The circuit: stories from the life of a migrant child

| April 14, 2011

Title: Jump start health! : practical ideas to promote wellness in kids of all ages

Author: Francisco Jiménez

Publisher: Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c1997

Call no.: PS3560.I55 C57 1997

From the Publisher:

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.

About the Author

Francisco Jiménez immigrated with his family to California from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, and as a child he worked in the fields of California. He is currently the Fay Boyle Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and director of the Ethnic Studies Program at Santa Clara University. Having received his B.A. from SCU and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Columbia University under a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, he has served on various professional boards and commissions, including the California Council for the Humanities, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC), the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Santa Clara University Board of Trustees and the Far West Lab for Educational Research and Development. He has published and edited several books on Mexican and Mexican American literature, and his stories have been published in over 50 textbooks and anthologies of literature.