The Circuit

By: Francisco Jimenez


The Circuit is young adult novel about Francisco, an illegal immigrant from Guadalajara, Mexico.  Francisco and his family move to California, to try and find better work.  They have to move a lot due to la migra otherwise known as the immigration officers.  This novel lets you take a look into Francisco and his family as they set out to endure the life of illegal immigrants.

Character Analysis

Francisco is a very self-made boy. He comes from a very hard working family. As Francisco grows older throughout the book, he becomes more responsible and tries to help his family as much as he can. Some times he pardon's his own well being to help his family. For example, "The angry, blistering sun did not let me. By ten o'clock my shirt was soaking wet" (Jimenez 105). This shows even though Francisco is burning hot, he won't show it because he know's how much his family needs the money. Francisco's selfless attitude makes the reader really like him. Jimenez also develop's Francisco's character so well, the audience can almost tell by context clues, what he's going to do next.


The theme and characterization in The Circuit help advance the plot by giving the story a deeper more compelling meaning. The story has a lot of metaphors too, that helps to give the a deeper meaning also. The theme in The Circuit is even in the worst of times always try and find some good In it. For example, "I was so excited I almost forgot to thank Papa...That's when I started to collect pennies." (Jimenez 99). Collecting the pennies is a metaphor for some happiness in his hard life. "

"Mi'ja did you take Pachito's pennies?" (Jimenez 107). When his little sister Rorra takes his pennies, this is a metaphor for his happiness being taken away. These metaphor's add to the big picture or the theme. The characterization in The Circuit is very direct characterization. That advances the plot by helping the reader visualize the characters very well. While in If I Stay there is a mix between direct and indirect characterization, that makes the reader imagine the character's more than being able to visualize them right away like in The Circuit.


Overall I liked the The Circuit, but I wouldn't recommend it. Not that it didn't have a good plot line, but it was too depressing for me. I like sad books but to a certain degree. Also some parts of the book were a little boring. On the bright side, The Circuit did have some good themes and good characterization.