My Book Signing Experience With Popular Memoirist Francisco Jimenez

Read on to learn about my book signing experience for Francisco Jimenez’s new graphic novel adaptation of his memoir!

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The Circuit graphic novel book cover is on the left while author Francisco Jimenez is on the right, both on a dark brown background.

Stories are instrumental in learning about history, whether from long ago or tracing the roots of our family tree. For Francisco Jimenez, his memoir, The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, was a way to tell his family’s journey from Mexico to the United States. As the memoir has transformed into a graphic novel, a new set of readers will journey alongside his story.

Inspiring a New Generation

As I stepped into the Central Park Library in Santa Clara, California, it was clear that many young readers were eager to meet Francisco Jimenez. Children were holding their books and reading as we all waited for the event to begin. Families joined in on the excitement, and Jimenez’s books were quickly selling out! Seats were full and people were also starting to fill the back.

The Circuit graphic novel cover with a background of butterflies and leaves.

Once Francisco Jimenez began, a huge love of the library was shared both by Jimenez and the crowd. As the Fay Boyle Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Santa Clara University, Jimenez’s love for sharing stories and writing shined through this event. When asked what advice he would give to young writers, he encouraged kids to keep writing, write about their families, interview them, or ask them questions! Though I am much older than the students there, I left the event incredibly inspired.

The Power of the Graphic Novel

Before the queue for the signing began, Jimenez spoke a bit more about The Circuit, answering the question that I had as well: Why a graphic novel? He spoke of reaching a new audience of readers, especially of this new visual generation. In the digital age, visual art is important, and he spoke of the rising popularity of graphic novels, which in turn, help young readers to love reading books. This was such a refreshing take on the digital generation; rather than only the negative aspects, he highlighted how to meet the kids where they are and still be able to enjoy reading!

Article writer holding copy of The Circuit next to author Francisco Jimenez.

The library was almost closed by the time I was able to meet him, and I truly believe this shows just how much of an impact he has made on readers of all ages. As I spoke to him about how much I loved children’s literature and am enjoying graphic novels myself, I left the event with so much joy. I continue to be inspired by writers like Francisco Jimenez who write their stories, while also impacting and fostering literacy and the love of reading.

Graphic novels can bring stories to life with both visuals and words. With stories like The Circuit, the next generation of writers and illustrators are sure to have a great foundation to inspire their own creations.

Read about more book signing experiences here!

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