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The Wave

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The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action", sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of The Wave and realize they must stop it before it's too late.


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The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action", sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of The Wave and realize they must stop it before it's too late.

30 review for The Wave

  1. 5 out of 5

    CinnamonHopes

    This book is scary. Honestly. It's not a horror story, it's not the kind of novel where monsters come jumping out the closet; or at least not the green googley-eyed kind. This is a true story which I was told not to read because the subject matter was too old for me. When I first read The Wave, I had no comprehension of why it was scary. Bad things happened, but it was more or less ok in the end. It wasn't until I was older, and had a better grasp of world history, social psychology, and a true This book is scary. Honestly. It's not a horror story, it's not the kind of novel where monsters come jumping out the closet; or at least not the green googley-eyed kind. This is a true story which I was told not to read because the subject matter was too old for me. When I first read The Wave, I had no comprehension of why it was scary. Bad things happened, but it was more or less ok in the end. It wasn't until I was older, and had a better grasp of world history, social psychology, and a true ability to understand parallels that this book scared me. What happens in this novel has been proven time and again in psychological labs across not only America, but the world. There is nothing superficially frightening about the events of this novel, but the sub-text of the story is. This novel helped me to see how "good" people can do bad things, without realizing how terrible they were really being. It doesn't justify, rationalize, or apologize for these actions, but it does show how naturally horrific events can come about.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Laurie Sanders sat in the publications office at Gordon High School chewing on the end of a Bic pen. She was a pretty girl with short light-brown hair and an almost perpetual smile that only disappeared when she was upset or chewing on Bic pens. Lately shed been chewing on a lot of pens. In fact, there wasnt a single pen or pencil in her pocketbook that wasnt worn down on the butt end from nervous gnawing. Still, it beat smoking. Thus begins The Wave. Can we break apart that paragraph, please? “Laurie Sanders sat in the publications office at Gordon High School chewing on the end of a Bic pen. She was a pretty girl with short light-brown hair and an almost perpetual smile that only disappeared when she was upset or chewing on Bic pens. Lately she’d been chewing on a lot of pens. In fact, there wasn’t a single pen or pencil in her pocketbook that wasn’t worn down on the butt end from nervous gnawing. Still, it beat smoking. “ Thus begins The Wave. Can we break apart that paragraph, please? 'Laurie Sanders (seriously WASPY name there) sat in the publications office at Gordon High School (seriously WASPY school there) chewing on the end of a Bic (isn’t this a trademark or a registered item or something??) pen.' 'She was a pretty girl (thanks, we needed that knowledge) with short light-brown hair and an almost perpetual (BIG word ) smile that only disappeared when she was upset or chewing on Bic pens.' (-------) Here is the 1981 Made- for –TV- movie version of Laurie 'Lately she’d been chewing on a lot of pens.' (!!!!!!!!) 'In fact, there wasn’t a single pen or pencil in her pocketbook (I always hated pocketbooks) that wasn’t worn down on the butt end from nervous gnawing' (ALLITERATION!!) 'Still, it beat smoking.' (what a minute, what? Laurie Sanders of Gordon High School fucking smokes????) Oh dear Lord, this was excruciatingly exasperating. (GOTCHA) This is supposed based on a ‘real event’ that happened in Palo Alto, California at Cubberley High School back in April of 1967 conducted by a History teacher named Ron Jones (porn name): “Jones, unable to explain to his students how the German population could claim ignorance of the extermination of the Jewish people, decided to show them instead. Jones started a movement called "The Third Wave" and told his students that the movement aimed to eliminate democracy. The idea that democracy emphasizes individuality was considered as a drawback of democracy, and Jones emphasized this main point of the movement in its motto: "Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride." So, this book is a novelization of a teleplay of an actual event. And the writer, Todd Strasser, used the pen name Morton Rhue.(Really? Morton Rhue?) Christ… this shit is fucked up. So… what do YOU think happens? Well, here’s the spoiler. They all become little Nazis. Seriously. Well, not all but like 98% of them do and the ones that don’t are threatened. ‘The Wave’ is supposed to make the football team win big against Clarkstown. ‘The Wave’ takes the class reject/future sociopath and makes him an organized, welcomed sociopath. ‘The Wave’ makes Amy Smith (a petite girl with thick, curly, Goldilocks hair) not feel like she always needs to compete against her BFF, Laurie with boys and grades and stuff. It’s like when phen-phen hit the market.. It’s a true blue miracle! And how long do you think it took to stick? C’mon… guess… a month? Two? Try five days. Five.Days. An entire school was ready to give up all personal freedom and individuality for this ‘Wave’—which was nothing more than the motto, membership cards, and a salute, mind you—in a work week. Yes. Yes.. I, too, see Generation Y or Generation Z… the one that got awards for every fucking little thing that they attempted… completely falling under this spell. But, seriously? I KNOW that my generation is way too cynical for such crap. We wouldn’t have even bothered to attend the stupid pep rally announcing The Wave. We’re hiding in the darkroom playing Joy Division. This novella/teleplay/what have you sucks. It sucks donkey balls. The writing falls between a bad Hardy Boys story and a good Sweet Valley High. If I had to read another lines like: “Copies of the Grapevine had never been scooped up faster than they were that day. The school was abuzz with the news.” I was going to start my own genocidal Nazi Party. (Please do not go all PC on me right now, ok?) Here’s a little piece of Heaven for you… With love, Kim (medium length, brown reddish hair, haggard mom of four )

