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

by Francisco Jiménez

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71910013,085 (4.08)3
Member:jonesj2
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
Collections:Your library
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The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez

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A highly engaging story a migrant family's journey traveling the circuit of work as seasonal harvesters. Clearly depicts the hardships both financial and emotional of this life style. It shows the strength of family bonds and the emotional and academic challenges faced by constantly moving and having little stability.
The main character is very likable and readers may find themselves hoping for him to have good fortune.
It is written in chapters that roughly follow this family's journey. They are glimpses into events the main character remembers. Chapters could be used in isolation for shorter units or for specific standards.
There are many potential themes like loyalty, hard work, family, survival, and never giving up, as well as handling diversity.

The text contains some Spanish words and phrases. They may provide challenging to lower readers, most can be figured by context.
The book flows very well and could be a good read aloud. There are quality examples of figurative language and imagery. A high quality novel for grades 8 and up. ( ) ( )
  lpierson14 | Feb 25, 2015 |
This book is about a young Mexican boy and his family who travel from Mexico to California as migrant workers looking for a better life. The family moves from farm to farm to find work every season for the family to be able to stay in the states. The boy, Francisco, travels from school to school and goes to work on the weekends with his father and brother as their mother stays home with their growing family. The family survives with hard work and love that keeps them together in the tough times.
I enjoyed reading the stories Francisco tells in this book that help the reader picture the life a young Mexican migrant worker. Francisco talks about his hardships in such detail that the reader can imagine the exact scene inside their head. For example, in the fields, Francisco explained, “the angry, blistering sun did not let me. By ten o’clock my shirt was soaking wet.”
I also enjoy the importance of love the book emphasizes. Francisco’s family is constantly moving and looking for work and what keeps them positive is knowing they still have the love and support from their family. For example, Francisco collects pennies, which may be the only thing he really owns and enjoys to look at. One day his sister takes the two most important pennies in his collection and buys some gumballs. Francisco becomes very angry but his mother helps him realize that his family is more important than his collection of pennies. It is inspiring to me how much this family doesn’t have but with love, everything seems ok. ( )
  Toconn2 | Feb 17, 2015 |
A highly engaging story a migrant family's journey traveling the circuit of work as seasonal harvesters. Clearly depicts the hardships both financial and emotional of this life style. It shows the strength of family bonds and the emotional and academic challenges faced by constantly moving and having little stability.
The main character is very likable and readers may find themselves hoping for him to have good fortune.
It is written in chapters that roughly follow this family's journey. They are glimpses into events the main character remembers. Chapters could be used in isolation for shorter units or for specific standards.
There are many potential like loyalty, hard work, family, survival, and never giving up, as well as handling diversity.

The text contains some Spanish words and phrases. They may provide challenging to lower readers, most can be figured by context.
The book flows very well and could be a good read aloud. There are quality examples of figurative language and imagery. A high quality novel for grades 8 and up. ( )
  Lisapier | Jan 27, 2015 |
I enjoyed reading the book “The Circuit” by Franciso Jimenez. One aspect I liked about this book was the writing. The writing was engaging and kept me interested in the book. The writing was also very well organized and flowed together nicely. “We called it Tent City. Everybody called it Tent City, although it was neither a city nor a town. It was a farm worker labor camp owned by Sheehey Strawberry Farms.” Another reason I liked this book was because of the characters. The characters in this story went through realistic situations, considering this really did happen to someone. One situation that happens in the book is the family’s youngest son gets very sick. The family waits to take him to the doctors and he almost ends up dying. The son has to stay in the hospital for a long time. The big idea of the book is to keep your family safe and protected. ( )
  amulve2 | Oct 30, 2014 |
1. I enjoyed reading the chapter book, “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez for several reasons. The writing is engaging and incorporates the use of Spanish words, which provides readers with a more authentic representation of the language used by a Mexican immigrant family. The story is autobiographical and is written in first person from Francisco’s point of view as a child. The plot is organized in a manner that segments, by chapter, the events that took place in Francisco’s childhood after immigrating to the United Stated. This segmented style is appropriate to the content provided within the story, as Francisco and his family are constantly moving and searching for work each passing season. This book pushes readers to think about tough issues surrounding the financial and cultural hardships faced by illegal immigrant families when coming to the United States. Because this book is written from Francisco’s point of view as a child, it is easier for younger readers to make connections from their lives to Francisco’s. In the U.S., it is not common to find books written for younger readers that portray the perspective of illegal Mexican immigrant children. It is for this reason that I would choose to have this book in my classroom, as it would bring a unique cultural perspective to my students. The main message of this story is to demonstrate the challenges faced by illegal Mexican immigrant children and families, as they enter in to American society. ( )
  efried5 | Oct 30, 2014 |
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Dedication
To my parents and my seven sisters and brothers:

Avelina/Rorra;

Evangelina/ Yerman;

Maria Luisa/Licha;

Roberto/Toto;

Jose Francisco/Trampita;

Juan Manuel/Torito;

and Ruben/Carne Seca
First words
Quotations
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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