Wednesday 25th January 2012

Expat Book Review: The Mission of Detective Mike

“The Mission of Detective Mike: Moving Abroad,” written by Simone T. Costa Eriksson and Ana Serra, tells the story of eight-year old Mike’s move to an unfamiliar place. Within the book, Mike and his friend Ikem come to terms with Mike’s move abroad and together they address some of the common questions that the children of expatriates may have. Including, “What will happen to my things?” and “Who will disappear?”

The book is aimed at helping expatriate children to examine some of the feelings they may be experiencing as they prepare to move overseas and through Mike’s own questions they may gain some comfort and security as they come to terms with their impending journey: ‘. . .your old friends. . . will not disappear. They are just invisible to our eyes, not our hearts’ (p.52). The lessons are presented in the form of Mike’s adventures and school-aged children will be caught up in his adventures from the start. The short chapters are easy to read and the stories are beautifully illustrated with Maria Isabel Vaz Guimarães’ colorful pictures.

The book has a wealth of potential and can also be useful for expatriate parents who are looking for an avenue through which they can help their children to discuss any emotions they are dealing with. In addition, through reading the book themselves, they will be better acquainted with the issues that their children may be facing as they face an impending move with the book heavily emphasizing with the impact that expat life can have on children. Written from the perspective of authors who have both clocked up considerable expat miles themselves, they apply their insights to enlighten adult readers as to the inner workings of children’s minds as they face an international move: “The way a child perceives international transition and adaptation is different from an adult.”

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