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The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez

The Circuit (edition 1997)

by Francisco Jimenez (Author)

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9221839,486 (4.1)8
Title:The Circuit
Authors:Francisco Jimenez (Author)
Info:University of New Mexico Press
Collections:Your library
Tags:Immigration, migrant workers, moving, family

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The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimenez

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A memoir of life as an undocumented child of Mexican migrants picking crops in California in the middle of the 20th century. Very well written, captures the childhood experience of normalcy and excitement and the exhaustion that comes with maturation, crushing poverty, love, and lack of options. I found myself drawn to the implicit indictment of lack of birth control (4 more siblings in just a handful of years, starting from a place of soul-crushing poverty!), an educational system that left the author to coast without any language support and then demanded he repeat the experience the next year, and how chances to get ahead flee with each new slap of poverty and bad luck.

Powerful in its transference of the beloved middle school struggle story to the recent present and to a person's lived experience -- this short book seems to be well known in the 10-14 age group, and for cause. ( )
  pammab | Jun 20, 2017 |
This book was very interesting. The author did a great job of developing the characters. For example, the main character Francisco, starts out as a young boy who is eager to start working so he can help his family bring in money. As he grows up he realizes why his father waited so long to allow him to work. The work they do is extremely physical. However Francisco doesn’t care, he will do anything to help his family, which makes it impossible for readers to dislike him. Also, the plot is suspenseful. The family goes though many obstacles such as moving from camp to camp, having no food and eating birds, babies getting sick, the father becoming ill and old and lastly fighting border control. The situations they had to face made me re-think my perspective on immigration. Overall the book does a great job of showing what its like to be an illegal immigrant in America. ( )
  Rwatts3 | Mar 8, 2017 |
I really liked this book because it pushed me to think more deeply about the tough issue of immigration, especially with what is going on in today's society. While following along Francisco's childhood life, I can visualize and feel the raw emotions that he felt as he was struggling to adapt into his school as well as his home. As a future teacher myself, I want to be able to sympathize and empathize with students who may be struggling with learning because of environment they live in. This book is about understanding the potential struggles of a immigrant child. ( )
  coh4 | Mar 2, 2017 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. Throughout we are constantly reminded how even young people have stories to tell and journeys that they must over come. This book would be great for young Hispanic and non- Hispanic readers as it connects to many themes of growing up. Between pages 20- 24 we see Francisco go from having trouble in a new school to being awarded a First Prize sticker for a project. While many students won't go through the same struggles as the main character who works on farms at a young age, they can relate to the many familiar problems of adolescent hood such as fighting against bullying, wanting to learn, and having mixed feelings about syblings, all which are too familiar in this book. ( )
  mbrook26 | Mar 2, 2017 |
I thought this book was extremely well written and was very important for someone, like me, who does not know much about the life of an immigrant family. This book was an autobiography and the way, Francisco Jimenez narrated the story, he talked like himself when he was that age, when he was describing his past. This story was very raw and showed the truth about immigration, even the sad and scary parts. This book might be too old for fifth graders, but I think this book would be appropriate for sixth graders. I liked the ending of the book, because they leave you with a cliff hanger, and if you want to find out what happens after, you need to look up Francisco Jimenez's story online. My favorite part about the book was seeing all these horrible events, through the eyes of a young child, who was innocent and looked at the world with a more positive attitude. My favorite part of the story was when Francisco had left his vocabulary book in the house, that eventually caught on fire, and he was so upset that it had burned in the house. But his mom made him realize that he didn't need the book anymore, because he remembered all the words and definitions. The main character was such a hard working, determined, and sweet kid. The story makes you appreciate how lucky we in the United States are, which I think is a good reason to read this book, besides the fact, that it is already a beautifully written story. ( )
  aedwar14 | Mar 2, 2017 |
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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 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)

» see all 6 descriptions

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