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The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez
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The Circuit (edition 1997)

by Francisco Jimenez

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82015011,078 (4.14)6
Member:katherine.fuller
Title:The Circuit
Authors:Francisco Jimenez (Author)
Info:University of New Mexico Press
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Immigration, migrant workers, moving, family

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The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez

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A heartbreaking story of Panchito and his family who sneak into the U.S. from Mexico and are migrant workers following various harvests of strawberries, cotton and vineyards throughout California. Despite their poor living conditions there are moments of hope and happiness, tragedy and sadness. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This slim volume packs an extraordinary emotional punch. The stories Jimenez relates are autobiographical, depicting the life he and his family led as migrant workers in 1940s California. Told from the perspective of the second son in a strong, loving family, the stories carry the reader through about eight years of working “the circuit.”

What I particularly like about the book is that while Jimenez doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of this life, he doesn’t dwell on the negatives, either. Yes, we suffer with the family when they cannot afford medical care for a seriously ill child, the father is injured on the job, or people take advantage of their circumstances. But what is more memorable to me is the enjoyment in reading about the pleasure of exploring a new setting, of inventing games to play, of laughing with your friends or family, of learning new skills, of achieving goals. I think it is an accurate depiction of how children see the world and their place in it. Jimenez was wise to choose this voice for his stories. I could not help but think of my father, or of cousins who “picked cherries every summer.” I cried, I laughed; I loved this family.

The ending is a kick to the stomach and I sat stunned for a few moments … looking at the last two blank pages and the back cover in disbelief that the book had ended. I know there is a sequel and I will definitely read it.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
This book tells the tale of Fransico an immigrant trying to find his way in a world unfamiliar to what he's used to. ( )
  KassRuiz | Dec 3, 2015 |
This novel begins with a young boy traveling across the Mexican border into the United States with his family. The family is under the impression that there are several employment opportunities and that they will become financially stable. Throughout the year the family moves from farm to farm based on harvest seasons. The author gives us a first person perspective as he sees it as a young boy growing up in an immigrant family. He is faced with many obstacles, such as language and cultural barriers, impoverishment, inconsistency, etc. This book is an easy ready while keeping the attention of the reader. It is possible that some students in the class may have or are experiencing this life style. With this in mind, it is important to be sensitive to those that may be facing this form of hardship but it also presents the opportunity to discuss immigration. Students may have strong feelings about immigration but we can discuss those feelings and how they impact the feelings of others in our class.
  Amberechase | Nov 30, 2015 |
The Circuit is a fierce and brutally honest historical fiction chapter book, by Francisco Jimenez, that intertwines the adventures of a migrant family coming from Mexico. After illegally crossing the America/Mexico border, the family escapes poverty and a poor life in Mexico in hopes to find to find a better life in California. Told in the perspective of a young boy, the story portrays the brutal realities included in the immigration camps and farms. Mostly revolving around the young boys experiences in school and learning English, the mood of the story is slightly depressing and melancholy. Once the boy and his family finally begin to adapt to their life working on a farm and going to American schools, they are suddenly deported. While the boy is reviewing his notes for an assignment in class, a man from the border patrol shows up and calls him by name. He and his brother are both picked up from school and taken back to Mexico with their family.
The theme of this book could be the concept of immigration or moving from home to home. The title of the book is appropriate because the family is constantly moving homes, sort of like a circuit. The best part of this book is the ending. While my heart absolutely dropped when I read, “This is him,” I felt the total rush of reality, as if I were in the narrators place, being deported in front of all my classmates and teacher at school. As depressing as this book is, it is extremely realistic and explores the immigrants’ lives in our nations history through the eyes of a helpless child. ( )
  EllieCoe | Oct 18, 2015 |
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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
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:34 -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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