By Francisco Jimenez
The Circuit, by Francisco Jimenez is a story which follows a young boy and his family throughout his youth. As a young boy, Pancho's family illegaly crosses the border to find work on the farms in America. The reality they find is far from perfect, for each crop season his family is forced to uproot any stability they had creted in the few months there in order to find work in a different area of the state.
Pancho, who throughout the story is undertaking his elementary and middle schol education, struggles to move from grade to grade. He initially has no knowledge of the English language and is frightened by school, but when he is able to understand and to learn he begins to devote himself entierly to his studies. Yet the constant moving disrupts his aquisition and education and fragments his potential knowledge base. As a result of all the moving, he also struggles with the difficulties of leaving behind the few friends he is able to make with no notice at all.
In America, where anything is said to be possible, will Pancho and his family eventually be able to settle in one place like Pancho and his Brother Roberto desire,? Or will they be forever relegated to the struggles of a migrant family trying to survive in America.
Hi! I'm Francisco Jimenez, the author of The Circuit! When I was a child I emigrated with my family to California from Tlaquepaque, Mexico and worked in the fields. The Circuit is an autobiographical account of my experinces.
In the novel, Pancho always refered to corridos. Eventhough he migrated numerous times corridos were a sense of stability because everywhere Pancho went he listened to corridos. They were an important part of his life. As Pancho mentions, "I prefer to hang around Arthur, one of the boys who knew a little Spanish. During recess, he and I played on the swings and I pretended to be a Mexican movie star, like Jorge Negrete or Pedro Infante, riding a horse and singing the corridos we often heard on the car radio.”
"Miss Scalpino started speaking to the class and I did not understand a word she was saying. The more she spoke the more anxious I became. By the end of the day, I was very tired of haring Miss Scalpino talk because the sounds made no sense to me. I only got a headache, and that night when I went to bed, I heard her voice in my head."
"It was that time of year again. After the season was over we left the vineyard in Fresno and headed for Corcoran to pick cotton".