The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child

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UNM Press, 1997 - Fiction - 134 pages
14 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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loved the book was verry good definately recommend to anybody who has not read it yet

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The Circuit is a great book that reveals the life of a migrant child. This book is explained through the first person view of the protagonist, which was a clever and effective way to explain the story. Love and hard work are demonstrated throughout the book. I learned a lot about what it means to stick together as a family. I think it's really sweet how supportive the family is in the book. Even though they go through struggles, they all work hard to live normal lives and to support the family's needs. Pick up The Circuit and learn about the life of a migrant child and how he shows love for his family through hard work. The drama and informative details will keep you glued!
-Justin, Chatterbooks

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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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