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Onion John
Joseph Krumgold
1960 Newberry Award
Ages 10 and up

Onion John is a likable man who wandered into the town of Serenity about twenty five years ago and made it his home. Serenity is a quiet peaceful town with itís undisturbed Munkachunk Mountains and Musceonetty Creek bubbling with white puffs and green water.

Onion John is not his real name. The people of Serenity call him that because he eats onions the way regular people eat apples and there is nothing regular about John. He puts air into piles and puts bunches on your lap; speaks about the thunderclouds eating the shadows on the grounds, has four bathtubs in his living room and has some kind of ritual for just about everything. He doesnít think like regular people and he doesnít live like regular people. Onion John is what some people would call eccentric, that is, he lives and acts in an odd manner. The most extraordinary thing about Onion John is that he speaks in a "code". Only one boy, Andy Rusch, knew how to listen to John, and realized, "you have to listen to him in a new kind of way". Andy and John became best friends.