  3. 5 out of 5

    unknown

    I read this book while on a family trip to Washington, D.C., shortly after visiting the Holocaust museum (which is, in fact, where my mom bought it -- in the gift shop -- and is it weird that the Holocaust museum has a gift shop? Even if the proceeds go to the museum?). Perhaps that wasn't the best time to pick up a book that seeks to grossly oversimplify how fascism can slowly creep up and overtake a society of otherwise well-meaning people, but what with the blatant metaphors and bad, bad I read this book while on a family trip to Washington, D.C., shortly after visiting the Holocaust museum (which is, in fact, where my mom bought it -- in the gift shop -- and is it weird that the Holocaust museum has a gift shop? Even if the proceeds go to the museum?). Perhaps that wasn't the best time to pick up a book that seeks to grossly oversimplify how fascism can slowly creep up and overtake a society of otherwise well-meaning people, but what with the blatant metaphors and bad, bad dialogue, I could never shake the impression that I was reading an after school special. Then I read the back and discovered it WAS a novelization of an after school special, and all was made clear, but I still thought it was a pretty annoying book. More something to read to introduce the concept to children than enjoy as an adult -- good ideas, but terrible, terrible writing, characterization, everything.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    This book, written under the pen name of Morton Rhue in the United States, is a novelisation of the telemovie of the same name, which was based on a short story by Ron Jones about a real event. In 1969 a high school history teacher, Ben Ross, was working in a small "all-American" town teaching his class of grade 12 students about the second World War. After showing them a film on Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and concentration camps, his students couldn't understand why the German people hadn't This book, written under the pen name of Morton Rhue in the United States, is a novelisation of the telemovie of the same name, which was based on a short story by Ron Jones about a real event. In 1969 a high school history teacher, Ben Ross, was working in a small "all-American" town teaching his class of grade 12 students about the second World War. After showing them a film on Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and concentration camps, his students couldn't understand why the German people hadn't realised what was happening and done something to stop it. How could they not have known? The Nazis were a minority: why didn't they overthrow them? Ben's answers weren't satisfactory, and in an effort to help them understand, the next day he begins a classroom experiment. He began by teaching them discipline: "strength through discipline" and by the end of the lesson had them all sitting with perfect posture, rising and shouting out answers to his questions with perfect obedience. The experiment continued, incorporating a name for the group: The Wave; as well as a salute and two more mottos: Strength through community and strength through action. Next he gave them membership cards and sent them out to recruit. His class swelled as kids started skipping their own lessons to be part of his history class. The Wave was introduced to the school's football team and at first, teachers noticed all the improvements: better discipline, punctuality etc. Ben also noticed that, while they were now handing in their homework on time, there was no thought going into their answers, no questioning. The only student in his original class who resisted was Laurie, editor of the school's paper, but even she didn't believe at first that it was more than a game that was being taken too seriously. Not until one student is beaten up because he's Jewish, and others are threatened for not joining The Wave. The Wave had taken over the school and was acting on orders given by Ben - orders he'd never given them; the movement had a life of its own. After just over a week pressure from parents and the school principal, as well as his own wife, Christy, a music teacher at the school, forced Ben to end the experiment and question his own involvement. The power trip may have got to him, and he worried that he still had control. He told the Wave members that there was going to be a special meeting in the auditorium only for Wave members, where they would meet their national youth Wave leader. When they had all assembled the projector showed an image of Adolf Hitler. This is the story I mentioned a while back, that had come up in the workshop I went to on teaching genocide in schools: someone had watched the film at school. At the time I had no idea that there was a novel based on the film, but the grade 8s at my Practicum school are starting an independent reading unit with two books: Animal Farm and The Wave. I was quite excited to read it, since the telemovie isn't so easy to get hold of - I think you have to order it from the States. The story is fiction, but it's based on a real event. The teacher was Ron Jones, and there is some controversy around how much of his account is bullshit. Some ex-students were who involved have said that it didn't happen like that, that it never took over the school and so on (I found a website collecting debunking stories but I don't have the link sorry). Personally, I can understand why some would want to downplay the experiment and its effect on them. No one likes to be made a fool of, and no one would want people to think they had it in them to be a little Nazi, a follower, an obedient servant of power-hungry dictators. No one would want to admit that they were not only taken in by it all but got caught up in it to the point of believing it was wonderful, good, fostered equality and that people who were against it should be "stopped". There are ex-students of the school who fully support Ron Jones' account of the experiment, and there are articles from the school's paper about it as well. It happened a long time ago and no one's memory of it is going to be perfect, but I don't doubt that it happened. The movie is of course a dramatisation of the real event and, for effect, probably embellished at times. But to fixate on how real or truthful The Wave is is to totally miss the point. The experiment was highly successful, and those who had said it could never happen now (like it was a product of its times and that we had all learnt out lesson from Nazi Germany). The big shock was that it could happen so easily, and happen