Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
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Teen hero protects refugees in timely graphic novel.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Uses figures from Greek mythology to tell modern-day story about refugees in Europe and America. Offers opportunity to discuss politics of migration and citizenship.

Positive Messages

All kinds of people are migrants or refugees, and they should not be feared or exploited. It's possible to make a fulfilling life in a new country.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Diana finds herself cast out of Themyscira, but she has the bravery, courage, and curiosity to make a new home in New York. Cast of characters is suitably diverse -- with Polish, Greek, African, Asian, and mixed-race supporting members. There is an interracial gay couple.

Violence

A few violent scenes in which teens are struck by adults or threatened with guns. Diana throws a picnic table and some cars into the air. Fistfights and gunplay happen at the climax. No one gets badly hurt, and the fight scenes should not be disturbing to readers of the suggested ages. The plot spotlights child trafficking, and someone mentions sexual exploitation, but no instances of exploitation are depicted.

Sex

Teen boys catcall Diana and a friend.

Language

Very infrequent strong language. One or two instances of "ass," "dumbass," "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed chronicles the teen adventures of Diana of Themyscira as she attempts to make a home in modern-day New York. Written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Leila del Duca, it shows a popular character in a new light. Child trafficking is part of the plot, but actual exploitation is not depicted. There are fistfights, gunplay, and the throwing of furniture and cars. Very infrequent swearing includes "ass," "dumbass," "damn." Young men catcall Diana, but she handles them easily.

 

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What's the story?

As WONDER WOMAN: TEMPEST TOSSED opens, Diana is getting ready to celebrate her "16th Born Day" with her family of Amazons on Thymiscira when a boatload of refugees crashes on the shore. Although she may never return to her homeland, Diana rescues the castaways and becomes a refugee herself. She eventually makes her way to New York, where she makes new friends and powerful enemies. Will she be able to learn enough about her Amazonian powers to survive in a dangerous new world?

Is it any good?

Some superheroes start fighting crime early, and this fish-out-of-water tale of an Amazonian princess in the Big Apple has charm and heart to spare. Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson and Leila del Duca portrays Diana as a boisterous, gutsy, and compassionate 16-year-old trying to figure out how the world works. Anderson devises a down-to-earth plot that plays to the protagonist's strengths but does not feel the need for giant-scale superheroics. Del Duca captures the character's beauty but also gives her a note of earthiness. Diana saves the day more than once, but she's not all-powerful in the way that the adult version of her character can sometimes seem. Suspenseful, funny, and timely, Tempest Tossed is a wild and valuable ride for newcomers and longtime fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed portrays modern-day refugees. Why is immigration so controversial in parts of the United States and Europe? What can be done to make the process safer and more just?

  • Why are graphic novels so popular? What does the medium allow that can't be replicated by prose alone? Why have there been fewer female superheroes than male, historically, and how is that situation changing?

  • Diana is from a secret island without men. How might such a civilization function in real life? Can you name some female leaders here and around the world? Are they treated differently from their male counterparts?

Book details

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For kids who love superheroes and refugee stories

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