Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University

Honest and moving, Francisco Jiménez’s memoir comes alive with telling details about the warmth and resilience of family and the quest for identity against seemingly impossible odds. Continuing the best-selling life stories told in The Circuit, Breaking Through, and Reaching Out, Francisco Jiménez chronicles his efforts and struggles as he continues his education at Columbia University.

Taking Hold by Francisco Jiménez

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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.

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 lives with his family in Santa Clara, California.

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 Praise:

“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

“Simply written but full of beautiful details, this book should inspire every citizen of our diverse and changing world.”
—VOYA 

“From strawberry fields to the Ivory Tower, Santa Clara University professor was a class act.”
—San Jose Mercury News 

“‘Taking Hold’ is an engaging, inspiring account of a migrant worker turned Ivy League graduate.”
—New York Daily News

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