Goodreads: Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
Published: June 2020
Princess Diana is excited to be accepted into the Amazon tribe on her 16th birthday–she hopes that the weird changes she has been experiencing will disappear, and the others will recognize her strength. But then a group of refugees make it through the weakened Themysciran barrier. The Amazons want to leave them to their fate, but Diana believes that it is their duty to help those in need. But when she leaves the island, it disappears behind her. Now a refugee herself, Diana has to try to figure out what it means to be home.
Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed continues the noble tradition of superhero stories engaging with real-life social justice issues. In one slender volume, Anderson manages to address war and refugees, child trafficking, child hunger, gentrification, homelessness, immigration, and teen activism. It’s a lot to pack into one story, but it is valuable for readers to see the world through Diana’s eyes. Themyscira may be a paradise, but our world is not. And Diana shows that it is up to each individual to stand up and make a difference.
I grew up watching the Wonder Woman TV show with Lynda Carter, so Wonder Woman holds a special place in my heart. I admired that she did not seek to meet violence with violence, but, rather, routinely saved the day through truth and love. She does, of course, fight when necessary, but she is an inspirational superhero to me because her superior strength and speed are not really what helps her uphold justice. They are, rather, supplemental to what makes her heroic: her belief in the goodness of humanity and her willingness to help humanity to live up to that ideal. Anderson’s Wonder Woman, though just starting out on her superhero journey, continues to look upon humanity as what they could be, rather than as what they are–and I loved that about her.
Also important to me is that Anderson’s Wonder Woman fights evil as part of team of strong women. To end injustice, we all must work together, and Anderson’s story illustrates that we are more effective when we do. Wonder Woman may have the physical strength and the bullet-proof bracelets, but she succeeds because she is surrounded by people who care–about her and about the causes she champions. It would be easy for Diana to dismiss the humans around, to imagine that they can never measure up to the power of the Amazons. But Diana chooses, instead, to see that she can learn from them–from their empathy, their concern, and their passion. We all have our strengths and we all have a role to play. And Diana, time and again, chooses to appreciate the inner beauty of everyone she meets.
To say that Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is important and inspirational feels a little like an understatement. Anderson has given readers a perfect superhero for this moment–one who will not turn a blind eye to injustice, who is willing to suffer to do what is right, who is dedicated to forming a team of people who care as actively as she does. Just thinking about it makes me a little teary-eyed. And I really hope that this is just the start of Diana’s new adventures.