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Publisher's Summary

Francisco Jiménez writes of his childhood growing up in an immigrant Mexican family. His narrative is simple, as from a child's point of view, but that same simplicity packs the power of a highly skilled storyteller.

Beautifully and authentically rendered by actor and playwright Adrian Vargas, these twelve stories tell of the almost unendurable journey most migrant campesinos undertake to find the "American Dream." The recording concludes with an afterword recorded by the author. The Circuit is also available in Spanish as Cajas de Cartón.

©1997 Francisco Jimé (P)2001 Audio Bookshelf

Critic Reviews

What listeners say about The Circuit

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Short Stories Masterpiece

I was not aware of this book was a compilation of short stories when I purchased it. The stories are well written and told through the eyes of an immigrant child. The stories describe how a family that moves from Mexico to the United States deal with a number of challenges. It is a great book for middle school students and adults alike.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written

This book tugged at my heart. My grandparents were migrant workers and I am Mexican American second generation. My father would tell my brother and I to appreciate going to school because there are children who don’t have that privilege. This book made me think twice about complaining about things in my life that by comparison seem so insignificant. Thank you Francisco for bringing these stories to life.

1 person found this helpful

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helpful story, but good not great

helpful story, but good not great - I don't regret reading it, but I wish it had been a bit more engaging

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As an aspiring English teacher...

...in California, and also one who is white and doesn’t speak Spanish, this book was convicting. It is a call to be a teacher that works to help, encourage, support, and most importantly, connect with all children–including those who are striving to learn English and attain literacy in the English language. After all, learning a new language is something to be admired. It’s not a deficiency. It’s inspiring. This book has inspired me to learn Spanish so that I may be as effective as I can in connecting with such students. Give it a read/listen and allow it to touch your heart.

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A tutors review

loved the story but do not like how the chapters to match with actual book.

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A new point of view!

Such an intriguing story. Migrants gave a lot to worry about. My son loved it!

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The childhood life of A migrant farm worker

This is the autobiographical story of the life of a child in a Mexican migrant farm worker family. The author tried to write a story which would be accessible to both children and adults. It is the story of a hard-working family faces most of the problems of a migrant family but the boy who is the narrator of the story very positively wins out over the problems until the man in the green uniform from the border patrol comes into his eighth-grade classroom and take him away.

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Great book for adults and kids!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I think every kid and adult should read something from Francisco Jimenez. He has written a powerful series of books about his experiences growing up as a migrant working, and working his way to a Columbia PhD. I had previously loved Taking Hold, about his time in graduate school, and fell in love with his character, family, and story. Then my daughter read Breaking Through and after I tried to convince her nonfiction can be interesting, she told me, "you're right, Dad, this was really good!"

What did you like best about this story?

The rich and thick descriptions of his life draw you in.

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it sucked

it wasn't good because of the ending
what happened to him.?).?!.?.?.!!?!?!?!?!??!?! ?!?!?!! what happened seriously what

1 person found this helpful

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  • L.
  • 12-26-11

An excellent listen, in English OR en español!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Circuit?
The fire that destroyed the familiy's first real house (as opposed to the makeshift shacks and tents usually provided by the farmer-employers).

Have you listened to any of Adrian Vargas’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I also listened to the version in Spanish, and it was equally wonderful.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
I think a film SHOULD be made of this fine collection of well-structured vignettes: the tag line could be, 'an updated, and livelier, Grapes of Wrath'.

Any additional comments?