Ellen Lewis Buell
Ever since Huck Finn and Jim rafted down the Mississippi a popular theme among writers has been the friendship of a boy with a philosophic man, who may be an eccentric, an outcast or a recluse. It is a rare relationship—not many boys today have the time or the opportunity for one, but in fiction it can still be … a prospective theme….
The title character in Joseph Krumgold's "Onion John" is a robustly individual soul, a small-town handyman who uses the town dump as his supermarket, has four bathtubs in his one-room shack and has, also, a fund of esoteric knowledge irresistible to young boys…. Once 12-year-old Andy … understands Onion John's complicated English the two become best friends,...
(The entire section is 578 words.)