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The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a…

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (edition 1997)

by Francisco Jiménez

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6959513,692 (4.08)3
Title:The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child
Authors:Francisco Jiménez
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The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez




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I really liked this book. I loved the writing it was descriptive and emotional and I enjoyed the theme which is belonging. The writer did an excellent job of making you feel like you were in Francisco’s shoes and seeing the world through his eyes. “My father shouted at all of us to stop. Seeing a stream of blood dribble from El Perico’s silent beak, I felt as though someone had ripped my heart out.” The author Francisco Jimenez did a remarkable job making me see the world through Francisco’s eyes by using specific words for great imagery like “silent beak”, “blood dribbled.” The whole time you are hoping that Francisco and his family finally find a home where they can be happy. The theme of belonging was great to read about. I haven’t read many books with this type of theme and it had a tremendous emotional toll on me. The whole time I am rooting for Francisco’s family and then that teacher calls the immigration police on him! This is a book that doesn’t have a happy ending and I was thinking about this book for a few weeks after I read it. The big idea in this book is belonging. ( )
  torilynae | Oct 18, 2014 |
I liked the chapter book “The Circuit.” The main purpose of this book is to share the perspective and story of endurance of a migrant child and his family. I appreciated this book for various reasons. First, I liked how “The Circuit” pushes readers to think about tough issues. The circumstances that Francisco goes through are not ordinary, so it helps readers step outside of themselves and think of others. I believe that this book helps broaden perspectives on immigration and migrants. I know that there are several people in America and across the world who feel and think negatively of immigrants. As this book shares the heartbreaking stories of a young child, I think readers would sympathize and understand immigrants more. This story also helps the audience realize that Francisco is no different than us in some of the struggles he faces. Problems such as security, loneliness, and fear. The first person point of view of “The Circuit” also engages readers to feel connected to the main character. Instead of feeling like they are reading an autobiography, the author does a good job in making it feel like he is telling a series of stories. I also appreciated the descriptive language of the author. For example, “As soon as they saw my swollen upper lip and the scratches on my left cheek, they knew what the note said.” The language of the author helps build images in readers heads. This book is full of honest, real-life details of poverty and hardships. ( )
  yyoon4 | Oct 16, 2014 |
The chapter book "The Circuit" was an interesting read. The first aspect of why I enjoyed this book was the language choice. This book intertwined Spanish words along with English words. This could be helpful to students who could be English language learners who come from a Spanish speaking family. Having Spanish in the chapter book could provide comfort to the reader and encourage them to participate more in classroom discussion. The Spanish vocabulary could also be helpful to readers who do not speak Spanish in the way that they could learn words while they were reading. The second aspect of why I enjoyed this book was that it was written in the first person point of view. The story was told through the eyes of the main character, Francisco. This book was based on real life events and experiences from the author’s point of view. This book pushes readers to apply this knowledge to real life situations and what other families could have experienced. The main idea of this book is to share migrant experiences to inform readers about hardships that people face. ( )
  vharsh1 | Oct 15, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book for it's message and the point of view the author employed. The main idea of this book was to encourage readers to explore a culture different than their own. Similar to many other readers, I previously contained very little knowledge about the lives of migrant workers. I knew that in my hometown migrant workers worked at the farms harvesting my beloved Jersey tomatoes and blueberries. After reading this book I gained a greater insight into the difficult challenges that migrant workers face such as child labor, unfair compensation, constant fear of immigration officials, and a immense lack of stability. For example, when one of the children in the book grew very sick the parents refused to take him to the hospital or doctors for treatment until he was close to death for fear of drawing unwanted attention from immigration officials. The parents were faced with the grave decision of saving their child's life or taking a chance of getting deported.
The book was told from the first person point of view of Francisco, the main character. Francisco’s point of view allowed the readers to form a deeper connection with his character. I felt a greater sense of understanding of Francisco’s experiences and emotions. For example, at the end of the book Francisco and his family move back to Santa Maria, his favorite town they have ever lived in. He excitedly describes how his heart started pounded as they were driving towards the town, his eagerness to enroll in school again, and how he plans to live in Santa Maria forever. A few days later, the moment Francisco sees the immigration officer at his school I could almost feel his dreams and aspirations going away. I felt as if some one had punched me in the stomach. ( )
  jessicaedelman | Oct 11, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is wonderful book for children. The story is written in a first person point a view, which can make it more relatable especially for children. When I was reading, I was more engaged in the story than I would have been had it been written from another perspective. Another reason that I really enjoyed this book was the actual writing. The book integrates Spanish words within the story. For example, Jimenez writes, “…we all called him ‘Torito,’ little bull, because he weighed ten pounds at birth.” In a classroom this can expose children to another language if they have not yet been, as well as validate those students who do speak Spanish. Finally, I liked that it challenges its readers to think about tough issues and broaden their perspectives. Unless someone has immigrated to the United States, the idea of immigration does not really cross the minds of children. This book is a great tool to expose young readers to what can happen, and is happening, to children their age. ( )
  cduke3 | Oct 9, 2014 |
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To my parents and my seven sisters and brothers:


Evangelina/ Yerman;

Maria Luisa/Licha;


Jose Francisco/Trampita;

Juan Manuel/Torito;

and Ruben/Carne Seca
First words
We left the station. Papa carried our dark brown suitcase. We followed behind him until we reached a barbed wire fence. According to Papa, this was la frontera. He pointed out that across the gray wire barricade was California, that famous place I'd heard so much about. On both sides of the fence were armed guards dressed in green uniforms. Papa called them la migra, and explained that we had to cross the fence to the other side without being seen by them.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0826317979, Paperback)

After dark in a Mexican border town, a father holds open a hole in a wire fence as his wife and two small boys crawl through.

So begins life in the United States for many people every day. And so begins this collection of twelve autobiographical stories by Santa Clara University professor Francisco Jim�nez, who at the age of four illegally crossed the border with his family in 1947.

"The Circuit," the story of young Panchito and his trumpet, is one of the most widely anthologized stories in Chicano literature. At long last, Jim�nez offers more about the wise, sensitive little boy who has grown into a role model for subsequent generations of immigrants.

These independent but intertwined stories follow the family through their circuit, from picking cotton and strawberries to topping carrots--and back agai--over a number of years. As it moves from one labor camp to the next, the little family of four grows into ten. Impermanence and poverty define their lives. But with faith, hope, and back-breaking work, the family endures.

"A jewel of a book"--Rolando Hinojosa-Smith

"These stories are so realistic they choke the heart."--Rudolfo Anaya

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:39 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

[In this novel], intertwined stories follow a migrant family through their circuit, from picking cotton and strawberries to topping carrots - and back again - over a number of years. As it moves from one labor camp to the next, the little family off four grows into ten. Impermanence and poverty define their lives. But with faith, hope, and back-breaking work, the family endues. -Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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