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Publisher's Summary

This enchanting novel-in-verse captures one young woman’s struggle for independence, equality, and identity as the daughter of Greek and French immigrants in tumultuous 1930s Detroit.

Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit is a beautifully written novel-in-verse loosely based on author Colby Cedar Smith’s maternal grandmother. The story follows Mary as she and her family emigrate from Greece to Detroit in the 1930s, creating a historically accurate portrayal of life as an immigrant during the Great Depression, hunger strikes, and violent riots.

Mary lives in a tiny apartment with her immigrant parents, her brothers, and her twin sister, and she questions why her parents ever came to America. She yearns for true love, to own her own business, and to be an independent, modern American woman - much to the chagrin of her parents, who want her to be a “good Greek girl”.

Mary’s story is peppered with flashbacks to her parents’ childhoods in Greece and Northern France; their stories connect with Mary as they address issues of arranged marriage, learning about independence, and yearning to grow beyond one’s own culture. Though Call Me Athena is written from the perspective of three profoundly different narrators, it has a wide-reaching message: It takes courage to fight for tradition and heritage, as well as freedom, love, and equality.

This multi-cast audiobook features:

  • Gail Shalan as Mary
  • Ramiz Monsef as Gio
  • Hope Newhouse as Jeanne 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Colby Cedar Smith (P)2021 Andrews McMeel Publishing

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Outstanding book!

I enjoyed this book tremendously! I cannot wait to share this with my students. It is a story of determination and perseverance. I found myself cheering for the choices that were made by the women. They knew what they were capable of doing and saw possibilities for themselves.
As I read it I thought of my own grandmother who also paved a path for her daughters, granddaughters and now great granddaughters. I saw her story in this story.
I highly recommend this book!