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As a way of examining this ‘other side’ of her story, Ruth began to write many letters home such as the girl known as Miss Question Box might have written. This book contains her story from ages six to thirty-nine.

Today, in her mid-sixties, renowned internationally for her compassion, knowledge and insight into what it means to be a child growing up among worlds, Van Reken, looks back over her life and adds a fascinating and reflective epilogue to a memoir that has already sold 32,000 copies and has helped and inspired its readers.


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Third culture kids (TCK)—children of expatriates, missionaries, military personnel, and others who live outside their passport country—have unique issues with personal development and identity. David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken bring to light the emotional and psychological realities that come with the TCK journey.

“As an adult TCK, I have long wrestled with how I fit into this world. This book is the ‘bible’ for anyone who wants to understand the blessings and the curses of growing up multiculturally.”
~ Wm Paul Young, author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller The Shack.

Read an excerpt of Third Culture Kids.


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This memoir covers the following topics and more: Secretary Clinton’s and Scott Gration’s use of email accounts while in the State department, international affairs, technology development, world history, military aviation, and Africa. There is plenty in this book to keep you turning the pages. Please visit the book’s website at: Former President Carter introduces this gripping first-person narrative that provides significant details about six headline stories not previously revealed. Captivating experiences from Scott’s unique childhood—attending boarding school at the age of seven, escaping the 1964 Congo rebellion as a refugee, and being inducted into the Masai tribe in Kenya—jumpstart the book. Human-interest vignettes punctuate fascinating accounts of developing the Predator drone, conducting the 2003 scud hunt in Iraq, and accompanying Senator Obama to Africa in 2006. He painfully describes surviving the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, and then recalls speaking at the 2008 National Democratic Convention and helping to birth South Sudan in 2011. His reflections at the end of the memoir highlight important lessons Scott gleaned during his unlikely journey from son of Africa to a warrior and diplomat

The Crack in the Sidewalk

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Normal passersby don’t notice the crack in the sidewalk, but Crack has always noticed them. Yearning for attention, Crack embarks on an outrageous cross-country adventure squeezing into any crevice he finds. Crack will delight readers as they follow his surprising movements from place to place. Will he find a new home where he can truly be happy? Moving from place to place is challenging, but Crack’s adventures will reflect the excitement and joy that can result from an unexpected experience.


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“Moving is one of life’s greatest challenges. The largest study in educational research history demonstrates that moving harms learning. But moving not only challenges students. The experience of lost identity extends across the lifespan, also affecting parents and school staff. Firmly grounded in psychological theory and cutting-edge neuroscience, Safe Passage maps the challenges and charts a course for individuals, schools, and accrediting bodies to navigate them. Although primarily focusing on international schools, the hopeful message within this book reaches into any school, university, or organization where human beings come and go.”


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For many children, the first year of an international move is filled with new experiences and feelings. Sometimes they can be difficult to explain.

Follow one child’s journey. Use their story, questions and ideas to open conversations with your child. Create a record of your child’s unique experience by writing their thoughts in this book.


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Third culture kids/global nomads have typically interacted with two or more cultures during their developmental years – those years that shape who they are as human beings. As they go about living their normal highly mobile, cross-cultural lives, they have no clue as to how they are being impacted. But one day they have an experience that wakes them up to the fact that they are different from others. This commonly takes place upon repatriation for college or university when they are surrounded mostly by those who have never ventured away from their home country or culture. What results is the feeling of cultural imbalance, not fitting in, inability to connect with their home-country peers. They feel like a “fish out of water” in their own country. This can lead to isolation and depression. Now there is a guide book to help these students understand what takes place in re-entry and/or transition and gives them the tools and strategies they need to not only survive but to thrive in the adjustment. This is the first book written to and for students who have been living outside their “passport” countries but are either returning “home” or transitioning on to another host country for college/university. It addresses the common issues students face when they are making the double transition of not only adjusting to a new life stage but to a cultural change as well. Parents will appreciate the chapter dedicated to how they can come alongside their students, prepare them for the journey and support them throughout this major transition.


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In this multicultural melting pot, six women search for meaning in a life judged by many to be charmed and superficial. As first-timers, lifers and love immigrants operate within the expat bubble a darker side emerges – of culture shock, loss of identity, depression, temptation and grief.

Newcomer, Maya, navigates the unfamiliar while the sand beneath Barb’s feet begins to shift. Stereotypes are smashed as the reality of life amidst shopping malls and housemaids rises to the surface.

As humid days get cooler, the plot deepens/soup thickens and the expats discover what really matters. For Maya the secret lies in the kitchen – a place that is no longer her domain.


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Everyone’s got a story to tell. If your story involves growing up among different cultures – either moving between them or having them move around you – then read this book. Growing up and transitioning cross-culturally can present unexpected challenges and bestow surprising skills. This is a book of adventures to help identify some of those challenges and use some of those skills in your own life – which is important because you’ve got more to contribute to the world than you realize.


