Missionaries Ought to Know About ...
What Missionaries Ought to Know about Books
for (and about) MKs and Other TCKs
(Recommended Reading, 2009)
by Dr. Ronald Koteskey
this as a pdf file
Have you ever walked into a bookstore, even a Christian bookstore, and
felt overwhelmed? With about 24,000 new Christian books published yearly, it
is little wonder that most people are puzzled about what to read. Although
lists of recommended books appear in print from time to time, many books are
hard to locate unless you have access to an academic library or interlibrary
loan, or they are so expensive that a missionary can not afford them. Here
is a list of books that are available, reasonably priced, and helpful.
Criteria for including a book
The following criteria were used to decide whether or not to include a book:
- In Print. To be listed in this brochure, it must be available for purchase.
- Reasonably Priced. None of the books included cost more than $25.
- Complete Data. Price, ISBN number, and complete publication data are included,
so when friends ask what you would like, any bookstore should be able to order
Most of these books can be ordered on-line at www.amazon.com and/or
www.mti.org (check both for prices, including shipping). They can also be
ordered from MTI by mail, by fax, or by phone.
- Pascoe, Robin. (2006). Raising Global Nomads: Parenting in an On-Demand World.
Expatriate Press, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (ISBN 0-9686760-3-0) $24.95; 10
chapters, 230 pages, appendix. Written by the mother of TCKS, this book is
filled with personal experiences as well as much practical advice on living in
other cultures. Much has changed in our world since 1993 when the author wrote
her parents guide. This update considers implications for TCKs growing up
outside their passport culture in this globalized, digitized, terrorized world.
- Knell, Marion. (2001). Families on the Move: Growing Up Overseas and Loving It. Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI (ISBN 0825460182) $14.95. 9 chapters,
Appendix, 189 pages. This is a well-written, practical book for families living
overseas. It covers everything from getting ready to go, living overseas, to
reentering one’s passport culture. It is valuable for missionary parents and any
others who work with MKs and other TCKs, as well as those TCKs themselves who
are in high school.
- The Family in Mission: Understanding and Caring for Those Who Serve. Leslie A.
Andrews, Mission Training International (MTI), Palmer Lake, CO, 2004 (ISBN
0-942726-04-9) $24.95. 21 chapters, 23 contributors, 7 appendices, 390 pages.
This is the final report of the 15-year study by the MK-CART/CORE (Missionary
Kid Consultation and Research team, Committee on Research and Endowments). The
major sections of the book are educational context, adult missionary kids, and
the missionary family.
- Raising Resilient MKs: Resources for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers. Joyce M.
Bowers (Ed.), Association of Christian Schools International, Colorado Springs,
CO, 1998 (ISBN not available) free (see note at the end); 56 chapters, 38
contributors, 3 appendices, 510 pages. Edited by a mission administrator working
with families, this collection is the best, most comprehensive book currently
available for anyone involved in MK care. It includes the best of the three ICMK
conferences as well as much that has appeared during the decade since those,
primarily material from Interact and World Report. This book has been out of
print, but ACSI has made it available free of charge as an E-book at
- Blomberg, Janet R. & Brooks, David F. (2001). Fitted Pieces: A Guide for Parents
Educating Children Overseas. Share Education Services, Wheaton IL (ISBN not
available) $25.00. 8 Chapters, 667 pages. With 84 articles (50 from Interact)
appearing in the eight chapters, this is without question the most comprehensive
book available on the education of third culture kids. It is a valuable resource
for people considering the education of their own children overseas.
- Viorst, Judith. (1995). Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going
to Move. Alladin Paperbacks, Simon & Shuster, New York, NY (ISBN 0689820895)
$6.99. 30 pages, written for ages 5-8. As suggested by the title, this book is
about a boy who has decided that he does not want to move. After investigating
other alternatives, Alexander finally reluctantly agrees to pack and go—but this
the last move he will ever make!
- Waber, Bernard. (1988). Ira Says Goodbye. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA
(ISBN 0395584132) $6.99. 40 pages, written for ages 5-9. This book demonstrates
how NOT to tell a child about moving and all the distress that can cause—by
having the child hear about it from someone else. However, Ira finally realizes
that saying goodbye is hard for everyone, hard for those who stay as well as
hard for those who move away.
- Blohm, Judith. (1996). Where in the World Are You Going? Intercultural Press,
Yarmouth, ME (ISBN 1877864447) $15.00. 63 pages, written for ages 5-10. This is
a book written to help children work through the process of moving. First
published by the USA State department, it suggests many things children can do
alone, and some things that parents can do with them. These activities help
children to prepare emotionally, as well as practically, for moving to a new
country overseas or returning to one’s passport country.
- Brammer, Deb. (1994). Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World. Bob Jones
University Press, Greenville, SC (ISBN 0890847517) $8.99. 17 chapters, 179
pages. Although it is written for ages 9-12, the issues are relevant to
teenagers in high school as well. Written by a missionary mother of two
daughters, this Christian fiction is fun to read. Set in Taiwan it deals with a
variety issues such as making friends with those of other cultures,
communicating with someone with a different language, and conflict with other
expatriates. The book presents a realistic look at children finding their niche
in a new school in a new country.
- Fritz, Jean. (1982). Homesick—My Own Story. Yearling Press, New York, NY (ISBN
0698117824) $6.99. 7 chapters, 176 pages, written for ages 8-12. This Newberry
Award winning book is a true story about events occurring in the life of the
author as an MK in pre-communist China. Though about events that happened 75
years ago, these memorable moments in the life of a 10-year-old girl are
timeless. They are still the ones faced by TCKs today, whether they are about
happenings at school, on vacation, or those marked by violence and evacuation.
Parents would be wise to read this as well to see how their 6th and 7th graders
may be experiencing life overseas.
- Roman, Beverly D. (2003). Footsteps around the World: Relocation Tips for Teens.
BR Anchor Publishing, Wilmington, NC (ISBN 1888891351) $13.95. 104 pages written
for teenagers. This book was written by a Navy wife who wrote a book about
moving, and then she could find no one to publish it. Determined to offer
practical advice to people who were moving, she has now written more than 20
books for adults, teenagers, preteens, and children. This book is a practical
one including such things as crossword puzzles, find-a-word puzzles, lists one
should make, and a variety of other practical activities.
- Gordon, Alma. (1993). Don’t Pig Out on Junk Food: The MK’s Guide to Survival in
the U. S. Evangelical Missions Information Service, Wheaton, IL (ISBN
0961775114) $13.95. 6 chapters, 9 appendices, 8 types of resources, 160 pages,
index. Written for MKs by a fourth-generation MK, this book offers helpful
practical advice from MKs to MKs about all aspects of transition to the USA,
from preparation to identity to relationships. Each chapter includes great
illustrations, questions for reflection, and work sheets.
College & Adult
- Pollock, David, & Van Reken, Ruth. (2001). Third Culture Kids: The Experience of
Growing Up Among Worlds. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME (ISBN 1857882954)
$19.95. 18 chapters, appendix, 333 pages. Written by authors with many years of
experience working with TCKs, this book not only reveals what TCKs are like, but
also goes on to devote 7 chapters to telling how to maximize the benefits of
being a TCK. This book is an excellent resource for parents and teachers wanting
to understand their own TCK children or the students they work with in school.
It is also an excellent resource for adult TCKs wanting to understand
themselves, no matter what their age.
Ronald Koteskey is
Member Care Consultant