Friday, September 17, 2010

Review- Reaching Out by Francisco Jimenez

Published in 2008
Sequel to The Circuit (1) and Breaking Through (2)

Last fall, my senior year of college, I had to take a Latin American Studies course to fulfill my graduation requirements, so I chose US Hispanic Authors.  The first book in this "trilogy" (all of them stand alone, but they are autobiographical, so a trilogy for chronology's sake), The Circuit was required reading.  These books are all about the author's coming of age, and they begin with his illegal trip in to the US across the border from Mexico.  Not only is he now an illegal immigrant in fear of deportation, but he and his family speak no English, and they find work as migrant workers.

Francisco Jimenez is now an author obviously, so these stories are a success tale.  There are many sad things that happen, and I cried often, but most importantly these stories are an inspiration for poor children, for Mexican immigrants, and for people who are trying to learn English.  These books inspired me, as a teacher, and gave me insight into what children in these circumstances might be going through. I recommend all three of these books to anyone considering a career working with people (teacher, psychologist, social services, etc.)  They really changed my life.

To add to their value, these books are very well written, short but meaty, and can be broken into short stories.  These would be appropriate to read to students as short stories.  As you can tell, I'm totally crazy about these books.

5 stars for all three of them. READ THEM.

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