Living in America, translated books are not something you see very often. Of course, there are many books translated into English from various languages, but we are not always aware of them.
One example of foreign book translated into English in popular young adult literature right now is the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Geir. The books, set in England, were originally written in German and have a large fan-base there. Other popular books that have been translated into English include INKHEART by Cornelia Funke and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson. Even the title of the first Harry Potter was changed as it came to America.
Bringing a book to life in another language is not an easy task. And as anyone who has ever taken a foreign language knows, you cannot translate text literally and word for word. Translators are hired to carefully rewrite books into different languages. They painstakingly go through books and translate not only the text, but the humor, tone and themes that books send to their readers.
In translating books, some elements will be altered to fit better with the language of the country that the book is being translated into. When Scholastic bought the U.S. rights to Harry Potter, they changed the title of the first book from "the Philosopher’s Stone" to "the Sorcerer’s Stone" because they thought that children might not want to read a book with philosopher in the title.
Although there are almost always changes to books when they are translated, translators, authors and publishers try to keep the book as great as it can be so readers in any language can enjoy it in the same ways.