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Must Read: 4 meaningful reads for TCKs

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Third Culture Kids, or TCKs, grow up in a unique environment constantly changing their surroundings and evolving their personalities. Despite the constant change, the TCK community has progressed to develop a multitude of material that caters towards the needs of its members. The following is a list of works inspired by TCK experiences and written for cross culture audiences everywhere.

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, a book by Ruth E Van Reken & David C PollockThird Culture Kids Growing Up Among Worlds

This compilation of intimate memoirs as well as guide to understanding the many facets of a cross culture kid is an easy yet informative read. TCKs grow up under parents that don’t have the same identity as their own; they are constantly asked to change in order to fit in by absorbing their ever-changing surroundings to create a unique identity.

“Communities all over the world are becoming more culturally mixed. Many TCKs choose to blend into the world around them.” – Excerpt

This book will dive into the history of the TCK and the studies around them as well as explore the juxtaposition of the elation on exploring a new culture with the confusion of not understanding what is supposed to be your ‘home’ culture.

The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment, a book by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman & Robert M. Pressman

Narcassistic Families
However unappealing the word “narcissistic” is when describing a loved one, TCK families are to an extent narcissistic in the aspect that a parent’s career goals are often valued over a child’s healthy development, although usually unintentional. This self-help book is geared towards those who have grown up in a family with parents who focused more on the demands of their career than their children’s comfort.

This book explains how adults who have belonged to “narcissistic families” can cope with this realization as well as provides steps in discovering how to live a healthy life and understanding your individual needs.

Letters Never Sent, a book by Ruth Van RekenLetters Never Sent

This unique memoir of a missionary TCK in the form of letters written to her parents embodies all the emotions of an adult recounting a childhood full of transition, confusion and questioning. Just like most TCKs, the fear of not being wanted eats away at a child and shapes the rest of their life.

For children in transition, questioning their identity is common; Van Reken eloquently illuminates this struggle of children in transition through the recounting of her experiences starting from a very young age.

Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress, a book by Mary Edwards Wertsch

Military BratsThis book of discovery explains how life on a military base is a cultural community that influences its inhabitants- especially the children. The film will help military brats explain pieces of their lives in a way that they weren’t previously able to.

“Every true culture is an organic thing which continues to evolve and change even as it retains core characteristics that continue to shape its children generation after generation.” – Excerpt

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