amongst middle class, "normal" people. It's a great peek into human nature. As one character, David, says to Laurie while trying to convince her to shut up about The Wave: "Some guys just used The Wave as an excuse for beating that kid up. Don't you see? The Wave is still for the good of the whole. Why can't you see that, Laurie? It could be a whole new system. We could make it work." (p113) At the beginning, the similarities to the military are very apparent and disturbing. But when a group of kids (or anyone) takes on a single mind, you can really see how impossible it becomes to resist, to speak out, to decline. Ben Ross' final speech to the students under the picture of Adolf Hitler neatly sums it up: "You thought you were so special!" Ross told them. "Better than everyone outside of this room. You traded your freedom for what you said was equality. But you turned your equality into superiority over non-Wave members. You accepted the group's will over your own convictions, no matter who you had to hurt to do it. Oh, some of you thought you were just going along for the ride, that you could walk away at any moment. But did you? Did any of you try it? "Yes, you all would have made good Nazis," Ben told them. "You would have put on the uniform, turned your heads, and allowed your friends and neighbors to be persecuted and destroyed. You say it could never happen again, but look how close you came. Threatening those who wouldn't join you, preventing non-Wave members from sitting with you at football games. Fascism isn't something those other people did, it is right here, in all of us. You ask how could the German people do nothing as millions of innocent human beings were murdered? How could they claim they weren't involved? What causes people to deny their own histories?" Ben moved closer to the front of the stage and spoke in a low voice: "If history repeats itself, you will all want to deny what happened to you in The Wave. But, if our experiment has been successful - and I think you can see that it has - you will have learned that we are all responsible for our own actions, and that you must always question what you do rather than blindly follow a leader, and that for the rest of your lives, you will never, ever allow a group's will to usurp your individual rights." (p134-5)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    A compelling story about how Nazi Germany could have been created--how the minority controlled the majority, and how the majority allowed themselves to be controlled. It's based on the true story of The Third Wave experiment, which demonstrated fascism as a part of teaching about WWII. But the writing of this book. Oh, the writing. It hurts. It should be noted that in tiny print on the copyright page, it does note that this is a novelization of a teleplay that was an adaptation of the original A compelling story about how Nazi Germany could have been created--how the minority controlled the majority, and how the majority allowed themselves to be controlled. It's based on the true story of The Third Wave experiment, which demonstrated fascism as a part of teaching about WWII. But the writing of this book. Oh, the writing. It hurts. It should be noted that in tiny print on the copyright page, it does note that this is a novelization of a teleplay that was an adaptation of the original teacher's essay about the experiment. Once you're that far removed, I'm not sure it's possible to write a good book, but oh, the writing is just bad. And I can also make some allowances for it being 1981 when he wrote it. The second sentence of the book is "She was a pretty girl with short light-brown hair and an almost perpetual smile that only disappeared when she was upset or chewing on Bic pens." (Sentence 1 established that she was, in fact, chewing on a Bic pen.) And the whole book sounds like that. It's a valuable book for a curriculum, but I do wish we could have students read the original essay instead, just as a matter of literary quality.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    A new movement is coursing through High School...discipline and strength must be maintained and enforced. This novel dramatizes an incident that took place in California (Ellwood P. Cubberley High School history class in Palo Alto, California) in 1969. As the experiment 'exits' the class there many positive features that start to take place...but what is to be done with the individuals who do not fit in? Chilling glimpse into how Nazism was able to spread.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    I read this book as an assigned book report and wasnt quite sure if I would like it or not. To be completely honest, I picked it because of its title. The Wave. It sounded relaxing to me. However, when I actually read the book, I realized it wasnt about the waves in the ocean at all. It was a pleasant suprise to read something different. When you finish reading the book, you have that feeling like "wow. That ACTUALLY happened." Its very sad that this happened, but we have to learn from people's I read this book as an assigned book report and wasnt quite sure if I would like it or not. To be completely honest, I picked it because of its title. The Wave. It sounded relaxing to me. However, when I actually read the book, I realized it wasnt about the waves in the ocean at all. It was a pleasant suprise to read something different. When you finish reading the book, you have that feeling like "wow. That ACTUALLY happened." Its very sad that this happened, but we have to learn from people's mistakes. Not just our own, but others as well. After reading this book I realized that this stuff DID happen, and it could easily happen again if we're not careful. We shouldnt allow a group's will to overpower our own judgement. It is not good to follow someone blindly. We should always question what we are doing. If we think that it is wrong, we should make the decision not to do it, even if many others are not as smart or as brave. The Wave really makes you think. It makes you question yourself. Which in many cases is a good thing. Have you been making good choices? Do you have good judgement? Or have you been following another's decisions? This book helps you figure out what you should do and also what NOT to do. I love this book, and I would definitely reccomend it to people who are trying to mature and understand the world's issues. If we understand them better, we can figure out ways to make sure that things like this dont continue to happen in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danit

