REACHING OUT by Francisco Jiménez


Age Range: 11 & up
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This sequel to The Circuit (1997) and Breaking Through (2001), which covered Mexican-born Jiménez’s childhood, takes Francisco through his college years at the University of Santa Clara. After long years working in California fields and living in labor camps, Francisco is the first in his family to attend college, and this volume is a tribute to all first-generation college students and the many people who made a difference in Francisco’s own life. As he says to his family at graduation, “We all did it.” It’s a bittersweet story, though, as Francisco frequently feels guilty at the sacrifices made on his behalf, and even as he heads to Columbia University for graduate studies on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, he yearns for stability in his life and a place to call home. While the first two volumes felt as though they were collections of autobiographical short stories, this is a more linear and straightforward autobiographical novel, simply and eloquently told. An inspiring account of a remarkable journey. (author’s note, photographs) (Fiction. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-03851-0
Page count: 208pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2008


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