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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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6707514,303 (4.06)3
Title:The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child
Authors:Francisco Jiménez
Info:University of New Mexico Press (1997), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 134 pages
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The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez




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I enjoyed the book The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez. I liked Panchito's descriptions of entering the U.S. from Mexico under the chain link fence as and how his father inspected his first car the "Carcanchita" loading everything and saving his mother;'s pot "Mi olla" for last. I though it was depressing that the family was deported in the end but overall the short story style of the chapters told a very powerful story about migration and the value of receiving an education. ( )
  awhite43 | May 14, 2014 |
This book was not my favorite. I felt that the story was powerful but the ending is what really through me off. The overall message of this story is to stay with your family through thick and thin. One part of this story that I did not like was how the author emphasized and took more time to explain the bad events that took place rather than the good ones. I feel that the entire book was about something bad. I do understand that a lot of bad things happened to immigrants during that time but I would have enjoyed it more if the author threw in some happy moments more often. He did not however add enough detail about his younger brother dying and that was upsetting because I was hanging on the edge of my seat wondering if his brother was going to be okay or not. I think that this book could have had a chance with me if the ending was completely different. The fact that the story had me so invested in the young boy and his family. When the last chapter ends the fate of the family is in demise and the reader is left wondering what is going to happen to them. They finally made the journey to America and now they are probably going to be deported because the book ends with the family seeing the officers checking for immigration statuses and such. ( )
  laurenbutcher | May 5, 2014 |
Overall, I felt this was a very poor book and wouldn’t want to add it to my classroom library. First element that I didn’t like was the plot/ending. I know not all stories can end well, but generally there is meaning behind it or a silver lining. However, with Panchito getting deported, there was no silver lining or hope to build off. The reader was just left with a sense of what an awful situation they were in. Besides the plot of the story, I did enjoy the character development seen throughout the story. Panchito was a very likable character and you grow to care for him and the struggles he is going for. We have seen him grow from a boy who knew very little English, to a young adult who had memorized a whole notebook of grammar rules. The next element that I enjoyed was the style of the author. I felt the story flowed well and it kept me interested, changing through many sceneries along the way. Unfortunately, the ending ruined the story for me. In the end, I guess the main message of this story is that no matter what comes your way, try and make the best of it and keep working hard.
  tricha11 | Apr 20, 2014 |
I liked this book for a few different reasons. One reason being that this book incorporates the native Spanish language to remind that reader that the characters in the book are of the Spanish decent and not American, such as when the author writes, “tienen que tener cuidado.” By including Spanish into the book it helps to portray the difficult in communication the main character experienced during his first few years in America. I also like the book, because the author incorporated great symbolism. A big overlapping theme of symbolism was the reoccurrence of rain, which symbolized the hardships and struggles the family continually faced throughout the novel. The overall message of this book was that sometimes everything is not what it seems, because before the family got to America they thought it was full of opportunities to make money, but when they actually got their they faced nothing but hardships. ( )
  CassandraQuigley | Mar 10, 2014 |
I liked this book for its relevance with today’s immigration concerns. The main idea of the book is to illustrate the life of immigrants growing up in the agricultural labor camps of California. It highlighted the daily struggle to survive and the constant fear of deportation. It also illustrated the disjointed bits of education these children receive, also very relevant today. I liked the book for its detailed descriptions of an immigrant’s life, such as an entire family sleeping on one mattress laid on the floor. I would have liked to see the Spanish words with their English translations beside them instead of just the Spanish words. The book was easy reading with short chapters and interesting details, consistent with early elementary school. ( )
  Madams21 | Mar 8, 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)

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