    Danit Benjamin's book review of "The Wave" by Morton Rhue. This book is based on a true story of an experiment carried out by Ben Ross, a history teacher in a high school in California. They were studying World War II. After being shown a documentary showing the atrocities the Nazis committed the students questioned how it was possible for 90% of the German people to allow this to happen. Ben Ross decided to do an experiment to show the students how easily it could happen. He created a group Danit Benjamin's book review of "The Wave" by Morton Rhue. This book is based on a true story of an experiment carried out by Ben Ross, a history teacher in a high school in California. They were studying World War II. After being shown a documentary showing the atrocities the Nazis committed the students questioned how it was possible for 90% of the German people to allow this to happen. Ben Ross decided to do an experiment to show the students how easily it could happen. He created a group called "The Wave". Their motto was "strength through discipline". Each member had to greet each other with a special salute and they were against everyone who resisted belonging to the group. Ben Ross realized that the experiment had gone too far when the group attacked those who resisted. I became interested in this book after my cousin took the main part in a dramatic presentation of "The Wave" and recommended it. The strong points of the book are that it shows how people are easily led by their peers and need to understand as Ben tells them at the end. "You traded your freedom for what you said was equality"; "you would have all made good Nazis"; "we are all responsible for our own actions"; never allow a group's will to usurp your individual rights". This book should be read by all teenagers who are easily influenced by their peers especially in smoking, drinking and drugs. It also teaches how easily history can repeat itself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anne(marie)

    Unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment for me. Although the topic and the fact that this book is based on a real story are very interesting, it was rather poorly executed. The major problem for me were the characters. They had absolutely no depth to them and I was left with many questions. Why does the teacher decide to keep the experiment going in the first place? Why do the students just go with it, without any questions? What makes them decide to tell other students about the movement? Unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment for me. Although the topic and the fact that this book is based on a real story are very interesting, it was rather poorly executed. The major problem for me were the characters. They had absolutely no depth to them and I was left with many questions. Why does the teacher decide to keep the experiment going in the first place? Why do the students just go with it, without any questions? What makes them decide to tell other students about the movement? How come everyone suddenly cares about Robert? Where do Laurie's doubts come from? What made David change his mind so suddenly? How did Mr. Ross finally realise that his experiment went too far? What made him accept that he needed to stop it? What were the reactions of the students when they realised what they had become? Maybe not knowing the answers to these questions is the point of the book, but it just left me frustrated, confused and annoyed. In addition to that, everything happened very fast and at times I felt like I was reading a newspaper article and not a book. Right after I finished reading, I decided to watch the german movie based on the same true story, and although it ended in a quite dramatic way (bit of an overkill, in my opinion), it still seemed more realistic than this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    Such a fascinating story and concept. It is scary if you think about it, but so well done.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alona

    3.5 stars It was a very frightening read, my stomach was in knots and I felt sick from the idea alone. I know that it is BASED on true events, but I find it hard to believe that it happened so fast! 5 days? Really? Is that what it takes to create a monster? The writing is OK, but I expected more from it. BUT, a very important read, and I'm glad it is a must read in many schools around the globe. History can repeat it self if we are not careful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    jessica ☾

    Extremely interesting premise, as soon as I discovered this gem I dropped everything to pick it up. Maybe it has something to do with the way it was written, but even though this was based entirely on a true story, it just seems kinda ridiculous. It feels like the books about a group of elementary aged kids, rather than teenagers. Half of my issue with this book is the voice used for the audiobook, which is how I read this, so Im not really sure if its fair to rate based on that. But nevertheless, Extremely interesting premise, as soon as I discovered this gem I dropped everything to pick it up. Maybe it has something to do with the way it was written, but even though this was based entirely on a true story, it just seems kinda ridiculous. It feels like the books about a group of elementary aged kids, rather than teenagers. Half of my issue with this book is the voice used for the audiobook, which is how I read this, so I’m not really sure if it’s fair to rate based on that. But nevertheless, I was really rooting for this to turn out a lot better than it did.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy | shoutame

    This book is based around a true event that happened in a Californian school which involved psychological manipulation of the students. I believe there are film adaptations of this story as well. Our main character Laurie begins to worry when a seemingly harmless movement known as the 'Wave' takes over her school. Started by a teacher who wanted to give a better idea of what it would be like to be a Nazi, the idea slowly takes hold - her schoolmates are saluting, marching and chanting. But when This book is based around a true event that happened in a Californian school which involved psychological manipulation of the students. I believe there are film adaptations of this story as well. Our main character Laurie begins to worry when a seemingly harmless movement known as the 'Wave' takes over her school. Started by a teacher who wanted to give a better idea of what it would be like to be a Nazi, the idea slowly takes hold - her schoolmates are saluting, marching and chanting. But when saluting turns to violence someone needs to stand up and bring an end to the Wave, will they manage it? and what will they learn in the process? An incredibly interesting read, I have been reading a lot of WW1 and WW2 based novels this year and this one was unlike any of the others I have picked up. I would highly recommend to all ages, especially if you are learning about WW2 - I think this one could bring up some brilliant discussions in class, I wish I had read it whilst at school!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Siddiqui

    The Wave is based on a actual incident that happened in Palo Alto California in 1969. What started as a lesson in a history class disrupted the entire school, showing how group pressure can influence peoples behavior and thinking even causing great harm to others. This book should be read by everyone at least once.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shalor T.

