Breaking Through

Breaking Through

by Francisco Jimenez, Francisco Jimtnez

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Overview

At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother Roberto and his mother, are caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home in California, the entire family travels all night for twenty hours by bus, arriving at the U.S. and Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona. In the months and years that follow during the late 1950s-early 1960s, Francisco, his mother and father, and his seven brothers and sister not only struggle to keep their family together, but also face crushing poverty, long hours of labor, and blatant prejudice. How they sustain their hope, their good-heartedness, and tenacity is revealed in this moving, Pura Belpré Honor-winning sequel to The Circuit. Without bitterness or sentimentality, Francisco Jiménez finishes telling the story of his youth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618342488
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 11/12/2002
Series: Edition 001 Series
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 41,019
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.53(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author


Francisco Jiménez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received both his master’s degree and his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is now the chairman of the Modern Languages and Literature Department at Santa Clara University, the setting of much of his newest novel, Reaching Out. He is the award-winning author of The Circuit, Breaking Through, and La Mariposa. He is also the recipient of the John Steinbeck Award. He lives with his family in Santa Clara, California.

Read an Excerpt


Jiménez' autobiographical story The Circuit (1997) broke new ground with its drama of a Mexican American migrant child in southern California. It won many prizes and was a Booklist Editors' Choice. This moving sequel is a fictionalized memoir of Jimenez's teenage years in the late 1950s, when the family finally stayed in one place and Francisco and his brothers worked long hours before and after school to put food on the table. First they picked strawberries in the fields. Later the jobs got better: cleaning offices, washing windows and walls, waxing floors. The prose here is not as taut as in the first book, but Jimenez writes with simplicity about a harsh world seldom seen in children's books. He also writes about a scary, sad, furious, and broken father--like the father in Na's A Step from Heaven [BKL Je 1 & 15 01]. He stays true to the viewpoint of a teenager growing up poor: the yearning (What would it be like to live in a house, rather than the crowded barracks?); the ignorance (College?); the hurt of prejudice. Yet he celebrates his Mexican roots even as he learns to be an American. The images are powerful, especially the one of the boy cleaning offices before dawn, with notes of English words to memorize in his shirt pocket. An excellent choice for ESL classes, this is a book for many readers, who may discover an America they didn't know was here.

Customer Reviews

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Breaking Through 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Breaking Through is a heart warming story about a boy named Fransico Jaminez.He is an immigrant who moves to the U.S and is learning the language and trying to fit in.Through out the story he encounters many difficulties in his middle school and his school times.He also grows up very much.Fransico is very close to his brother and work together on a daily basis.At a young age he starts to work and make money to support his family.Overall this book was very interesting and I enjoyed it very much.I recommend reading this book as soon as possible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Breaking Through' is the autobiography of Francisco Jimenez. It is his story of immigrating with his family to California from Mexico. They struggled to make a living in California. As a young boy he labored in the strawberry fields while trying to complete his education. When money becomes scarce he gets another job cleaning business offices. All the while he continues to excel in school. He recognizes that an education will lead to opportunities for a better life for him and his family. I like this book because it is a great example of perseverance. Francisco's persistence and his resolution to rise above his circumstances is admirable. He never gave up. Despite family illness and financial hardships he continued to work hard. I would recommend it because it is a good story. It is inspirational. People who recently immigrated might find it reassuring.
janetburt66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pura Belpre Honor AwardAmericas Award Winner for Children's and Young Adult LiteratureBest Books for Young AdultsBooklist Editor's ChoiceThis sequel to The Curcuit is a fictionalized memoir of Jimenez¿s teenage years in the late 1950s, when the family finally stayed in one place and Francisco and his brothers worked long hours before and after school to put food on the table. First they picked strawberries in the fields. Later the jobs got better: cleaning offices, washing windows and walls, waxing floors.
hooray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those little books with an enormous impact. It could almost pass for a fantasy, considering the trials and adversity the author went through on the road to growing up. Not only is interesting for those who were born and grew up never worrying about "la migra", it is, as the back cover states, a book for children who never see their lives in print, thus making it an important contribution to any library.
WeeziesBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent book for ages 12 to adult about the life of a migrant gentleman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i understand the struggle of being Mexican and not being payed enough i understand the struggle im waiting for some one to take a stand against unfair pay and if nobody does i will i wanna be the Caesar Chaves of my generation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know how this book is four and a half stars but it totally deserves 5 stars automatically  My favorite book and highly recommend reading this if your a Mexican American immigrant. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome!!!!!!!!! Im so proud of you Fidshing... er... Hexwing!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She held Vulpix and Weavile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The small Gang arrived at Nibassa city. The lights glimmered and people with cameras took flashy pictures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was really interesting. why? I thought this book was interesting because I could relate to Francisco. Francisco is a kid who gets to the US illegally. At the age of Fourteen him and his brother Roberto get deported. The entirely family decides to go back to mexico, but they struggled to keep a stable family. Francisco wants to go back because he had the chance to study and become someone in life. He had a poor family, but he had hopes of succeeding in this country. His family managed a way to get papers for both Roberto and Francisco, when they get back to the US , they start working hard to send money to their parents. As time goes by in Nogalez  Arizona, they grow up and get a car of their own. At first Francisco is ashamed of his dads truck and decides to park it far away from his school. I enjoyed reading this book because it took place not too long ago and the boy was around my age. I could not believe that he had to work to help support his family. I thought it was interesting because whatever money I get, my parents let me keep for myself, but everything he had was given to his parents.I think that theme of the book is the struggle of immigrants. I would recommend this book to anyone because it shows the struggles of a poor family who migrates to the US to succeed; this will be a great motivation to anyone that wants to succeed in life. 
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This the best story EVER.
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This book is as good as the first one
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Good book to read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful heart warming story . A good book for ALL AGES . I LOVED IT !!!!!!!! All i can say is wonderful .
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