When it comes to sticking together as a family, no one does it like Francisco's family in The Circuit—and they're no small brood either. By the end of the book, we've got Mamá, Papá, Roberto, Francisco, Trampita, Torito, Rubén, and Rorra.
No matter how large they grow in number, though, his family stays together through thick and thin. So when they have a tough time finding work and dad's back is injured, Roberto and Francisco step up to the plate, and when Torito is sick, the whole family comes together to make a pretty awesome miracle happen. Life may not always be hunky dory, but in the end this family learns what it means to show one another some serious support.
Family is a downer. In The Circuit, Francisco is held back by his family and that's a bad thing.
Family is the best. When it comes to making Francisco's life the cream of the crop, nothing works quite like his family.
We're not gonna lie to you: loads of bad stuff goes down in The Circuit. We've got pets dying, friends disappearing, and houses burning up all in the same story—in other words, there are some major disappointments in store for Francisco and his family. They're not easy to get through, and Francisco lets us know that sadness can feel pretty overwhelming sometimes.
But don't worry—there's some good news, too. Sometimes disappointments teach Francisco bigger lessons, like about how much he's grown or how awesome his family is. And while this definitely doesn't erase all the downers, it might make them a tad bit more bearable.
Disappointment breaks Francisco down. Francisco goes through so many rough patches, and by the end they've left him with a pretty broken identity.
Disappointment builds Francisco up. Lots of stuff goes wrong in his life, but in the end it makes him a stronger guy, inside and out.
When Francisco and his family move from Mexico to California in The Circuit, one of the biggest challenges they face is learning English. At home Francisco speaks Spanish with his parents and siblings, but in school it's all about knowing English and feeling confident with it. Speaking English also comes up when his family is trying to find work. In other words, every time they leave their house, English comes into the communication equation. With few people willing to help Francisco learn English, though, he's got his work cut out for him.
Verbal communication is key. In The Circuit, Francisco needs to learn to talk in English just so he can fit in.
Communication comes in all shapes and sizes, and in The Circuit, Francisco finds all sorts of ways to get in touch with those around him.
Picture this: a land where you can sweep up money and everyone is happy. Sounds pretty great, right? When Francisco and his family think of California, this super happy image is what they have in mind… but when they show up, things are a wee bit different. Often they're living by a garbage dump and spending their days scrambling to find work. Yep, life in California sure can be tough in The Circuit. There are some good times too, of course, but in the end the California of their dreams and the California of their reality are vastly different.
In The Circuit, the characters discover that California might have its flaws, but overall it's still the best place on earth.
In The Circuit, California turns out to be a big disappointment because the bad outweighs the good.
If you're looking for a hard-working group, then look no further than Francisco's family in The Circuit. Every member of his family works hard all day long—no joke. While Francisco and Roberto are doing fieldwork with their dad, Mamá is cooking away all day; even the kids help out with babysitting and other chores. And on top of all that, Francisco and Roberto have to work hard in school for part of the year. Gosh, we're getting tired just thinking about all this work.
With so much to do, Francisco and his family have to persevere through each and every day, no matter what comes at them. But all that perseverance leaves one seriously huge question: in the end, is all this hard work worth it?
In the end, hard work is worth the trouble. Even though there are bumps along the way, in The Circuit perseverance ends up being super valuable.
Just ditch the hard work. In The Circuit, perseverance doesn't pay off, so the characters should just stop trying.
Here's the deal: when you make your living by picking crops, time is seriously important. Certain plants grow and need to be harvested at super specific times, and that means farm workers—like Francisco's family in The Circuit—end up working different jobs during different seasons. This means lots of moving around, and it also means that when nothing's in season, there's also no work. Needless to say, this makes the passage of time—and seasons—pretty scary sometimes.
Time passing means progress in this book, and important shifts happen as the years go by that are good news for Francisco.
Time might pass, but everything stays the same. Not much changes over time in this book, which is a real bummer.
Education is really important to Francisco's family in The Circuit, and with good reason. Francisco's mom and dad didn't get to go to school back in Mexico, so they're really excited about sending their kiddos to school in California. This excitement doesn't mean that getting an education is easy for Francisco, of course, and being forced to change schools on the regular—plus being ignored by most of his teachers—doesn't help. But once Francisco finds some seriously awesome teachers who show him how it's done, his attitude toward school changes for good.
Francisco's education might not be easy, but in the long run it's definitely worth it.
No matter how much Francisco learns, he still ends up in the same place, and that means his education is pretty pointless.
Here's the deal: poverty makes life pretty rough for Francisco's family. When they move to California, they've got high hopes for the life they're going to lead, but they end up doing a lot of really hard work for not that much money. Plus they have to move around a lot, and some of the places they live are pretty crummy. In The Circuit, poverty has a lot to do with not having much in terms of security and possessions. But it doesn't mean our characters lack spirit, dreams, or stick-to-itiveness.
Poverty is permanent. In The Circuit, Francisco's family is always poor, and this means that poverty is inescapable.
Poverty is temporary. In The Circuit, Francisco's family finds ways to make their situation better, and this suggests that they can escape poverty one day.