Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University

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9780547632308: Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University
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In this fourth book in his award-winning memoir series, Francisco Jimenez leaves everything behind in California—a loving family, a devoted girlfriend, and the culture that shaped him—to attend Columbia University in New York City.

With few true accounts of the Latino experience in America, Francisco Jimenez’s work comes alive with telling details about the warmth and resiliency of family and the quest for identity against seemingly impossible odds.

"Many [students] have commented that your books give them hope and courage and, thanks to you, many are seriously thinking about college for the first time in their lives" --John Padula, teacher, Boston Public Schools

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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 professor emeritus in the Modern Languages and Literature Department at Santa Clara University, the setting of much of his novel, Reaching Out. He is the award-winning author of The Circuit, Cajas de carton, Breaking Through, Senderos fronterizos, Mas Alla de mi, Taking Hold, The Christmas Gift/El Regalo de la Navidad and La Mariposa. He is the recipient of many national literary awards, among them are the John Steinbeck Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Americas Award the Pura Belpré Honor Book Award, the Tomás Rivera BookAward, Reading the World Award, and the Carter C. Woodson National Book Award. He lives with his family in Santa Clara, California

From School Library Journal:

Gr 9 Up—In this fourth of Jiménez's autobiographies, the author recounts his life from when he started his graduate work at Columbia University in the late 1960s to when he began his professorship at Santa Clara University in 1973. Jiménez refers frequently to the poverty he and his migrant family experienced when he was a child. The anxiety wrought by his family's dearth of resources instilled in him an ongoing fear that he was inadequate to meet the financial and academic challenges before him. Jiménez demonstrates that by dint of intelligence, tenacity, and help from friends and professors, he was able to obtain the education he desired so fervently. Jiménez's memory is capacious. He remembers the color of the suit he wore on his first day at Columbia (light green) and the cost of rent for the first two apartments where he and his wife lived ($150 and $175). These details are interesting but without modern context will not mean much to most readers. Jiménez re-creates some scenes with resonant clarity, emphasizing the necessity of pinching pennies and the joy of finding out his wife was pregnant. Other elements are not as strong. Lengthy descriptions of his academic pursuits go beyond the intended readership's interests and educational experience. Overall, this is an eloquent work about overcoming poverty to receive an advanced education. VERDICT Consider purchasing this for biography collections in need of modern-day inspirational figures.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

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9781328742094: Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University

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ISBN 10:  1328742091 ISBN 13:  9781328742094
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2017
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