    In high school, everyone in my class said that they couldn't believe that so many German citizens went along with the atrocities of the Holocaust. They all claimed that if they'd been alive during that time, they'd have rebelled, they'd have saved Anne Frank... basically that they wouldn't have agreed to do it. It was around this same time that I picked up 'The Wave'. Knowing that it was real sent shivers down my spine. It still does to this day. The book's plot surrounds a young teacher named In high school, everyone in my class said that they couldn't believe that so many German citizens went along with the atrocities of the Holocaust. They all claimed that if they'd been alive during that time, they'd have rebelled, they'd have saved Anne Frank... basically that they wouldn't have agreed to do it. It was around this same time that I picked up 'The Wave'. Knowing that it was real sent shivers down my spine. It still does to this day. The book's plot surrounds a young teacher named Ben Ross who is trying to teach his students about the Nazi regime. He attempts to get them to understand better by creating a group called "The Wave". Initially it's all good fun as people start behaving better, becoming more respectful & seemingly becoming better students. Soon the ugly reality of the project comes to the front as the group is quick to lash out against any detractors & anyone who refuses to join the group. Pretty soon Ross realizes that what started as an attempt to teach the teens about Nazi Germany has spun out of his control & has the potential to turn even more powerful... and has the potential to cause irreparable harm to everyone it touches. Seriously, this book gave me the chills when I read it because it was based on a real life experiment called "The Third Wave" that took place in the 60s. I'll admit that the writing of this book isn't the greatest, but the message that comes across is delivered wonderfully. Even when I re-read it today, I can still get the shivers from it. The most horrifying idea of this book is that so many students were drawn into it & that it was such a seductive presence to so many. Reading the book, I couldn't help but wonder what I would've done if I were present during that time. Again, I will warn potential readers that the writing isn't the greatest. It's very obvious that this was a screen play novelization. It would be nice to see a non-screen play book version of this come out, but until it does, this book is sure to entertain, educate & horrify!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Baelor

    This book was recommended to me by a student I tutor in math. The version I have has the author's real name, Todd Strasser. It is accessible and relevant to all ages, although it is clearly geared toward young adults. In a sentence, the book explores the ease with which groups fall into extreme and destructive social dynamics and mindsets. The setting is a high school class studying the Nazis and skeptical about how the German populace able to follow such an evil political movement. Surprise! This book was recommended to me by a student I tutor in math. The version I have has the author's real name, Todd Strasser. It is accessible and relevant to all ages, although it is clearly geared toward young adults. In a sentence, the book explores the ease with which groups fall into extreme and destructive social dynamics and mindsets. The setting is a high school class studying the Nazis and skeptical about how the German populace able to follow such an evil political movement. Surprise! The teacher's experiment (called "The Wave") succeeds marvelously, and soon The Wave takes over much of the school. The group quickly gets more intolerant and even violent. Problems ensue. The Wave is a fictionalized account of a real event. The creative liberties taken with the real story are immaterial; the underlying psychological principles at play are the meat of the book. Strasser never goes into detail (it would probably be too dull for middle schoolers), but situational v. dispositional factors and Social Identity Theory dominate the narrative. These are important concepts for middle schoolers to experience, if only vicariously and qualitatively. The book is brief and decently-written. Strasser focuses on what is important, but occasionally lapses into B-movie action villain prose. "Laurie Saunders is a threat," says one character. "She must be stopped." You can practically hear the thunder and see the lightning streak against the dark background.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    In the words of my sister: "I would say there's no way this could happen in real life, but that's what those kids said -- and this is a true story!" Kids are brutal, and The Wave is a perfect example of how their intolerance for individuality can get out of hand when harnessed incorrectly. Like David Collins, I wish there really was a way to make kids (from the 10-year-olds who act like 16-year-olds to the 16-year-olds who act like 20-year-olds) pay attention in class, do their homework, and In the words of my sister: "I would say there's no way this could happen in real life, but that's what those kids said -- and this is a true story!" Kids are brutal, and The Wave is a perfect example of how their intolerance for individuality can get out of hand when harnessed incorrectly. Like David Collins, I wish there really was a way to make kids (from the 10-year-olds who act like 16-year-olds to the 16-year-olds who act like 20-year-olds) pay attention in class, do their homework, and behave as nicely as the clean-cut students in this story. Unlike David and the majority of the students at Gordon High School, I wouldn't want to use a cult to do it. This was required reading in my eighth-grade history class, and I'm glad that my classmates and I were able to learn from the Palo Alto school's experiences without having to live them. (Middle school was frightening enough without a gang of psuedo-Nazis taking over!) Even though it's a short, simple book, I think readers of all ages can enjoy its story and appreciate the lesson it teaches.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Realteenreviews

