The Circuit: Stories from the Life of aThe Circuit: Stories from the Life of a
Migrant ChildMigrant Child
Kim SornKim Sorn
Crystal EstradaCrystal Estrada
David RodriguezDavid Rodriguez
Andres OlmedoAndres Olmedo
Francisco Jiménez immigrated with his
family to California from Tlaquepaque,
Mexico. He worked in the fields of
California as a child, and his
autobiographical novel, The Circuit, tells
the story of those younger years…he
received both his master’s degree and his
Ph.D. from Columbia University and is
now the Fay Boyle Professor of modern
Languages and Literatures and director of
ethnic studies program at Santa Clara
University. He lives in Santa Clara,
California, with his wife and three children.
Young Adolescent Issues
Major Role in Educational Achievement
Needs of family supercede educational needs
(work often comes first)
Messages at home and at school differ
(Breaking Through 78)
Chronicles his study of English
Features fears, victories, techniques, and
humor of learning English
Faced some racism
Clear anxiety about peers
In school and in public spaces
Show his work in different subjects
English hard but Math easy
Tells his work with teachers
Some had a huge positive impact 55
Under the wireUnder the wire
The Jimenez family lived in a small village inThe Jimenez family lived in a small village in
Their father always talked about a better life inTheir father always talked about a better life in
Under the WireUnder the Wire
Papa opened a hole under the fence and began toPapa opened a hole under the fence and began to
Then they drove for hours until they reached theThen they drove for hours until they reached the
nearest camp.nearest camp.
One day Francisco and his family went to work at aOne day Francisco and his family went to work at a
cotton field and every time they go work Franciscocotton field and every time they go work Francisco
had to take care of Trampita.had to take care of Trampita.
So every time his family goes further and furtherSo every time his family goes further and further
through the cotton field, he will get on top of thethrough the cotton field, he will get on top of the
car and see them vanish.car and see them vanish.
Francisco had an idea to help his family.Francisco had an idea to help his family.
Francisco went outside to pick cotton whenFrancisco went outside to pick cotton when
he would pick cotton his hand would bleed.he would pick cotton his hand would bleed.
Francisco started going to school. He went into the
classroom , and couldn’t understand any English so he started
to make his own stories in Spanish.
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