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Peers, Parents and Professionals offer support, advice and solutions in response to Expat Life challenges as shared by Expat Teens

Expat Teens Talk is specifically targeted to Expatriate Teenagers and those who work with this unique population. It addresses the needs and different challenges that Expat Teens face throughout their lives (in particular, their adolescent years), and enables them to learn more about and understand that most of what they are going through and what they feel as a result of constant change in their lives is ‘normal’ and shared by many other Expat Teens worldwide. Expat Teens, worldwide, shared with us their stories, questions, challenges, fears, and experiences. In return for their submissions, we provided them with support, advice, and solutions from the perspective of their fellow Expat Peers, as well as the perspective of other Expat Parents and Expat Professionals, as these are the three groups that Expat Teenagers most want to hear from. It is meant to be a ‘dip in, dip out’ book, as opposed to feeling like it has to be read from cover to cover. We hope to provide the tools and information that Expat Teens can use to empower themselves and their peers, worldwide.


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Emma is only ten years old, but has already moved twice. Now, her parents are telling her the family is moving again. She’s furious, sad, nervous, and a little excited, all at the same time. Unsure of how to tackle these conflicting emotions, she turns to B, her faithful teddy bear. While trying to come to terms with the challenges of another move, what Emma really wants is just to ‘be at home’. As the journeys of Emma and B unfold, home changes once again, but home also begins to take on a new meaning that Emma can take with her wherever she goes


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Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile

Bushong, a licensed marriage and family therapist, delves into this previously, unexplored world of how to effectively counsel clients raised outside of their parents’ home culture. The readers will discover what are the basic characteristics and counseling skills effective with Third Culture Kids (those who have spent the majority of their developmental years outside of their passport country). Because of the rapid growth of the expat community, counselors must look at the uniqueness of working with children who grow up as a Third Culture Kid, the common presenting issues for adults TCKs and what often lies hidden beneath the surface. The book is filled with practical examples, interesting stories, tips, charts, resources, theories, techniques and discussion questions for further study.


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Living abroad in France, Dubai, Oman, Norway and the Netherlands, author and journalist, Jo Parfitt, has compiled here, an anthology of the poetry that has ‘saved her life’ during the 20 years she has been on the road. This is a memoir in poetry of a life overseas. Join the author on her journey through culture shock, repatriation, motherhood, the world of work and self-discovery as she shares the moments when she was on top of the world, in the valley of shadows, and many places in between. This is a book in which expatriates everywhere can find themselves.


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The concept of Third Culture Kids (TCKs), children who follow their globetrotting parents around the world, is not a new one and has been widely studied. However, there is one specific group of TCKs who have, until now, been largely ignored – EdKids, the children of international school educators. In this new work, Dr Ettie Zilber brings together all the material she has collected over many years of research on this unique group and allows them to voice their own opinions, feelings and stories for the first time.


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Your mother is Swiss, your father is from the Philippines and you have so far lived in five countries, none of them your passport country. Who are you? Where are you from? Where is home? And what did you eat for breakfast?

If you are a friend, this book will guide you. If you are a teacher, it will enlighten you. If you are a parent, it will spell it out for you and if you are an employer, it will convince you. Here they are, the cultural chameleons, the young global nomads, the TCKs – Third Culture Kids – from around the world, telling you their story.


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In this groundbreaking collection, writers from around the world address issues of language acquisition and identity formation, childhood mobility and adaptation, memory and grief, and the artist s struggle to articulate the experience of growing up global.

Additional reading resources for Third Culture Kid/Cross Cultural Kid Books include:

Online Articles

You Know You’re a TCK When…  


  1. […] and into our homes and personal conversations. David Pollock, co-author with Ruth Van Reken of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, went “around the world, school to school” and despite encountering people who […]

  2. […] Along with the benefits of a cross-cultural life, TCKs can also make personal sacrifices as a result of nations expanding their interests into new frontiers, similar to the man in Where Is Everybody?, who symbolizes the sacrifices NASA astronauts and other employees made as space travel became one of the nation’s priorities. (I left a few details out so you could possibly enjoy some element of surprise if you have not seen it yet).  The children (TCKs) and spouses (Third Culture Adults) of those with a globally mobile career have our share of sacrifices as a result of being sent out to international postings.  TCKs and Third Culture Adults sacrifice stability of the living environment and staying close to family members, such as parents, siblings, other extended family members and, in some cases, children.  TCKs and Third Culture Adults also experience feeling different and isolated as a result of frequently being uprooted, which has the greatest impact during the developmental years, and experiences like feeling like an outsider in your own birth country.  (You may read more about the the experiences of Third Culture Kids in David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken’s Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds) […]

  3. […] the book. Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, by David C. Pollock, Ruth E. Van Reken  – The authors stresses importance of facing the good-byes. Don’t be afraid to say […]