    The Gist The Wave is based on a true event in Palo Alto, California in 1969. A teacher and his senior history class are learning about World War II and the students dont understand how people followed Hitler and why no one stood up to him. The teacher (Ben Ross) soon comes up with an experiment called The Wave to show the students how it was to live in Nazi Germany. The students and teacher soon get caught up in The Wave and only Laurie Saunders and David Collins realize what The Wave actually The Gist The Wave is based on a true event in Palo Alto, California in 1969. A teacher and his senior history class are learning about World War II and the students don’t understand how people followed Hitler and why no one stood up to him. The teacher (Ben Ross) soon comes up with an experiment called The Wave to show the students how it was to live in Nazi Germany. The students and teacher soon get caught up in The Wave and only Laurie Saunders and David Collins realize what The Wave actually is. They band together to stop The Wave before history repeats itself. What We Think Reviewed by The North Star The Wave by Todd Strasser is a book that gave me some new perspective on World War II and opened my eyes to how clever Hitler was when recruiting the Germans into creating a superior race, and how scared the people were who followed him. This book is only 138 pages and is a pretty easy read but very effective. When reading this book i kept wanting to turn the page to find out what was going to happen to the characters. Real Teen Rating~ A: Go Buy Now

  19. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    What I like most about this book, is that it simply is true. Not only what horribly things are possible, but that you must stand up for yourself and who you are and what you believe in, even if that means being an outsider. So much bad happens and people say its not possible to do it again. Honestly, that one person could do so much harm and had to get the idea from somewhere, so what not possible again? Why is it insane? Why is this idea insane, if the others were too? If the idea creating a What I like most about this book, is that it simply is true. Not only what horribly things are possible, but that you must stand up for yourself and who you are and what you believe in, even if that means being an outsider. So much bad happens and people say it’s not possible to do it again. Honestly, that one person could do so much harm and had to get the idea from somewhere, so what not possible again? Why is it insane? Why is this idea insane, if the others were too? If the idea creating a group of racist and more was? Do you sometimes really know what’s true and not? Isn’t there always someone we naturally trust more, even if that person is wrong? ..... When the class is learning about the KZ times, all student say it isn’t possible to create something like Hitler did again. If I tell you one more step that happens, you will know what is going to happen, because you can’t describe the book in steps. It is more ONE big step. But at the end…. Who proves them wrong? Is being an outsider better than what you commit to? COULD it happen…..

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    Read this for a class assignment and I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. Don't really know how to explain it in just a couple of sentences but I suggest that everyone should read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eunji

    'The Wave' by Todd Strasser is based on a true story of a high school in California. It expresses how humans can be so easily influenced by their surroundings, and how that could lead to terrible consequences. I would recommended this book to anyone interested in social behavior and psychology.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aviva

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is what happens when an adult who TOTALLY HAS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE, YOU GUYS tries to write a book for teenagers. It was written in 1981 and it was about an experiment gone wrong that actually happened in Palo Alto California called the Third Wave. So basically it's what happens when a high school history teacher tries to show his students that nobody's immune to fascism and introduces teh principles in his class and it catches like wild fire and suddenly the entire student body is This book is what happens when an adult who TOTALLY HAS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE, YOU GUYS tries to write a book for teenagers. It was written in 1981 and it was about an experiment gone wrong that actually happened in Palo Alto California called the Third Wave. So basically it's what happens when a high school history teacher tries to show his students that nobody's immune to fascism and introduces teh principles in his class and it catches like wild fire and suddenly the entire student body is acting like little Hitler Youth with no dictator. I got the premise, the premise was good. But about 75% of the book was really preachy exposition and patronizing BS that was supposed to be the history teacher's thought processes and a bunch of "ZOMG HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AND WHAT DO I DO?!" My biggest "you've got to be kidding me" moment came when the indoctrinated students freak out on this one kid for being jewish. Nobody told them to hate teh jewz, but they just take it on themselves and then the jewish kid's rabbi calls the principal all freaked out. Again. I get it. But there was no part of the initial indoctrination that said "don't like jews" and not all fascists hate certain religious institutions, you know? I mean, yes, Hitler had a thing about Jewish people in general, but if the point of your book is about how no one is immune to othering people, why not pick a kid who wants nothing to do with your little experiment? Or hey, a band geek. Speaking as a former band geek, them's a cliquey bunch who really have no interest in anyone else not that anyone else wants them, really. My point here is that that particular story line was downright sloppy on the part of the author because to assume that your target audience isn't going to get the Nazism = Bad moral without hitting them over then head and victimizing a gratutitous religious group is both condescending and annoying. I can see why this story would be important to tell a class, but I can't see assigning this book for demonstrative purposes because frankly all it did was piss me off. Strasser followed the timeline of the original experiment so closely it was like he was checking off boxes. And he was sure to have each high school archetype discover something WHOLLY INSPIRED about themselves in the process. Popular girl finding out people are actually jealous of her and want her to lose her position? Check. Jock finding out he doesn't need approval? Check. Out cast kid finding a place in a cult like group and then being devastated when he finds out he did a bad thing in pursuit of approval? Double check. New, slightly "outside the box" teacher doing something that crosses a major line, but pulling back and fixing it before he's in deep shit or somebody dies? Yeah, happened but I still wanted him to get fired. Anyway, if you're interested in the experiment, and it is interesting in a sociological "wow, people really are sheep, I knew it" way, then read the wiki page, don't bother with this book. It reads like a Sweet Valley High Special Edition gone horribly, horribly wrong. And I used to love me some Sweet Valley High Special Editions.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bonastrebiel

