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June 6, 2020

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson ~ a Review

by MK French

Sixteen-year-old Diana sees a raft of refugees offshore from Themyscira and tries to rescue them. Unfortunately, she is swept away by the sea and is now a refugee as well. She has to navigate through the outside world and is witness to danger and injustice.
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Wonder Woman Tempest Tossed
June 2020; DC Comics; 978-1401286453
ebook, print (208 pages); YA graphic novel
This graphic novel is illustrated by Leila Del Duca. There is a limited color palette to the book so that our eyes are instantly drawn to the splashes of orange for fire in the new history of the world as presented here. It's also fascinating to see a teenage Diana hit by the regular teenage woes, making the Amazons all around her call her "Changeling." I'm sure every parent of tweens and teenagers will feel their sympathy!

From the start, Diana doesn't like being treated differently from the nearly immortal Amazons, and she has a kind heart. She can't let refugees with children drown in the sea, even if that's what the rules say she has to do. Diana outright disobeys her mother the Queen of Themyscira. "When the rules are wrong, you have to break them. Especially when it comes to little ones in trouble." This is how she's swept up with the refugees and arrives in Greece, and is subject to the same dehumanizing inspections, lines and casual disrespect from armed guards.

Once Diana is in America, she sees the sharp disparity between rich and poor, and she discovers what child trafficking is. Her sense of justice doesn't leave just when things grow dark for her, or even when she's arrested for causing a scene in a park. She keeps going, and her superhuman strength and agility help her track down a van and try to fight off the guards as well as throw cars around. This teenage Diana can't ever go back to Themyscira, but she has a new family of sorts that are all interested in justice and helping those less fortunate. It's a new take on Diana, and one that kids will be able to see pieces of themselves, and have an idea of how they too can move forward and help others.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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