by Gary Soto | Grades 7-12 | Lexile Level 850
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.
Eddie's father, two uncles, and best friend are all dead, and it's a struggle for him not to end up the same way. Violence makes Fresno wallow in tears, as if a huge onion were buried beneath the city. Making an effort to walk a straight line despite constant temptations and frustrations, Eddie searches for answers--and discovers that his closest friends may actually be his worst enemies.