Dr. Francisco Jimenez intoduces himself to Santa Paula High School students.The students have read a book by Dr. Jimenez and wanted to meet him personally. 25 students stopped by Adventures for Kids bookstore in Ventura where Dr. Jimenez was signing his latest book "Breaking Through." Photo by Don Johnson

SPHS students meet acclaimed writer

November 07, 2001
Santa Paula High School
By Annette Halpern SPHS TeacherTwenty-five lucky Santa Paula High School students spent Saturday afternoon with award winning author, Francisco Jimenez, at Adventures for Kids bookstore in Ventura.Dr. Jimenez, a professor of world languages at the University of Santa Clara, was in the Ventura area signing copies of his most recent release Breaking Through, the sequel to his autobiographical collection of short stories, The Circuit. All participating students had read the latter work which tells of his childhood experiences as the son of migrant farmworkers living in the Santa Maria area during the 1950’s."It was interesting to meet an author and hear him tell his story in person,” commented freshman Susana Herrera.
The winner of seven prestigious literary awards, including American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, The Circuit is appreciated by young and old alike. “Dr. Jimenez’ work is extremely well-written and moving. He puts a human face on the thousands of migrant laborers who work day in and day out harvesting the food that we eat,” related teacher Annette Halpern.According to Dr. Jimenez, three values helped to hold his family together in spite of poverty and instability: hard work, mutual respect, and religious faith. He encouraged the students to take advantage of their educational opportunities and to use their talents to reach their potential. Remarked senior Carlos Reyes, “He inspired us because his experiences show us how he went forward with his studies even with language difficulties.”

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