If you are raising or teaching Third Culture Kids* and are looking for a book to read to them – or for them to read by themselves! – about leading a mobile life and especially relocating this is a must read.
The author, Valérie Besanceney, is a Third Culture Kid herself and is raising her children abroad too. In this fictional “memoir” she tells about what a ten year old girl, Emma, and her teddy bear feel when they need to move again and how they perceive the changes. She translates what “adults know about the TCK experience into language and concepts that children who grow up globally can relate to”. (p.XVI)
If you are not a TCK* yourself, this book will help you understand what TCK children are facing and find a way to help their adjustment.
This book gives you an insight into what children go through from the leaving stage until the entering stage of the transition phase. Changes can be adventurous, but also scary. Saying goodbye to friends, adjusting to a new school, a new language, a new country is a challenge TCKs face at every move or change in their life. Emma tells about the issues she has to B, her bear, who is her constant companion and the reassuring voice throughout the book.
Emma has already moved twice and when her parents tell her that they will relocate again, she is furious, sad, nervous – excited? Not really: “taking of for a vacation to an exotic island is exciting. Getting a present you’ve been wanting for a long time is exciting. Having a little brother or sister finally join the family would be exciting. Moving is not exciting at all!” (p.2).
Children usually appear to be resilient during transition and parents often don’t get to know what’s going on with them, unless they complain about tummy aches or show unusual behaviour. Valérie Besanceney knows all this first hand: “I know I silently struggled as a child, and there were only a handful of educators along the way who showed empathy for my situation” (p.XXII).
Emma finds a way to “tackle the conflicting emotions by turning to B, her faithful teddy bear”. All Emma wants is to “be at home”. During her journey, “home” acquires a new meaning for her and she finally comes to terms with the challenges of this move.
The very useful questions added at the end of the book, help teachers and parents to discuss the different issues of a TCK with the children.
What others said about this book:
“In this book, parents, educators, teachers etc. will find suggestions for ways to translate TCK theory into practices to help children navigate the “chronic cycles of separation inherent in a TCKs childhood” (Ruth van Reken, Co-author, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and Co-founder of Families in Global Transition)
“Beautifully written, B at Home: Emma Move Again is a must ofr parents, teachers and organizations that support global nomads. Adults who work with famlies in global transition will find it added to their “go to shelf”. Tidbits such as ‘…home will never ever be one place. It will be constantly moving. Like the waves, ike the beads in the kaleidoscope’ has made this one of my favorite books!” (Julia Simens, Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: practical storytelling techniques that will strengthen the global family, Summertime Publishing, 2012)
“This is a book that will help children and their parents (and stuffed animals!) with any transition or move” (Dr. Lisa Pittman, Co-author, Expat Teens Talk: Peers, Parents and Professionals Offer Support, Advice and Solutions in Response to Expat Life Challenges as Shared by Expat Teens, Summertime Publishing, 2012)
* TCK's / Third Culture Kids are children that spend most of their developmental years outside of their parents countries of origin.