the dude stabs his cousin with a blade in his heart. And now his aunt is trying to get the dude that killed his cousin and she is telling Eddie to slaughter the dude for killing Jesus at the club but Eddie has a hard time looking for him. He lost his job with Mr. Stiles because they hot-wired his truck and Mr. Stiles thinks that Eddie is responsible for his truck. Then he and his cousin went out to eat at restaurant when they saw the truck pass by the restaurant and they run out fast to catch them. When they got there his cousin told Eddie to go call Mr. Stiles so Eddie ran back to the restaurant to use the pay phone to call Mr. Stiles that they had found his truck and told him to get down there right away but¿ Mr. Stiles didn¿t believe that he was telling the truth about the truck so he hangs up the phone and he ran back to where the truck was parked. He saw his cousin on the floor bleeding and he saw the little punks running off. Anyways he was so messed up that he didn¿t know what to do if go and stay at his mom¿s house for a few weeks or join the navy. Over all it was great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Buried Onions

    This book is about a boy name Eddie that has a hard time to find a job also the dude that iced his cousin at the club because some one said that he was wearing yellow shoes. And the dude stabs his cousin with a blade in his heart. And now his aunt is trying to get the dude that killed his cousin and she is telling Eddie to slaughter the dude for killing Jesus at the club but Eddie has a hard time looking for him. He lost his job with Mr. Stiles because they hot-wired his truck and Mr. Stiles thinks that Eddie is responsible for his truck. Then he and his cousin went out to eat at restaurant when they saw the truck pass by the restaurant and they run out fast to catch them. When they got there his cousin told Eddie to go call Mr. Stiles so Eddie ran back to the restaurant to use the pay phone to call Mr. Stiles that they had found his truck and told him to get down there right away but¿ Mr. Stiles didn¿t believe that he was telling the truth about the truck so he hangs up the phone and he ran back to where the truck was parked. He saw his cousin on the floor bleeding and he saw the little punks running off. Anyways he was so messed up that he didn¿t know what to do if go and stay at his mom¿s house for a few weeks or join the navy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    this is a great book.

    The book Buried Onions was a good book because it was about a bunch of 19 year old boy named Eddie Estrada who lives in an house by himself in Fresno California and how his cousin Jesus was killed in a washroom which had an big impact on Eddie¿s life. Eddie has had a lot of losses in his lifetime his dad, uncle, His cousin was pictured to be stabbed in the heart with a dirty blade in washroom just for saying a mans shoes were kind of yellow. Eddie has a job working as a sidewalk painter putting the address on the curb in black or white or anything that they needed him to do like weeds or digging. Eddie finally gets a job working for a man named Mr. Stiles who gave him a job digging so he can plant a birch tree. Then Stiles gave Eddie the truck to go pick up some stuff from the store and Eddie gets the truck stolen. His mom is like the only one who sends Eddie mail besides his bill collectors. His mom and his aunt both keep trying to get him a girlfriend whenever they come to his house. His aunt always say how come you don¿t have an girlfriend and tells him about the girls she know and shows him some pictures. When they come over they talk about his house and how messy it is and they talk about how he doesn¿t have any coffee. Then one of his high school friends who were in the marines came to visit him and took him out for breakfast. He then writes a letter to Stiles telling how he got the truck stolen and puts it in his mailbox. This big time gangster who is only 18 named angel who had even dropped out of school, he kept an gun in his sock drawer was looking for the man who killed Jesus. Jesus mother wants Eddie to kill the man who killed her son and she keeps putting tortillas wrapped in a paper towel on his front porch. Then Angel gives Eddie a gun so that when he finds the man who killed his cousin he could take him out. I think this book turned out to be better than what I thought it would be and was good. Whoever you are should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    A EVERYDAY LIFE

    Buried onions A friend dead, a mom trying to get revenge, an ex-gang banger just trying to go on with his life that¿s the story of Buried Onions a boy name Eddie just trying to live with the pain of his friend who passed away all because of gangs. Now Eddie is trying to go on with his life and trying to succeed in life. Eddie¿s aunt is trying to get revenge at the one who killed her son. All they know is that a yellow shoe guy was the one who killed Jesus. Eddie had a job painting some numbers on curbs to people who didn¿t have a number in their houses. Then Eddie met a guy name Mr. Styles who gave him a job. Eddie had to plant birch trees once Mr. Styles asked Eddie to take a run to the dump and Eddie did once he was at the dump. He saw a refrigerator that he liked so he took it and put it up on the trunk. He took it to his house and parked the trunk in front he went upstairs when he came back down he found nothing. Eddie was worried. He didn¿t know who took the truck and didn¿t know what to tell Mr. Styles. Eddie didn¿t show up to Mr. Styles house in weeks and Mr. Styles got worried because Eddie never returned his truck. Mr. Styles keep going to check if Eddie was at his house so he can ask where the truck is. Eddie thought that this guy name Angel took the truck. Angel went to Eddie¿s house and Eddie asked if he took the truck. Angel told him he didn¿t know what he was talking about. Eddie¿s apartment was a mess and his mom went to visit him and said that he was a cochino because the room is so messy. Eddie¿s mom doesn¿t really talk to Eddie. Eddie¿s aunt gave Angel a gun to kill the people who killed Jesus. I thought the book was a good book and I think people should read it because it¿s a book about a young boy trying to go on with his life and a lot of young people go through this on an everyday living.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    It was a magical story that captures you in the story!

