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Cajas De Carton (Francisco #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  3,967 Ratings  ·  561 Reviews
A powerful account of a family's journey to the fields of California -- to a life of constant moving, from strawberry fields to cotton fields, from tent cities to one-room shacks. Seen through the eyes of a boy who longs for an education and the right to call one palce home, this is a story of survival, faith, and hope. It is a journey that will open readers' hearts and mi ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 30th 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published November 30th 1996)
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Phil Canalin Yes, I think he will be, but he will continue to study and read and if he has a family, his children will not be migrant workers.

Community Reviews

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Dec 04, 2008 Samira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Samira lopes

I just finished reading The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez. it’s a fiction book of a young boy named Francisco and his family. The theme of this book is “ sometimes it takes the things that you never expected to get what you want”.

This book is about a seven year old boy named Francisco and his family. Francisco’s Mexican family consists of him, his older brother Roberto, his mother, and father. His family is from El Rancho Blanco and doesn’t have a wealthy life so they immigrate to t
Apr 11, 2013 Shirin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Circuit
The Circuit has stories from the life of an immigrant child. It is an autobiographical novel by Francisco Jimenez based in part on his journey from Mexico to the United States of America.
The book is narrated from the child’s point of view and follows the life of young Panchito and his family as they move from one location to another to harvest crops in the United States. This book give me a lot of new words in English. I think the people should be read this book , because the sto
Feb 17, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much it made me return to Goodreads after a long absence just because I wanted to tell people about it. I don't want to raise expectations too much because maybe not everyone would love it, but I do. It's an autobiographical novel written by Francisco Jimenez who is currently a professor at Santa Clara University but who was born in Mexico and came to California with his family as migrant farm laborers. It is poignant, moving, and eye-opening without being depressing. It aff ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: ESL Students
After being hounded by a few students to read this book, I have finally taken it upon myself to do so.

I understand fully why so many of my ESL/ELL students made the recommendation. First, Jimenez speaks to the reality of going to school as a non-native language speaker. The fear, the frustration, the sense of incompetence. While Francisco was from Mexico, his story spoke to my students from all over the world.

Further, his dance with poverty and endless cycle of looking for work and safe shelte
Aug 27, 2011 Adriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexa Garcia
Nov 15, 2015 Alexa Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book "The Circuit", is a really good book about a migrant child who comes to the USA illegally, and is now facing the troubles as an immigrant.This is a book with many short stories.I personally think that this book is really sad and the ending is...from my opinion really strong and powerful.This book is mostly kind of "challenging", because it has a lot of challenging words in spanish and I did have to search up some words on google to find its meaning (LOL).I would recommend this book to a ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Hiroko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book would be one of my favorites in my bookshelf.
I enjoyed and thrilled reading this story.

Panchito illegally crossed the border between America and Mexico with his parents and 2 brothers. They struggled making money and surviving with the big family working at the several crop fields. This story was sort of making me think about the education is one of the ways to make a change in our lives. Gladly I now study in college and have an opportunity to obtain my thrived future hopefully. Anyho
Sepideh Salarvand
من ترجمهی مریم فتاحی از کتاب رو خوندم که نشر آفرینگان چاپ کرده. برای من که هر داستانی که مربوط به کودک کارگر و مهاجر باشه جذابه این کتاب میتونست فوقالعاده باشه چون گویندهی داستانها یک بچهی مکزیکیه که با خانوادهش غیرقانونی از مرز رد شده و تو آمریکا کارگر فصلیه و مدرسهی نصفه و نیمهای میره تا بتونه کار کنه. کتاب در واقع زندگینامهی خود نویسنده است و راستش به نظر من داستانهاش کمی تا قسمتی کلیشهای و آمریکایی شده بود و نتونست من رو خیلی جذب کنه اما در برهوت داستان کودک و نوجوان در مورد کودکان کارگر و م ...more
Lawrence Jaimes
Feb 28, 2017 Lawrence Jaimes rated it it was amazing
"Cajas De Carton" or "The circuit" is a autobiographical novel by Francisco Jimenez that narrates Francisco's life as a illegal immigrant with his parents I rate this book a 5 out 5 because it is really good and motivational.

The book has many different settings and repeats them multiple times a few of the settings are the cotton camps strawberry camps that Francisco and his family have to travel to make money as they travel from camp to camp trying to make a stable income. Also, the parents have
Katherine Cuevas
“The Circuit-stories from the life of a migrant child” is a magnificent book that describes the difficult childhood of an innocent kid. The story came from a family that moved from Mexico to United States. Two parents and three brothers compose the beginning of the book. Francisco Jimenez, the second of the brothers and the author of the book explains how is live without a permanent home and currently money. With hope to have a better life, lives this family. Logos, pathos, and ethos appeal in t ...more
Jose Ulloa
May 16, 2016 Jose Ulloa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fiction book about a boy named Francisco and his family and all the
troubles that they had to go through just to be able to some what survive in this world in some of
the worst possible ways that someone can live under. The book goes to show what an immigrant
family will do just to survive a example of this is how the mom, dad, and Roberto his older brother work picking cotton and strawberry having to move consistently from labor camp to labor camp for years. In search of a better li
Sunday Cummins
The content about life as migrant workers stands in stark contrast to the conditions described in Esperanza Rising. Living in barns. Living in shacks where they covered the floor with card board. Strapping the one family mattress to the top of the car every time they moved from one camp to another. The struggle to learn in just a few months of school every year and one missed opportunity after another. (from Amazon)

Pages I marked with unfamiliar cultural info -
Cantinflas - a movie character I'v
Nov 19, 2012 Yasmeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grade/Interest Level: Upper Elementary, Middle School
Lexile Leve: 880L
Genre: Autobiography, Multicultural Lit
Main Characters: Panchito, mother, father, brothers
Setting: California
POV: Panchito

This book is a collection of short stories that follows the life Francisco’s family. They have illegally crossed the border from Mexico to search for a better life. The family does manual labor on various fields for a number of years. The stories are told through Francisco’s (Panchito) eyes. We are told o
Book Concierge
This slim volume packs an extraordinary emotional punch. The stories Jimenez relates are autobiographical, depicting the life he and his family led as migrant workers in 1940s California. Told from the perspective of the second son in a strong, loving family, the stories carry the reader through about eight years of working “the circuit.”

