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Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century
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Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Over 200 million people currently live abroad; more than 50 million are temporary residents, intending to return to their country of origin. Misunderstood explores the impact international life can have on the children of such families – while they live overseas, when they return, and as they mature into adults. Similarities in their shared experiences (regardless of the d ...more
Published August 15th 2016 by Summertime Publishing Springtime Books
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A whole range of emotions came as I read this book. It's not a "here's how you be a successful TCK" (third-culture kid) book, but an honest look into the feelings of TCKs (missionary kids, military kids, business kids, etc.). It deals with issues that I've been aware of but not quite put into words. I've often felt guilty for feeling how I did because England doesn't have as many huge differences from America as it would be moving to another country. But the author never discounted any feelings ...more
Lauren Owen
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Being a TCK myself, I was pleased to find that at the end of nearly 400 pages of interwoven vignettes, anecdotes, personal quotes, context information, and definitions, Tanya has presented a balanced perspective of what it means to live as a TCK in Misunderstood. Tanya extends past the quantifiable measures of countries lived in and number of moves to the feelings and thoughts a TCK carries with him or her.

Tanya’s book lends value to TCK literature through its diversity of narratives. Instead of
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Initial thoughts: It's a strange feeling to realise just how much of myself has been tied up in my identity of a third culture kid (TCK), even into adulthood. There's a lot of theory to digest in Misunderstood but it's presented with clarity of everyday speech rather than academic writing. Personally, I related to many of the topics discussed in this book, and gained a more holistic understanding of how my international upbringing has impacted me.

Even though I've come to appreciate many positive
Emily Jackson
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Growing up away from their passport country has a deep and lasting impact on children. Often, parents, teachers, family, and even the kids themselves don’t always fully understand how global life has affected these third culture kids (TCKs).

In Misunderstood, Tanya Crossman seeks to explain TCK life, acting “as translator between TCKs and those who care for them.”

Crossman does an excellent job of thoroughly addressing all aspects of TCK life both during their growing up years and as adults. Not
Liam Brennan
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and well written book that demonstrates beyond doubt that modern day Third Culture Kids really do face complex and debilitating issues – hundreds of TCKs were surveyed or interviewed for the book. As well as providing some valuable research material, the book gives a real sense of what TCKs actually feel: “My life feels like a series of learning how to stack stones on the wall around my heart,” and “Every time I felt sad, I let myself feel it. Some of those days, I laid down in bed f ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. As TCK, this book really helped me understand myself. I always found myself stuck between three cultures, and always felt that I was an outsider. As I was reading this book, I realised there were majority people (TCK) had the same experiences as me. For me, this is really a sense of comfort as well as hope. When the author analysed each situation that the TCK faced and what they were feeling during their growing up experiences, this really spoke to me as it wa ...more
Rick Sam
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, cultures
Misunderstood — That is, in a single word uttered among people who lived across many places.

The author has lived in more than 15 places in four countries, U.S, Cambodia, China, Australia.

Why read this work?

Anyone who is living abroad, has moved constantly.

It's easy and straight forward.

What would you understand or learn after reading this?

Awareness, you'd become familiar with snippets of stories from people who grew up in non-passport country.

People who have lived among many cultures
Dorette Skinner
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super interesting read and a valuable resource for raising TCKs. It's well researched and the direct quotes from many TCKs make it more personal (or else it might have been hard to read for someone who appreciates storytelling - even in non-fiction).

I'll highly recommend it to my fellow global moms or anyone who grew up in a different country than the one on their passport.
Amy Greenwood
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for TCKs and their parents

Excellent information on TCKs and how to help them navigate their unique gifts and challenges. Wish I had read it sooner.
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm bringing up cross cultural kids (CCKs), but I hadn't thought to read anything on it until I read this author's thoughts about the culture gap between CCKs and their parents. My kids are still really young but it feels like this book and discussions that come out of it will helpful as we watch them grow up. ...more
Ting Zhang
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are books that speak to the mind, then there are books that speaks to the heart. Misunderstood is a book that's the latter. As a TCK who has hit her quarter-life crisis, I felt that Tanya's book has helped articulate many of the feelings I was experiencing that I couldn't make sense of myself. Tanya has impressively interviewed over 270 TCKs from a wide array of geographic and cultural backgrounds, putting together a wonderful book that not only help TCKs better understand themselves, but ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have not yet finished the book myself, however my partner has and this is her review:
"I found 'Misunderstood' really valuable and easy to read because it combines anecdotes from young people and practical support strategies based on Crossman's well-grounded research about the impact of growing up in multiple countries.
The book is divided into sections that make it easy to dip in and read about specific situations e.g. what it's like if your family is engaged in international business or missio
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you've read Pollock and Van Reken's Third Culture Kids then read this. If you haven't then start with Tanya Crossman's Misunderstood first! It's an excellent book for better understanding TCKs. A must read for parents raising kids cross-culturally (or planning to.) Also great for those who grew up this way, or whose work is with TCKs. An engaging read and updated for the 21st century (ex. Is it helpful or not to be able to connect electronically?). Really appreciated all of the quotes and inp ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where is 'home'? How does moving abroad during one's formative years impact relationships, identity, and understanding of place? Crossman tackles these questions artfully through anecdotes from some 200+ TCKs she interviewed, findings from psychology research, and reflections from her own experiences living and working abroad.

A must-read for TCKs, adult TCKs, and parents thinking of moving overseas. I can't recommend it highly enough!
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Great must-read book for all Third Culture Kids.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish my parents had given me this book along with "What's Happening to my Body: A Book for Boys." As someone who gravitates to the codifying of things, the simple breakdowns of the TCK experience would have been extremely helpful.

As an adult who has already processed most of the emotions, the book wasn't entirely useful.

Overall 3/5

Book Cover/Quality 4/5

Clear, large font.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Really obvious material if you have any experience or training with international living or being culturally mixed. Perhaps being mixed race person with an immigrant father, husband from a different country, and transracially adopted child, who has lived in four different countries in my 20's with friends and colleagues who live similarly, I'm not the target audience for this book. ...more
Jack Scott
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Tanya Crossman
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Tanya Crossman is passionate about building bridges of understanding between Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and those who care for them. She has mentored hundreds of teenage and young adult TCKs over the past 13 years. She has also travelled to accept invitations to speak to groups of TCKs, parents, teachers and other carers in nine countries.

Tanya grew up in Sydney and Canberra, Australia, and lived i

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