cover image A Psalm for Lost Girls

A Psalm for Lost Girls

Katie Bayerl. Putnam, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-54525-2

Callie da Costa is 16 when her older sister, Tess, whom many believe channels God’s divine will, dies from an untreated heart defect. After a missing six-year-old, Ana Langone, reappears at one of Tess’s shrines and other reports of Tess’s miracles pour in, Callie’s mother is set on having Tess named a saint. Determined to stop the petition for sainthood and debunk the miracle of Ana’s safe return, Callie teams up with Danny, an old friend who has a complicated relationship with both sisters. Callie’s first-person chapters alternate with excerpts from Tess’s journals, weaving Tess’s final thoughts and experiences with those of Callie in the months after Tess’s death. Through these two perspectives—alleged saint and grieving sister—debut author Bayerl unspools a gripping story of loss and grace. The search for Ana’s abductor and the eventual revelations surrounding her kidnapping form a poignant parallel to Tess and Callie’s relationship, deftly underlining the ways in which grief can warp reality and encourage self-destruction. Richly and evocatively written, Bayerl’s story is ideal for fans of Jandy Nelson and Melina Marchetta. Ages 12–up. Agent: Erin Harris, Folio Literary Management. (Mar.)