I took a couple of years of high school German, from a bitter woman named Mrs. Harmoning. We didn't get along. It might have something to do with the Ex-Lax Marty Lange and I baked into the cookies for the cookie contest. Mrs. Harmoning was one of the judges.
I can still stumble through a bit of German conversation. I can order a beer and find a bathroom. But when it comes to reading reviews of my books that have come out in Germany, I am fully dependent on the nonsense spewed out by Google Translate.
Take the following five-star review for "Tick Tack Tot," the German version of "The Shadow of Seth." This review comes from some kind and insightful reader named R. Manthey. Keep in mind: Five stars. So I'm assuming it is positive.
In German, the closing paragraph says:
Diese Geschichte bleibt natürlich eine Geschichte. Aber sie wirkt keineswegs erfunden oder konstruiert. Ganz im Gegenteil: Seth ist ein Typ, den man sympathisch finden muss und den man gerne zum Kumpel hätte. Ein gelungenes Jugendbuch, schnörkellos, unterhaltend und ohne pädagogischen Hintergrund.
Google Translate tells me this means:
Of course, this story is a story. But it seems not invented or constructed. On the contrary, Seth is a type that must be found sympathetic and one would like to mate. A successful youth book, straightforward, entertaining and without educational background.
Read the entire review (in German!) here.