Jakarta Missing by Jane Kurtz

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Dakar is scared. When her family left East Africa to spend a year or two in Cottonwood, North Dakota, Dakar's older sister, Jakarta, was adamant about staying behind. Now Jakarta is all by herself in Kenya...and she's missing.

It's terrible to go through life cringing, sure that at any minute a blow is going to come from somewhere. Dakar doesn't want to worry, but she can't help it. What if Jakarta was in the middle of a Nairobi bombing? What if Mom gets caught by hoodies and forced back into that place when Jakarta isn't even there to help? What if Dad decides to go off to save lives and is seized by some mysterious disease? If Dakar were able to do three really brave things, would that be enough to keep her family together?

Almost everything in Cottonwood, North Dakota, requires bravery from a girl who has grown up in Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Senegal. The possibility of a new friend, navigating a new school, and preparing for snow—the first Dakar will ever see—is the least of it. Jakarta is missing...when she's home and when she's not. And for Jakarta, Dakar will battle the universe.


About Jane Kurtz

See more books from this Author
Jane Kurtz is a highly acclaimed author of books for young readers. Her picture books include "Fire on the Mountain, " an honor book for the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award, and "River Friendly, River Wild, " winner of the Golden Kite Award for picture book text. Christopher Kurtz previously collaborated with his sister, Jane, on "Only a Pigeon, " which won a Parents' Choice Gold Award and an African Studies Association Award. Jane and Christopher spent part of their childhoods in a remote village in Ethiopia. Christopher returned to Ethiopia to teach as an adult and spent many hours with monkeys at the Awash National Park. Jane visited the water hole at Treetops, Kenya, while working on this story. Jane Kurtz lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Christopher Kurtz lives in Portland, Oregon.
Published October 23, 2012 by Greenwillow Books. 284 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jakarta Missing

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In this slow-moving contemporary novel, a sixth-grader contrasts her new life in North Dakota with her childhood in Africa, while her family struggles with their differing hopes for the future.

| Read Full Review of Jakarta Missing


As in my favorite children’s books, Dakar often lives apart from her parents, but what makes this book different is that Dakar isn’t terribly happy about it.

| Read Full Review of Jakarta Missing

Rate this book!

Add Review