Books on Transition for Children & Youth

Younger Children

The Adventure Begins: First Day at Detinu International School by Jen Munnerlyn - Moving overseas for the first time can be tough especially if you are attending a large international school and worried about making friends. The Adventure Begins is the first book in the Detinu International School series which brings the unique nature and uncommon struggles faces by third culture kids everywhere.

Alexander Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst - Alexander struggles with fact that his family is moving. Humorous account of working through his feelings until he finds himself packing.

The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Be Sad by Rob Goldblatt - A boy who doesn’t want to be sad tries eliminating all sources of sadness from his life, including toys (they can get broken), pets (they can’t live forever), friends (what if they don’t call?), even his own family (sometimes they get mad at him). Ultimately, he realizes that all sources of sadness are also his sources of happiness, and he reclaims them all.

Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat - A child from New York City fears the worst when his family moves out west.

My Family is Moving: A Creative Visualization Activity Book for Children by Beverly D. Roman - My Family is Moving for children 5-8 includes fun moving day countdown calendar stickers and colorful packing labels for children to mark their special belongings. Story characters Oliver Owl and Tommy Turtle prepare youngsters to move to a new home.

Pixie’s New Home by Emmanuelle Payot Karpathakis - This is the story of Pixie, a little donkey, who is moving to a new house. She is sad about leaving her best friend. On her arrival, she meets a strange animal that she has never seen before. Pixie will discover a new world full of joy!

Sammy’s Next Move by Helen Maffini - This book is a story about a snail named Sammy who lives around the world with his parents. Sammy experiences the feelings and thoughts common to third culture kids in similar situations.

Saying Good-Bye, Saying Hello…: When Your Family Is Moving by Michaelene Mundy - This book will help children recognize the fun and excitement of a move, while recognizing the fears of new places and people, and the sadness of good-byes.

Older Children

Between Two Worlds by LeAnne Hardy - Stuck in snowy Minnesota when she’d rather be back in Brazil, Cristina Larson finds that being stuck between two worlds can be both difficult and dangerous.

Home, James by Emily Steele Jackson - Written from 13-year-old James’ point of view, the reader gets to see what a kid that age goes through when returning to his passport country where he feels he is in a foreign country.

The League of Super Movers published by BR Anchor Publishing - The League of Super Movers for 9-12 year olds emphasizes that change can bring unexpected benefits. “The League” is a group of superheroes that guides this adventuresome age group through their entire moving adventure.

The Mission of Detective Mike Moving Abroad by Simone T. Costa Eriksson and Ana Serra - Mike is unsettled. He knows that something odd is happening at home because his parents are whispering all the time. But, being a detective, Mike is quickly on the case. He enlists his friend Ikem to help him get to the bottom of the mystery. Mike and his family are moving to another country, making him confused and fearful. What will happen to his toys, his room, his friends, his house? How will he learn to talk in a new language and how will he ever make new friends? As his mission gathers momentum, Mike and Ikem find the answers to his questions and solutions to his problems.

My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move by Lori Attansio Woodring - This book guides kids from worry to wonder and fear to new friends. It walks kids ages 5-11 step by step through the entire moving process, including understanding change, strategies for managing emotions, ways to say goodbye, taking part in a new adventure, tips for making new friends, and more.


Expat Teens Talk: Peers, Parents, Professionals, Offer Support, Advice, and Solutions in Response to Expat Life Challenges as shared by Expat Teens by Dr. Lisa Pittman & Diana Smit - This book is specifically targeted to expatriate teenagers and those who work with this unique population. It addresses the needs and different challenges that expat teens face throughout their lives (in particular, their adolescent years).

Footsteps Around the World: Relocation Tips for Teens by Beverly D. Roman - This book offers domestic and international advice to help teens deal with their complex feelings about moving, organize their belongings, prepare for college and part-time job interviews, select new schools, tips to make new friends, maximize their experience and more.


But Mom, I Don’t Want to Move! by Susan Miller - This book gives parents the guidance they need to get their children through the major change of moving. The author provides specific ideas based on the ages of children and the reason for relocating that will make the adjustment to a new house, school, and community as smooth as possible.

Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: Practical Tips and Storytelling Techniques that will Strengthen the Global Family by Julia Simens - The only thing you can be sure you can move around the world is your child’s ability to increase his or her interpersonal skills. In today’s global world, each of us is searching for effective tools that can help our children to thrive. Emotional Resilience for the Expat Child provides a step-by-step guide that is designed to increase a child’s emotional vocabulary and emotional intelligence.

For more books, see Resources on Transition.

Some annotations were borrowed from Amazon and Google.