    The Wave is a 1981 young adult novel by Todd Strasser. Todd Strasser was born in 1950 in America who wrote more than 140 young-adult novels and many short stories and works of non-fiction, some under the pen name Morthon Rhue and T.S. Rue. In the Wave, we can regard the way that a simple class test can finish in such a dramatically way. The book begins with only a class about 30 pupils which all of them become part of the Wave. Ben Ross wants to teach the class a lesson. This lesson cannot be The Wave is a 1981 young adult novel by Todd Strasser. Todd Strasser was born in 1950 in America who wrote more than 140 young-adult novels and many short stories and works of non-fiction, some under the pen name Morthon Rhue and T.S. Rue. In the Wave, we can regard the way that a simple class test can finish in such a dramatically way. The book begins with only a class about 30 pupils which all of them become part of the Wave. Ben Ross wants to teach the class a lesson. This lesson cannot be told like a normal lesson would. This was a lesson the students had to learn from themselves. They start forming this group and every day, more and more people are joining the “club”. This creates lots of peer pressure because people is afraid of what would the Wave do to them just for leaving the group. This cannot be obtained without a powerful group which in this case this group are themselves. The Wave system looks like if it were so good because you just don’t have to think about being popular or getting the best grades. The Wave made all of the students equal so there was no popularity, no good grades and everything seems alright. But all this is changed for freedom. In our society, we are all different and this is good but you have to pass through tube and work out your popularity, good grades… But I personally think that the best society has to be a mixture of both: everyone is different and thinks different and at the same time everyone is equal and respectful with everyone. I surely enjoyed the book and I’d like to recommend it to my parents and to a curse below me and one above me. I’d give it 4 stars out of 5.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Perhaps not a book to use in the primary school classroom, but a story that serves as a cautionary tale to teachers and teaching. A history teacher unable to fully explain the reasons behind how and why the rise of Nazism and the persecution of Jews took place devises a social experiment involving the whole class. The class are taught in a way that removes 'thinking' on their part and is a form of conditioning and control that resembles military training. Other pupils in the school quickly want Perhaps not a book to use in the primary school classroom, but a story that serves as a cautionary tale to teachers and teaching. A history teacher unable to fully explain the reasons behind how and why the rise of Nazism and the persecution of Jews took place devises a social experiment involving the whole class. The class are taught in a way that removes 'thinking' on their part and is a form of conditioning and control that resembles military training. Other pupils in the school quickly want to join 'The Wave' for its sense of belonging and believe that some kind of new utopian society is being created. However what started as an experiment soon becomes a terrifying reality and it's not long before those who don't want to join or who openly express a dislike for 'The Wave' are being threatened, victimized and even assaulted. The story is based on a real event that happed in a school in California in 1969 and shows how the position of responsibility a teacher has over pupils can be abused by a well meaning and experienced teacher obsessed with getting the best out of his pupils.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    Hard to tell the true from the fiction in those type of books, but it's a very interesting subject for sure. The mass influence and how people can accept stuff just to be a part of a group, to fit in, this is scary but in the same so true, that the scary part actually...Even if it's old this book is still very actually and could be use in high school to show to teens that you have to learn to question the idea and the people around you, to make your own opinion, hopefully a brilliant one. It's a Hard to tell the true from the fiction in those type of books, but it's a very interesting subject for sure. The mass influence and how people can accept stuff just to be a part of a group, to fit in, this is scary but in the same so true, that the scary part actually...Even if it's old this book is still very actually and could be use in high school to show to teens that you have to learn to question the idea and the people around you, to make your own opinion, hopefully a brilliant one. It's a super fast read and something that will make you think so go ahead!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alexia | Right Writing Words

