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WWII Children's Book Now in Spanish

September 01, 2020

V de la victoria has been a labor of love for author and publisher, Teresa Funke. I'm thrilled to announce it is officially published and ready for readers! I intereviewed Teresa to find out why she chose this story in her Home-Front Heroes Collection published by Victory House Press to translate into Spanish.

PRIZE ALERT: Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy. (Contest ends midnight MST on Saturday, September 12, 2020. I will contact the winner for his or her mailing address. United States residents only.)

Author Teresa Funke

Teresa, why did you want to translate this story to Spanish?

V for Victory came out in 2009. It was the third installment in my Home-Front Heroes Collection of middle-grade books set in World War II. Each novel (for readers ages 7-13) is based on the memories of a real person, and this book was loosely based on my uncle, Roman Talamantez, and our Mexican-American family, which ran grocery stores in San Antonio during the war.

Roman Talamantez, Teresa's uncle

I quickly added V for Victory to my various giveaway programs, in which I donate books to schools and nonprofits. Not long after, the Spanish-speaking families at the schools and nonprofits started asking if I had a book in Spanish. The parents wanted to be able to read with their children. And teachers wanted books in Spanish for their students who were newly arrived from Mexico or other Spanish-speaking countries. So I’d wanted to translate one of my books for years!  In the fall of 2019, the time and resources finally came together to make that possible, so naturally I chose to translate was this one! And V de la victoria was released in August of 2020.

How is this story important to children of Mexican decent?

It has not escaped my notice over the years that very few historical fiction books for children feature Mexican-American main characters. So I knew I wanted to include my family’s story in my series. My grandmother was a Mexican immigrant and my grandfather was Mexican-American, but I don’t recall owning books in English as a child that featured characters from families like mine. I think it’s vitally important for kids of all backgrounds to find themselves in literature. There are few things more exciting to a child than encountering a heroic character who looks or sounds or acts like them. Since my book is set in World War II, it not only gives Latinx children a chance to find themselves in a book, but an opportunity to see how Mexican-American families contributed to the war effort and “did their part” just like so many other families. My main character, Miguel, is a regular kid. He wants to win the respect of his family, to have fun with his friends, and to help win the war. So readers of V de la victoria get to learn American history as they read!

How did you find a translator?

Years ago I met Gloria Garcia Diaz through my friend and fellow author, Laura Resau. She and Laura were friends, and Gloria had translated Laura’s book, A Star in the Forest (Estrella en el bosque). I knew Gloria was a writer, singer, and dancer herself, and I also knew she was a fan of V for Victory, so she seemed the obvious choice to translate the book for me. Since we live in the same town, we could meet in person (before the pandemic) to discuss the translation. Since the book is written using some World War II-era slang, it could be challenging at times. For example, how do you translate the line, “Not too swift, brother”? Gloria was super dedicated to this project from the start. She told me she feels it’s important for kids to recognize themselves in literature, but also that the nature of the story (being set in wartime) might encourage boys and even their fathers to read the book!

How can teachers use this Spanish translation in class?

There are so many ways this book can be used. I do a lot of school visits, and it’s not uncommon to have English Language Learners attend my visits. These kids are working hard to learn English, but in the meantime, it’s so nice for them to have a book to read alongside their English-speaking peers. Spanish teachers also know that it’s easier for people who are learning Spanish to practice reading on a children’s book rather than a textbook or adult book. So I’m hoping this novel will appeal not just to young readers, but to adults learning Spanish, and to adult Spanish-speakers hoping to improve their English!

How can parents use it for schooling at home?  For example, do you have worksheets or activities to go along with this book?

I’ve been advocating for 12 years for the importance of home libraries and book ownership. For over a decade, I’ve offered giveaway programs to support that cause. During the quarantine in the early days of the pandemic, it became clearer to the public how vital home libraries really are. Many teachers were asking their at-home students to read 30 minutes a day, but many kids don’t own a single book. And the libraries were closed. So one of the things I focus on is making sure as many kids as possible have access to my books. They are available in print and e-book, and many of the nonprofits I work with distribute my books to families who need them. Parents can use my books to fill designated reading times, they can also use them to further discussion about their own family history with World War II (ideally asking older relatives to share stories with their kids). Parents and teachers will find AR quizzes, a family history worksheet, lesson plans, reading lists, stories about the real Home-Front heroes, and all kinds of other resources on my website: www.teresafunke.com. Make sure you look under the Author section and the Teacher Resources sections.

Do you plan to translate any other of your World War II books?

At this time, I have no plans to translate other titles of my books. Translating is a long, challenging, and costly process. Given the current pandemic environment, the timing just isn’t right to do more. But I’m enormously proud of V de la victoria and am doing my best to promote this special reading experience. I’m also super excited to have it now available for my Spanish-speaking fans! 

You can purchase this book from Teresa on her website at: https://www.teresafunke.com/product/v-de-la-victoria/

She is offering these specials: Buy 3, Get 1 Free, or Buy 5, Get 2 Free.

Also available through Amazon

Don't forget about the PRIZE: Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy. (Contest ends midnight MST on Saturday, September 12, 2020. I will contact the winner for his or her mailing address. United States residents only.) Feel free to share this blog with a friend or teacher. 


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