The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child

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University of New Mexico Press, 1997 - Fiction - 134 pages
2 Reviews

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 Jiménez, 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, Jiménez 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

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A depressing but true story about a migrant family and their struggles with poverty, and the schooling of their children.

Review: The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child

User Review  - NS - Cami Houston - Goodreads

Gr 8 & Up- An audio book, Francisco Jimenez was born in Mexico, entered California illegally as a very young child, and spent his boyhood alternating between migrant farm work and the classroom. This ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Francisco Jiménez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received a bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University and a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Columbia University. He is a professor at Santa Clara University. He has published and edited several books on Mexican and Mexican American literature, and his stories have been published in over 100 textbooks and anthologies of literature. His books include The Circuit, Breaking Through, La Mariposa, The Christmas Gift/El Regalo de Navidad, Reaching Out, and Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University.

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