A Psalm for Lost Girls

GP Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2017

An abduction forever alters the fates of three girls – one who’s been missing, one who is grieving, and one who is dead and rumored to be a saint.

Seventeen-year-old Tess da Costa is a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least, that’s what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. Two years ago, Tess started hearing a mysterious voice whose cryptic messages warned of impending doom and disaster. Though she wasn’t sure what to make of it, Tess did what she could to deliver the messages—saving lives in the process. Soon, people started to pray to Tess and stories flooded in, tales of miraculous recoveries and blessings from above. When Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins petitioning the Pope in earnest to make her sainthood official.

Tess’s mother is ecstatic, while her sister Callie is disgusted—refusing to take part in the charade. The fervor around Tess’s sainthood only grows when Ana Langone, a local young girl who’s been missing for six months, is found alive at the foot of one of Tess’s shrines. Callie’s had enough, and decides to put an end to the madness for good. With the help of Tess’s secret boyfriend Danny, Callie sets out to prove that Tess was no saint, but something far more important—she was her sister and her best friend. But as the investigation goes on, Callie and Danny uncover much more than they bargained for, leading them to a dark family secret and putting them hot on the trail of Ana’s kidnapper.

–What People Are Saying–

Amazon Pick: Spring’s Best Young Adult Fiction

Books-a-Million Teen Pick

GoodReads: Best Young Adult Books of March

Most Anticipated YA Debut (Barnes & Noble Teen)

Most Anticipated YA Debut (Bustle)

Most Anticipated YA Thriller (Barnes & Noble Teen)

Seven Can’t-Miss Events in Boston (Boston Magazine)

New YA Books to Read in March (Teen Vogue)

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“A spectacular debut…[and] a compelling must-have for YA collections.”

School Library Journal **starred review**

“Through these two perspectives—alleged saint and grieving sister—debut author Bayerl unspools a gripping story of loss and grace… Richly and evocatively written, Bayerl’s story is ideal for fans of Jandy Nelson and Melina Marchetta.”

—Publishers Weekly **starred review**

“Now and then comes a book that is able to put it all together: real and compelling characters, page-turning suspense, brilliant writing. This is one of those books.”

—Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of Marcelo in the Real World and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

“A mystery, a thriller, and a prayer, gripping and anguished, told in the poignant weaving of voices from beyond and voices left behind.”

– Julie Berry, Printz Honor author of The Passion of Dolssa

“[P]acked with vivid cultural scenery, this ambitious debut offers readers a journey worth taking.”

Kirkus Reviews 

Ideal for fans of both mysteries and character-driven novels.”

Booklist 

“Lyrical and nuanced, yet simultaneously witty and down-to-earth, Bayerl’s debut will appeal to a wide range of readers.”

—RT (top pick)