Jakarta Missing by Jane Kurtz. (2001) Reading Level: Ages 9-12. 272 pages. Greenwillow/HarperCollins. ISBN: 0060294019. $15.95
When Dakar's family left East Africa to spend a year or two in Cottonwood, North Dakota, Dakar's older sister, Jakarta, insisted on staying behind in Kenya. She did stay and now she is missing. Dakar worries - she doesn't want to but she can't help it. What if Jakarta is caught in the middle of a Nairobi bombing? What if Mom gets caught by hoodies and forced back into that place without Jakarta to help? What if Dad is seized by some mysterious disease? What if . . .? Dakarta grew up in Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Senegal and now almost everything in Cottonwood requires Dakarta to be brave. She must face finding new friends, navigating a new school, and preparing for snow. But then the worst comes -- Jakarta is missing . . . when she's home and when she's not. For Jakarta, Dakar will battle the universe.