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Review of Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood 
to Columbia University

Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood 
to Columbia University by Francisco Jiménez Middle School, High School    Houghton    200 pp. 4/15    978-0-547-63230-8    $16.99    g In the fourth volume of his memoir series (The Circuit, rev. 11/00; Breaking Through, rev. 11/01; Reaching Out, 2008), Jiménez delivers a moving account of his graduate school years at Columbia University during […]

On “These children need a champion” (from 2015)

“Dr. Jiménez deserves to have the school named after him, but even more than that, our students need it. I’ve been an aide in this school district for twenty-six years, and I’ve seen how much these children need a champion. They need someone to relate to, someone from the same background who has succeeded, to […]

Update: Francisco and Robert Jiménez School

Back in February I interviewed my mom Gretchen, who’s an instructional aide in Southern California’s Santa Maria–Bonita School District, about her campaign to name the district’s newest elementary school in honor of Dr. Francisco Jiménez. Dr. Jiménez is an author, recipient of a 1998 BGHB Award, and an alum of the area’s schools. And, as […]

Recommended reading on “the circuit”

In his 1998 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award acceptance speech for The Circuit, Dr. Francisco Jiménez said, “The blowing of the horn for The Circuit will draw attention to and compassion for the thousands of migrant families and their children of yesterday and today. This sound is truly music to my ears.” These books, all recommended […]

“These children need a champion”: an interview with Gretchen Bircher

Gretchen Bircher is an instructional aide at Adam Elementary School in Santa Maria, California. (She’s also my amazing mom!) Today she is submitting a proposal to the Santa Maria–Bonita School District, advocating that a new elementary school be named in honor of Dr. Francisco Jiménez — author, recipient of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and […]

The Circuit: Author Francisco Jiménez’s BGHB Fiction Award Speech

I would like to express my gratitude to the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Committee for selecting The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child for this honor. I am grateful to my editor, Andrea Otañez, and to the University of New Mexico Press for publishing my collection of short stories. I would also […]