    Buried Onions is a really good book. I give it about 3 golden stars. The book is about a man named Eddie and he¿s trying to find his path in life . This is a guy who dropped out of college and works for a nice man and together they both learn a few things from each other or that¿s at least what I thought. I liked how Eddie managed his life. He held up quite well I think. Most important he cared about his family and his friends. You will come to find that life is a mystery and what his life has to offer. As well as the obstacles he over comes in his daily but sometimes stress full overwhelming life, Eddie has a different past then most people. When you¿re in your man stage of your life no house, no kids, no wife, struggling with money and family problems, I would have been some what stressed too! Will Eddie make it throught the life he never wanted for him self or will it all fall apart in shreds ? He shows a lot of courage and bravery. To see him struggle like he does in the story makes me very, very proud and makes me believe that people fall but when they get back up again that is some what the best unknown miracle you could ever hope for. I personally have no doubts what so ever that Eddie will make it . Just read the story and maybe it will be the miracle that will open your eyes and see life is to short to waste. To be happy with your so-called surroundings and to make the best out of a poor and sad situation! So with out further ado I say go to your nearest library and read Buried Onions. The journey begins in your nearest library. As you read this book that Gary Soto took the time to write see all the wonder and situations that the character have to over come , see how you would relate and how you would feel if you were one of the characters in that very situation . Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Buried Onions

    Buried Onions The Book Buried Onions Is about a 19-year-old boy named Eddie Estrada and, his struggle in life with family and school. The death of his cousin Jesus caused by a drive by put a stop to Eddie¿s life. Eddie¿s lives in Fresno, California. He lives in a rough neighborhood that he lived in since he was born. Also his Tia Dolores Jesus¿ mother wanted him to settle matter with the person that killed her son. In other words she wants Eddie to kill the person that killed her son. He drops Out of City College. He has some crazy jobs at times. He is always looking for a guy with yellow shoes because the night Jesus died he had said something to a guy with yellow shoes and so his family thinks that person with yellow shoes killed Jesus. That¿s why he always looks for a guy with yellow shoes. After a lot of Things that happen in this story it results in Eddie going in to recruiting himself in to the Military .He joined the Navy. The military is a possible way out of his miserable environment of the place he grew up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Okay, but not greate

    Well for me buried onions was ok because in some parts it is funny, like in one part he was fallowing a guy in yellow shoes. I didn¿t like it so much because I don¿t like stuff that have to do with gangs, I mean he wasn¿t in a gang but that¿s still not cool. Probably if a kid reads it he would probably get discouraged to join a gang because the book has all the bad said of being in a gang, its not like you should be in a gang and stuff like that. I¿m not saying it¿s all that bad I mean it is good but it¿s not something I would read again, because buried onions is one of the books that some people only like to read once. It¿s a story about a guy called Eddie how wants to find the person how killed his cousin and in the way It look like his life is getting better. He gets a job from a nice old man called Mr. Stiles, Eddies job is to help him in his back yard planting trees and stuff like that. He starts talking to some of his old friends you know he is making his life better. Since Eddie worked for Mr. Stiles, Mr. Stiles let him barrow his truck and in front of Eddies house it got stolen. That was one of the most interesting parts in the book for me. There was this other part that was really surprising because hi starts fighting with an old friend of hi cousin. Eddie started fighting with him because he thought that he had lied to hem. I do recommend people to reed the book but like I said, I would only read it once! The author Garry Sotto has written many books including Buried Onions. I haven¿t read all of his books but I think he uses a Latin inspiration in most of his books. And the Hispanic words that he uses are funny, but I think he uses some words incorrectly but how cares. What surprised me about the story was the ending; I never would have thought that the story would have ended how it did. The story looks like it was real life story, like a bibliography. I do recommend people to read the book but it wasn¿t the type of book I like to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    I really enjoyed this book

    The main Characters of this story are Eddie, Mr. Stiles, Norma, and Mr. yellow, Gloria, Nina, Dr. Dominguez, Samuel and Jose. The story is about this boy name Eddie, and in the story Eddie is trying to have a successful life and achieving his goals that he once had dreamed of .In this story is about takes place during his early adulthood. He grew up in Fresno. The reason why he wanted to fulfill his dreams is because that¿s all he ever wanted to do, and it seems like every thing he tries to do good for his self, it turns out to be bad. So all he really wants is to walk in a straight line to future and not worry about making the wrong decision. I think the story about Buried unions is a good book, because it shows you that life will sometimes go on with a struggle. No matter where you are or where you go you will be graded by your talent and how well you are at doing it. Some people need to understand that life is not easy and sometimes you might have to work harder at what you do. So maybe your dreams some day will come true, so hold on to what you believe in and go for it. And if you don¿t want to do something good in life than do what you feel you want to do, but make sure that is what you really want to do with your life before it is to late to change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2003

    The Best Book Ever!

    From the moment I started reading Bruied Onions, I could not put this book down.Gary Soto really helps you understand the characters and their problems.This without a doutb is the best book I have ever read!I could read this book a million times,and never get tired of it!

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