Book Review: “The Mission of Detective Mike Moving Abroad”

2 February 2012

In the expatriates’ on-the-move life, people often have to deal with all sorts of distressful situations concerning logistical and economic aspects or emotional issues. When children are involved, it might be quite difficult to help them accept a new international assignment as they have a different perception than adults. They sometimes find it hard to adapt to international transitions.

This book can be a great tool, not only for parents but also for educators and mobility professionals, for helping children to go though a smooth transition and have all their concerns positively processed.


The authors, Simone and Ana are respectively a psychologist and intercultural coach, and a storyteller. Both of them have been expatriates and have children.

The story is very simple and deals with a young boy, Mike, who will soon be moving abroad with his family because of his father’s work. Acting like a detective in search for clues and with the help of his best friend and his family, Mike will successfully face fears and difficulties arising from expatriation.

This story has different chapters regarding all the small but big issues that might come across a child’s mind when it’s matter of moving abroad, leaving a safe environment for an unknown new place. The book deals with changing a house, town and school, leaving good friends behind, being challenged with a foreign language, loosing track of personal belongings and so on. I think for most expatriates, this is a “Deja’ vu”!

This is a book that has to be read together, parents and children, as it gives the opportunity for the kids to talk about their emotions and personal memories. Furthermore, I have noticed that while reading the story, children get passionate about it and come up with more and more good tips for Detective Mike.

The book seems to be more aimed for school-aged children, whose life has already been influenced by the use of computers, Internet and web-cameras. Small children might need a different approach to the issue of moving abroad.

Authors: Simone T. Costa Eriksson and Ana Serra
Illustrator: Maria Isabel Vaz Guimares (Meri)
First published Great Britain 2010 by Summertime Publishing

Review by Patrizia Bazzoni.