André Klein was born in Germany, grew up in Sweden and Thailand and currently lives in Israel where he hones his half-baked Hebrew skills and maintains an ongoing fascination with feral cats (they are everywhere!). He has been teaching languages for more than 15 years and is the author of various German story series for beginners, intermediates and advanced, and a couple of perpetually unpublished novels.
While working as a German teacher in Berlin (and later online), helping students both young and old make sense of pesky declension rules (Don't fear the Genitiv!) and learn about the arcane arts of interpunction and spelling (sorry for the reforms), he noticed how textbooks kept recycling the same dull characters and fictional situations. And slowly but surely an idea began to take shape in his coffee-addled brain ...
Would it be possible to create simple characters and stories that weren't just accessible for novice learners but could still be enjoyed for what they were? And could they be made interesting enough to motivate students to read more?
Apparently, it wasn't only possible, but people seemed to welcome this kind of storytelling which was approachable yet not condescending (learners aren't children after all, just adults with a smaller vocabulary). And before long this project took on a life of its own, forcing him to quit his day job as a teacher and fully dedicate himself to writing and publishing, as readers kept clamoring for more.
To date he has created three series for German learners: Dino lernt Deutsch, a quirky travel series about the exploits of a young Sicilian in Germany (and beyond), Baumgartner & Momsen, a mystery series starring a hardboiled detective and his sassy colleague, and Aschkalon, an interactive fantasy trilogy set in a mysterious kingdom.