The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child

by Francisco Jiménez

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Chapter 9 Summary

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Last Updated on September 6, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 242

In “The Circuit,” Francisco describes the annual circuit his family makes looking for work. When strawberry picking is over at the end of August, it is time to move. Francisco hates moving, but they pack up Carcachita again anyway. Papa had bought that car only after carefully inspecting it, and it has served the family well.

The family heads for Fresno, where they work for Mr. Sullivan and live in an old garage that they fix up as best they can. The temperature soars to nearly a hundred degrees on the first morning of their new jobs picking grapes. Francisco drinks too much water and gets sick. He and Roberto have to hide at lunch time when the children come home from school. They should be in school, too, and they do not want anyone to see them. It takes Francisco’s body a while to adjust to the new kind of labor, but he is soon strong.

Francisco goes back to school in November. Roberto cannot go until February, after the cotton picking season. Francisco is now in sixth grade, and his teacher is Mr. Lema, who helps him with English during lunch hours for the next month and offers to teach him how to play the trumpet. Francisco is thrilled by this new musical opportunity, and he hurries home to tell his parents. When he arrives, he sees all the cardboard boxes stacked up. The family is moving yet again.

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Chapter 8 Summary


Chapter 10 Summary