    So...considering that this was a prescribed book for my class this year, it wasn't bad. I'm not really a fan of short books, since they just don't provide the same experience a novel does, but this short book pleasantly surprised me. The story follows Laurie Saunders; a popular, smart student who's school life is almost perfect. She's got a nice boyfriend, she's the editor of the Gordon Grapevine, she's got an equally smart and popular best friend and school life is treating her nicely. Until the So...considering that this was a prescribed book for my class this year, it wasn't bad. I'm not really a fan of short books, since they just don't provide the same experience a novel does, but this short book pleasantly surprised me. The story follows Laurie Saunders; a popular, smart student who's school life is almost perfect. She's got a nice boyfriend, she's the editor of the Gordon Grapevine, she's got an equally smart and popular best friend and school life is treating her nicely. Until the day that Ben Ross, their history teacher, decides to try and teach them why the majority of non-Nazi Germans didn't stand up to the Nazi's. That was the day the Wave formed. A group of students who are tricked into living by the motto: "Strength through discipline. Strength through action. Strength through community." And anyone who doesn't join the Wave are considered to be lesser than those who have joined, and the non-members are intimidated into silence. The fact that this story was based on a real incident is down-right scary. In the end, the Wave gets disbanded and the students learn their lesson but this story just shows how easily people conform to what others expect of them and how important it is for them to blend in. The writing style was quite bland and the dialogue betweenthe characters was really stiff, so that's the reason why I substracted one star. Apart from that, it was a chilling story. If you're looking for a short story to think about, this one's for you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aj Sterkel

    Have you ever finished a book and thought, Wait, wheres the rest of it? It cant be over? I still have so many questions! That was me with this book. The Wave is a fictionalization of a real-life experiment that took place in a California high school in the 1960s. A history teacher wanted to help his students understand why the Germans went along with Hitlers plan during WWII. Why didnt more people resist Hitler? The teacher invented a game that he called The Wave. (In real life, it was called The Have you ever finished a book and thought, Wait, where’s the rest of it? It can’t be over? I still have so many questions! That was me with this book. The Wave is a fictionalization of a real-life experiment that took place in a California high school in the 1960s. A history teacher wanted to help his students understand why the Germans went along with Hitler’s plan during WWII. Why didn’t more people resist Hitler? The teacher invented a “game” that he called The Wave. (In real life, it was called The Third Wave.) The game involved students working together to accomplish tasks—such as answering questions or getting to their seats on time—as quickly and precisely as possible. The game became so popular that most of the school started playing. The Wave players had their own chant, solute, and banner. The kids who played the game began bullying the ones who refused to play so viciously that the experiment had to be ended after 5 days. (Or 8 days, if you read the reports about the real-life experiment.) “Strength through discipline! Strength through community! Strength through action!” – The Wave For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking a lot about fascism lately. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject. The story hooked me from the first page. I knew a little about the real-life experiment before I started reading, but I didn’t know how crazy things got. This novel is like reading a train wreck (in a good, suspenseful way). For the students, life gets very complicated, very quickly. The “based on a true story” concept is pretty much the only thing I love about the book. The writing is . . . underwhelming. I never felt connected to the characters because they have very little personality outside of their roles in the experiment. If I had a better understanding of who they were before the experiment started, I might have understood their reactions to the game better. I want to know more about everything. I was left with so many questions. How did the students react in the days after the experiment ended? Did they regret their participation? Where the majority of them just going along with the crowd, or did they really enjoy the game? I need to know! This book isn’t anywhere near long enough. It doesn’t have any analysis of what happened or why. I guess that’s what Google’s for. “Overcome with anger, David grabbed her other arm. Why did she have to be so stubborn? Why couldn’t she see how good The Wave could be?” – The Wave I also wonder how modern students would react if this experiment was repeated. It probably can’t be repeated because it caused stress for the students. It might be considered unethical. Still, I wonder. Would modern kids want to play the game, or would there be more resistance? The Wave is worth reading because it provides a unique look at fascism, but I wish the book went more in-depth.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bahoz Miran

    This book was very good. I got really absorbed into it. It was an interesting topic, and the fact that it happened for real, made it even more interesting. This novel helped me to see how "good people" can do "bad things", without realizing how terrible they were being. It doesn't justify or apologize for these actions, but it shows how naturally horrific events can happen. When you finish reading the book, you have that feeling like "Wow That ACTUALLY happened?" It is very sad that this This book was very good. I got really absorbed into it. It was an interesting topic, and the fact that it happened for real, made it even more interesting. This novel helped me to see how "good people" can do "bad things", without realizing how terrible they were being. It doesn't justify or apologize for these actions, but it shows how naturally horrific events can happen. When you finish reading the book, you have that feeling like "Wow That ACTUALLY happened?" It is very sad that this happened, but we must learn from people's mistakes, not just our own. After reading this book I realized that it could easily happen again if we're not careful. We should not allow a group's will to overpower our own judgement. It is not good to follow someone blindly. We should always question what we are doing. If we think that it is wrong, we should make the decision not to do it. The Wave really makes you think. It makes you question yourself, have you been following another's decisions? I would recommend it to people who are trying to understand the world's issues. I like it a lot and I think that everyone should read it because it really makes you understand how something like the situation in Germany during the Second World War could happen, and how we should prevent it from happening again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Praxedes

    I have wanted to read this book since seeing the movies a few years ago. In terms of plot it is alright, detailing a school's rapid descent into blind and hurtful obedience under the pretext of unity, equality, and action. But the writing is tepid at best. The fact that it is based on a true story is the only reason to read it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yasmeena Elmahdy

    This was so frickin boring.

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