Monday, January 21, 2013

Senderos Fronterizos

Senderos fronterizosSenderos fronterizos by Francisco Jiménez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second in a trilogy by Jiménez recounting his life growing up as the child in a migrant farmworker family. I read this in Spanish, which makes the often sad yet hopeful story even more poignant. In this part of his story, the family stays in Santa María while the older children work and their father and mother work as they are able. Despite working for a cleaning service after school, nights, and weekends, Panchito manages to become a leader in his class and is off to college.

Jiménez offers plenty of description and explanation, so that readers today can understand the starkness and hardship of his life during his teenage years in the 1950s and 60s. Although parts are very sad, the story is not-- the boys manage to have a lot of fun and experience parts of a normal high school experience during a fun time in American history.

Reading this in Spanish made it far more poignant. There is an English version, but the Spanish is much more evocative. Read either to have a better understanding of the courageous families who have come here to give their children a better chance at life-- nothing about it is easy, but it is worth the read.

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