The Lost Girl of Astor Street Clue Hunt: Clue #22

I had never felt so heard, so understood, so empowered in my writing as on the day that I discovered Go Teen Writers and its founder, Stephanie Morrill. I felt like I had discovered a hand to hold, and I discovered a community of support that was exactly what I was looking for. Stephanie began to feel like an online big-sister to me, showing me the ropes and occasionally sharing her latest chocolate and peanut butter recipe. I want to start by highly recommending the community of Go Teen Writers to any young author that stumbles across this post, and to give you a glimpse at Stephanie's heart. This girl knows authors, she knows readers, and she knows teens. She knows their hearts and their struggles. I am on her team, 100% of the way.

Stephanie Morrill is the creator of and the author of several young adult novels, including the historical mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street. Despite loving cloche hats and drop-waist dresses, Stephanie would have been a terrible flapper because she can’t do the Charleston and looks awful with bobbed hair. She and her near-constant ponytail live in Kansas City with her husband and three kids.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street

"When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.
As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.
Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago." (via Amazon)

I absolutely loved this story from the first bit of research I saw Stephanie doing - she & historical fiction are as made for each other as peanut butter & chocolate. Plus, the roaring twenties. Need I say more? I will, even so.

"Lost Girl" surprised me, even as much as I was anticipating it. I didn't see Piper coming, & I have scarcely been so pleasantly surprised. She is the protagonist I've been waiting for. The voice I want to pass along to every reader I come across.

In the midst of the 1920s, as the flapper image is strong, as women are fighting for their rights, as fathers & mothers are trying their best to rein in their wayward daughters, Piper stands.

She doesn't want to be what anyone expects her to be. She isn't a cookie-cutter potential little housewife, & she isn't quite a Zelda Fitzgerald, either. Piper is stubborn, fiercely loyal, & full of wit. Yet she doesn't hide her vulnerability.

I resonated so deeply with her character. Her ups & downs. How she warred with herself at times, & how she got up again whenever she fell {with a little help}.

I am so proud of Piper, & so very proud of Stephanie. This book is a must-read.

I interviewed Stephanie, briefly, to give you a further glimpse into the message of "The Lost Girl of Astor Street," so without further ado --

Who was your ideal reader for 'The Lost Girl of Astor Street'?

Stephanie: To an extent,  I think I'm always writing for the girl I was as a teenager. It's important to me that my teenage self would have wanted to read this book. I think the ideal reader for Piper's story is a girl who enjoys the escape that reading provides, and who isn't afraid to think or have her world view poked and prodded a bit. ​She likes mysteries because she enjoys trying to figure it out, and she's smart enough that she often knows before the main character who did it. And while she likes a bit of romance in her books, she doesn't want it to dominate the plot.

What was one thing you hoped reader would take away from this book?

Stephanie: ​Something I was thinking about a lot while I wrote the book is that we can only take responsibility for our own choices. It’s wonderful to try to stir change in our communities, but ultimately we can only control what we do, not those around us. I hope the story will prompt readers to think about their choices and if they're taking them down the path they want to walk.

Piper is such a compelling protagonist. Who were some of your inspirations for her?

Stephanie: I love writing in Piper's voice. She's so strong and determined. One quote of hers that I stole from a friend's mouth is a comment Piper makes about dancing. My friend Kelli once told me that she hates slow dancing because she always tries to lead, and I thought, “That’s so Piper!” ​So I took it.​

What was your favorite discovery from your research on the 20s?​

​Stephanie: Oh, there are so many things to love about the 1920s! One of my favorite tidbits was that healthcare improved greatly for women during that decade. Once they won the right to vote in 1920, politicians suddenly cared a lot more about issues like what kinds of conditions women were giving birth in. ​

---- Pick up a copy for yourself, your daughter, your neighbor, your cousin's girlfriend, your stylist's niece, your mentee, and everyone else in your life, here. ----


Clue 1: Stephanie Morrill Clue 2: Some Books Are Clue 3: Gabriella Slade Clue 4: Page by Page, Book by Book Clue 5: Pens and Scrolls Clue 6: Singing Librarian Books Clue 7: Heather Manning Clue 8: Annie Louise Twitchell Clue 9: Noveling Novelties Clue 10: Kaitee Hart Clue 11: Classics and Craziness Clue 12: Zerina Blossom Clue 13: Rebecca Morgan Clue 14: Keturah's Korner Clue 15: That Book Gal Clue 16: Anna Schaeffer Clue 17: Hadley Grace Clue 18: Lydia Howe Clue 19: Ramblings by Bethany Clue 20: Matilda Sjöholm Clue 21: Lydia Carns Clue 22: Broken Birdsong Clue 23 & Clue 24: The Ink Loft Clue 25: Roseanna M. White


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