What I particularly like about the book is that while Jimenez doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of this life, he doesn’t dwell on the negatives, either. Yes,
Vanessa Maeda
Nov 19, 2012 Vanessa Maeda rated it it was amazing
Main Characters: Francisco, Mama, Papa, and Roberto
Setting: various areas in California
POV: 1st person- Francisco


In this book, Francisco describe the hardships and struggles him and his family faced as they emigrated from Mexico to California to find work in the fields. Francisco shares the experiences of finding work, being frequently displaced, as well as being underpaid and mistreated migrant workers. Throughout this piece of literature, Francisco and his family have problems back to
Sep 26, 2011 D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my class on Boys and Literacy. I plan to pair this non-fiction book with the fiction book, Crossing the Wire, by Will Hobbs, that I recently read. This book, Circuit, is a small book of short stories from the life of a migrant child in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The stories are interesting and very eye opening. This migrant child eventually grew up to be a professor of modern languages at Santa Clara University, but his early years as the child of illegal migrant farm worker ...more
Sep 17, 2016 Stefany rated it it was amazing
The stories told by Jiménez are all too close to those of my own family. To read the hardship and despair that his family faced was at times too much for me. I was very emotional reading his words because his accounts were truly very close to home. This book took me longer to read than it should have simply because there was too much emotion falling from the pages. To grow up as he did and to be able to over come so much was incredible. To all the families who have had to go through hardships li ...more
Aug 19, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one during library school as a *diversity read*. It was a great story about a boy who is a migrant laborer. The most moving part of the story is Fransisco in the fields practicing his English from a tiny notepad that he kept in his pocket while he picked in the fields with his family. Many kids in my neighborhood library have had to read this over the summer, and I love putting it in the hands of kids who have lived this experience and in those for whom this will be the only glimpse ...more
Valeria Ambriz
Apr 14, 2015 Valeria Ambriz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book I think what happens next is going to be in the other book called breaking through which I already read last year in my fifth grade class. I liked the book so much and I would like to get one of those again. It's good that Francisco dad trusted him that he can be responsible to do the cotton thing. But it was sad that in the end the immigration gets Francisco and Roberto. The good thing is that Roberto got a good jobs at the end.
I want to rate this memoir of a childhood spent picking grapes, cotton, and vegetables as a Mexican illegal in California with a 5, and I still might after I read the sequels. It is well written and embellished, with well chosen, concrete images at every turn. Gritty and inspiring, it is a page turner. The ending is abrupt (I won't spoil it), so I want to continue into the next volume before making a final judgment.
May 19, 2016 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immigrants are known to be all over the United States nowadays and this is a story of one of them. The book is about a child who immigrated with his family at a young age. Its about his struggle of learning a foreign language. As time passes the family starts to grow and as the seasons change they move to a new location to work.
Nov 23, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I didn't know what to expect with this book (recommended by one of my students), so I was pleasantly surprised by how impactful it is. Though it is categorized as fiction, it reads like a memoir of a young, Mexican, migrant worker who tries to make a better life for himself and his family in California. Poignant is the best word to describe Jiminez's narrative.
Dalia Gomez
Mar 05, 2015 Dalia Gomez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book because it talks about an immigrant who crossed the border with is family when he was 4 or 5 years old. and it also tell you that when he was little he had a very hard life and had to go work in the feilds.
Jan 15, 2014 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like history
All in all, it was okay, but the ending was depressing.
Jan 02, 2013 Jacky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cried. Don't read it if you hate pennies though. The narrator glorifies pennies because he comes from a poor migrant family.
Jul 09, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an outstanding book to help us better understand the lives of migrant families. Francisco is a wonderful gentleman and his second book, "Breaking Through" is equally compelling.
Joan Hollins
Jun 18, 2016 Joan Hollins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was beyond awful, but the ending was unexpected and sad.
Aug 06, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read assigned for my MAT program. It details the life of a child in a migrant family and all of the challenges that go along with that. Pretty good.
This is a semi-autobiographical book of short stories about a child whose family are (illegal) immigrants from Mexico. They move a few times each year to find work picking crops. The story is both heartbreaking and hopeful, both humorous and sad. It's a life that is so different than the life I have lived yet I left the book feeling impressed by the family's hard work, determination and Jimenez's tremendous success rather than feeling sorry for them. This is a family that loves one another and f ...more
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HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review 1 1 May 07, 2017 08:57PM  
Ewww! 4 26 Jun 04, 2015 10:37AM  
What happens to Francisco after the immigrant officer takes him and Roberto away? 2 12 Feb 02, 2015 09:37PM  
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Francisco Jimenez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received both his master's degree and his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is now chairman of the Modern Languages and Literature Department at Santa Clara University, the setting of much of Reaching Out. He is the award-winning author of The Circuit, Breaking Thr ...more
More about Francisco Jiménez...

Other Books in the Series

Francisco (4 books)
  • Breaking Through
  • Reaching Out
  • Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University

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