Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Book review of the new book "Expat Teens Talk"

The book Expat Teens Talk has just been published and it is written by Lisa Pittman, a practicing psychologist and Diana Smit an educational therapist. It is forwarded by Ruth van Reken, co-author of the famous book "Third Culture kids, Growing up Among Worlds".

The power of the book is that it gives expat teens a voice.

"Being an expat teen is bittersweet; You're exposed to so many amazing people and places, but there are very few others who really understand what you have experienced".

"Moving around the world helps me to appreciate all the different cultures of the people I meet". 

"I find it difficult to constantly say goodbye"

The book is written for the teens, their parents and for professionals (teachers, therapists, doctors) too. As far as I know there is no book like this one available on this topic. The teenage years are considered to be the most challenging time in one's life and if during this time international moves are made it can be a confusing and difficult time. If the teenagers struggle it usually affects the whole family.

In the first part of the book there is advice from peers, parents and professionals on each subject. At the end of each chapter there is the possibility to write down personal reflections. The youngsters that give advice have been there and they know what other teenagers who move internationally go through. Being an expat teen you can often feel "the odd one out" (I know all about it), you think you're the only one not knowing how to behave (sticking out like a sore thumb), how to dress for a certain occasion or how to act. The great thing about this new book is that expat teens discover that they are not the only ones going through these transitions. They are not the only ones experiencing all these confusing emotions. That "aha" moment can help heal the pain of the teen's heart.

These subjects are tackled: the challenges of moving, sex, drugs and alcohol, stress and worry about school grades, and what happens after expat teen life. This is a down to earth, practical book. The authors have chosen to use the word "expat teens" but these teenagers can also be called third culture kids. I would have liked to see more internet links in the book. I think our expat teens are on the internet a great deal of the time and it would have added value to this book if there would have been more suggestions on where to find information on the internet. I wish this book had existed when I made my transitions during by teenage years.

If you are interested in reading more, you can read an interview with the authors of the book "Expat Teens Talk".
Find "Expat Teens Talk" on twitter @Expatteenstalk
Expat Teens Talk blog
Are you a teen and do you want to talk about your expat experience? You can fill a questionnaire in here. Number of pages: 183 pages
Published by Summertime Publishing

Related posts:
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Image by Gladtobeout Morgue file


  1. Thank you for such a positive and supportive review!! Diana and Lisa

  2. Thank you both for writing this much needed book! I hope it helps many expat teens. I have a feeling that the number of expat teens will only increase with the increasing amount of international jobs.