The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child was written by Francisco Jimenez, an award-winning author who emigrated from Mexico to the United States. This heartfelt novel engrosses readers in a world of hard manual labor, grueling travel, impoverished living, and preservation of family/cultural heritage. Readers uncover the pleasure and pain a young migrant and his family endure as they move from one labor camp to the next in order to survive.
The Circuit was originally published during 1996 and was published again during 1997 by the University of New Mexico Press. It is the first installment of his Francisco book series, which includes three other books. The other books are Breaking Through, Reaching Out, and Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University. Jimenez's own migrant background has ultimately shaped the characters, plot, themes, and symbolism found in this story.
Many Goodreads reviewers were moved by the protagonist's will to persevere through the hardships of migrant life, with a strong sense of faith, hope, and good work ethic. On the other hand, other reviewers feel this novel is a bit disjointed, including unclear cultural references.
The Circuit has earned Jimenez several literary awards and award nominations, such as the 1998 John and Patricia Beatty Award.