Books for Parents
Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds 3rd Edition by David Pollock, Michael Pollock, & Ruth Van Reken
This has been accurately nicknamed the “TCK handbook” and it is just that! It is a great tool for learning about Third Culture Kids (TCKs), the unique challenges that they face, and how parents and those working with TCKs can be intentional about meeting their unique needs. It gives insight to struggles that TCKs may have as children, teenagers, young adults, and adults. It is a great one to hold onto and re-read during the different stages of your TCK’s life.
Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child by Julia Simens
This book is not written by a Christian author and is not written specifically for missionary families. However, it provides excellent tools for parents as they help their children navigate the complex emotions that come from moving to a new culture. The practical tips and activities in this book make it well worth the read.
Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century by Tanya Crossman
This research-based book is a phenomenal new resource for parents who want to understand more about the affect growing up overseas has on their children. This books focuses on 21st century TCKs and the unique challenges that come from being raised as a TCK in this generation.
Between Worlds by Marilyn Gardener
This is a collection of essays written by an American woman who was a missionary kid herself and then raised her own 5 children in Pakistan. It may be a good read for the purpose of having someone else’s parenting experiences to relate to!
Slurping Soup and Other Confusions by the Berne Convention
This is a collaboration of true stories and activities to help children transition to a new culture. This is a great resource to families to work through together before and during transition.
When Children Grieve by John James & Russell Freidman
This book provides great practical advice for helping children process grief. Moving to a new country brings about many losses and thus, is accompanied by grief. This book is a great tool for navigating through that with your children.
Books for Kids
Adelina Aviator by Jessica Vana
This children’s book deals with the difficulties of saying goodbye in order to follow the Lord’s calling to share the gospel in a new place. This is a very helpful conversation starter to help your children to open up about their feelings of leaving behind their friends, family members, pets, house, etc.
Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Sharmat & Barton
This is a great children’s book that deals with the fears that arise when we don’t know what to expect. Often children dream up false (and scary!) ideas of what moving will look like and this opens up the conversation to talk through those fears and discuss what the reality will be.
Moving Day by Ralf Fletcher
This is another great children’s book that deals with the emotional aspect of moving. It is written from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy who is moving to Ohio. While it does not deal specifically with moving cross culturally, it is a great book about the complex mixture of feelings that kids face during a move.
Friends by Rob Lewis
This book is great for younger children (ages 3-5). The story highlights the challenges of making friends in a new place and encourages children to try activities that they are not used to.
Books for Teens
Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World by Deb Brammer
In this book, the main character moves overseas with her family for missions work. She is excited about the move, but soon discovers the challenges of life in a new culture. This book is ideal for young teens during and after transition.
Footsteps Around the World by Beverly Roman
This workbook is great for teens to work through as they process the move overseas. I recommend that a parent or mentor be available to talk through the challenging topics with them.
Into Africa: Adventures of a Missionary Kid (Series) by Beth Lambert
Great biographical series about a teenage girl’s experience on the mission field in Africa.
Hidden in My Heart: A TCK’s Journey Though Cultural Transition by Taylor Murray
Beautifully written autobiography about a teen’s experience of living in another culture and transitioning between her host culture and passport culture.
Between Two Worlds: A Novel by LeAnne Hardy
A novel about two Christian, teenage TCK’s who struggle with identity and belonging upon returning to America.
Websites for Kids
Child-friendly language-learning activities
Downloadable worksheets, games, and activities about missions
Child-friendly activities about missions
A family missions resource
Websites for Parents
A wide variety of resources on the topic of overseas living
A fantastic website full of resources and frequent blog posts related to TCKs and overseas living
A mother’s experience raising children overseas- blog
A great resource for locating counseling services that specifically serve the TCK/globally mobile community
Inside Out-Pixar Movie
This is a great movie to watch and talk about with your children as it gives a perfect example of the complex mixture of happy and sad that kids deal with during a move. The movie also alludes to the importance of open communication within the family during a move.
Language Learning for Children (Curriculum) by Alyssa Johnson and Christine Lewis
If you are homeschooling your children, this may be an excellent resource for you! This is a new curriculum designed to help children learn a language once they are living in a new culture. It is intended to be an additional class to go along with their traditional schooling and consists of 20 lessons. The lessons are taught primarily by a native speaker and the curriculum gives them all of the tools and instructions they need to do this successfully. This is only available on Kindle, but can be printed if you want a hard-copy version to use. Depending on where you will be living, you may want to consider printing this before you move overseas.