The Circuit, Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, by Francisco Jimenez, is a memoir collection of powerful short-stories, detailing the difficult life of a Mexican immigrant during the mid-20th century. Starkly-written and honest, this book educates and enlightens. Not since Grapes of Wrath have I read such a vivd account of the life of transient workers.
At times amusing and charming, and often heart-breaking and shocking, Jiménez lays bare the ugly underbelly of the idealized American Dream, where bigotry and discrimination run rampant, and poverty and segregation are the norm. As rough as the lives of the migrants are, their sense of hope and their determination to make a better future for their children, is inspiring.
This book was an eye-opening read for me, and frankly it should be required reading in schools. It's not to be overlooked.