The Circuit takes place during the 1940s and portrays the life of a migrant child, Francisco Jimenez, and his family.
Francisco is forced to move from Guadalajara, Mexico to Central California because his family hopes to make a better life harvesting crops. However, this book reveals the struggle this family endures while trying to survive off of the little belongings and money they own.
Each chapter illustrates experiences he has while living in and moving to various farms. As well as, the difficulties Francisco has moving from school to school trying to adapt and become a successful student in English-only education.
Francisco Jimenez was born in 1943 in Tlaquepaques, Mexico., to a migrant family whom moved throughout California picking crops. However, he was able to academically thrive by graduating from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and obtaining his Master's and Ph.d from Columbia University. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Language and Modern Literature as well as Director of Ethnic Studies at Santa Clara Univesity.
Jimenez has written several bilingual and Spanish-only books, such as, La Mariposai and The Christmas Gift/El regalo de Navidad. In addition, he wrote a sequel to The Circuit named Breaking Through.
This book has won several awards including Boston Globe Horn Book Award for f Fiction, the Americas Award, the California Library Association John and Patricia Beatty Award, Jane Addams Honor Book Award, New York Public Library 1999 Book for the Teen-age, and many more.
Interview with Francisco Jimenez
The story portrays the themes of Family
and Social Reality. Jimenez's family
struggles to make money and each
chapter displays the realities surrounding
migrant working as well aschild labor.
Franisco (aka Panchito): main character and narrator of The Circuit. He discusses his experiences living as a migrant child in California.
Roberto: Francisco's older brother. Constantly present in Francisco's life because he looks up to him and strives to work just as hard as Roberto,
Papa: Francisco's father and leader of Jimenez
family. He is constantly worrying about providing
for his family while he works at several farms
throughout the year,
Mama: Francisco's mother and primary
caretaker of the family. Extremely supportive
of her family and teaches Francisco life lessons.
Trampita: Francisco's younger bother and
Torito: Francisc's younger brother and '''mircale
in tent city.''
Ruben: Francisco's youngest brother.
Rorra: Francisco's youngest and only sister.
Principal Sims: Francisc's principle at Main Street
school and helps him throughout the story.
Miss. Scalapino: Francisco's first teacher at Main
Street school and doen nothing to really help him
better understand what is going on in the classroom.
Miguelito: A friend Francisco meets in Corcoran.
Mr. Lema: Francisco's sixth grade teacher who is
very helpful and supportive to him. He tutors him in
English and how to play the trumpet.
Carl: Francisco's friend in the fourth grade at
Corcoran and they bonded over each other's coin