Goodreads: Diana: Princess of the Amazons
Published: January 2020
As the only child on the island of Themyscira, Diana feels like she does not quite belong. She thinks the others do not see her as a true Amazon and, well, she’s lonely. Diana decides to make a friend for herself. But her friend might prove to be trouble.
Shannon and Dean Hale bring Wonder Woman fans a cute story about Diana before she became a superhero. The only young girl on an island full of women, Diana longs both to be appreciated and to find a friend. Her loneliness, however, turns out to be just the advantage an old enemy of the Amazons needs in order to regain power. The story is simple and not full of any surprises, but it is a good introduction to Wonder Woman for younger readers (grades 3-5). The adorable illustrations by Victoria Ying truly make the book, however.
Diana: Princess of the Amazons fits right in with the trend of friendship stories in graphic novels for tweens. The only difference here, of course, is that the book is not a contemporary, but rather a fantasy set on a mythical island. Still, the themes of feeling shut out and longing for someone who can make a person feel like they fit in are the same. So is the climax of discovering that a former friend might not be who you thought they were–leading to the growing pains of separation. Savvy readers will know exactly what is happening to Diana and how it all must end, but will likely enjoy the story regardless of a lack of any twists or turns.
The illustrations by Ying are what make Diana: Princess of the Amazons stand apart. They are the perfect style to announce that this is a gentle introduction to Wonder Woman for younger readers. Though there is a fight scene, the book is not graphically violent and Diana has not yet donned her revealing superhero outfit. The artwork is sweet and cute, a pleasure to dive into.
Diana: Princess of the Amazons is pretty much exactly what I would expect from a Shannon Hale book. It is a solid read that seems to understand its target audience perfectly. It contains no surprises, but is a satisfying story.