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The Wave

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,974 Ratings  ·  1,201 Reviews
The Wave is based on a true incident that occured 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 di
Paperback, 138 pages
Published September 15th 1981 by Laurel Leaf Books (first published January 1st 1981)
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Clara The book is based on a 80s film about the actual experiment--so there are a few Hollywood-influenced aspects--but it follows the events of the…moreThe book is based on a 80s film about the actual experiment--so there are a few Hollywood-influenced aspects--but it follows the events of the experiment quite faithfully, as far as I have been able to find out. The actual event started out in 3 sophomore classrooms, and it indeed escalated to such a point that 200 students attended the fake rally at the conclusion of the book. I believe the teacher didn't show a video of Hitler, but instead a static screen; still, I'm surprised that the gathering wasn't fictitious. You can find some information and interesting photographs (such as of the original wave logo) on this website: . If you are interested in what actually took place, this is an excellent resource.
To answer your question directly, the book is fiction, in as much as the characters and specifics go, but the outline of the plot is factual for the most part. (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 23, 2011 Kim rated it did not like it
“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, pleas
Apr 09, 2010 j rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
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 dialo
Maria Thomarey
Nov 11, 2015 Maria Thomarey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Το είχα διαβάσει οταν ειχε πρώτοβγεί. Πριν γίνει μόδα , ταινία , θεατρικό . Πριν ο φασισμός ξανανοίξει τα απειλητικά φτερά του . Τότε που καμια κρίση δεν μας γονάτιζε και που ευημερούσαμε. Με ξένα κόλυβα . Μετα μας πήρε το Κύμα
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 realise
Feb 02, 2009 CinnamonHopes rated it it was amazing
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 ab
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 t
Nov 23, 2014 Alona rated it liked it
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.
Nov 19, 2014 Fatima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente!!!! es la historia de un experimento que se realizo en una escuela secundaria en California en 1967. La trama gira alrededor del profesor Burt Ross, profesor de historia, desea instruir de manera diferente lo que es " La autocracia". Este planifico una serie de clases en las que presento los elementos para este tipo de metodologia politica: espiritu de grupo, sentimiento de comunidad, ideales comunes, disciplina y ayuda mutua. En apenas unos dias el experimento toma vida y lo que comen ...more
Apr 11, 2011 Aviva rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Dec 16, 2013 Baelor rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, ya, tract
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! Th ...more
Jennifer Siddiqui
May 25, 2015 Jennifer Siddiqui rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 01, 2012 Eunji rated it liked it
'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.
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 i
Oct 28, 2010 Chibineko rated it really liked it
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 Be
Miss Bookiverse
Jan 22, 2010 Miss Bookiverse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoyed "The War Between The Classes"
Shelves: gen-historical
Die Idee des Buches fand ich sehr gut. Ein Lehrer macht ein Rollenspiel mit seinen Schülern, um ihnen einen Sinn für Gemeinschaft zu vermitteln und auch um ihnen zu zeigen, was die Menschen damals zu nationalsozialistischen Handlungen bewegt haben könnte.
Aus dieser hervorragenden Basis hat der Autor leider absolut nichts gemacht. Sein Schreibstil war langweilig, einfallslos und nicht sehr ereignisreich. Gleiches galt für die Charaktere, eindimensional und sterbenslangweilig. Sie waren einfach nu
Mar 26, 2015 Gabi rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 04, 2015 Bianca rated it liked it
I think that this book is very poignant but I do believe it simplifies a problem that surpasses its length and context. The sociology behind mass movements such as Nazism, the Wave, or even the Soviets goes beyond that of simple blind following or lack of perspective and fear. Humans I believe are prone to believe a charismatic leader with a strong cause and who produces positive results. How could you not follow someone and believe in something that helps you? We are still in our minds fighting ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mich persönlich hat das Buch eher enttäuscht. Obwohl ich den Film nicht kenne (dadurch also nicht voreingenommen bin), hatte ich von dem Buch etwas mehr erwartet. Mir fehlte einwenig die Spannung, ein wenig die Ernsthaftigkeit der Lage, die Eskalation...
Nichts von dem kam richtig rüber und das Buch bleibt für mich eines, das ich "einfach so" während einer Freistunde an der Uni angefangen - und auch zu Ende gelesen habe.
Apr 01, 2016 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fascinating story and concept. It is scary if you think about it, but so well done.
Aug 27, 2014 Danit rated it it was amazing
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 call
May 16, 2014 Bonastrebiel rated it really liked it
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 tol
Kann sich einer von Euch noch an den Film erinnern? Mir ist er sehr stark im Gedächtnis haften geblieben, denn er war einer der wenigen "lehrreichen" Filme, die in der Schule gezeigt wurden und mich auch tatsächlich gefesselt haben.

Von der Grundidee her ist das Werk grandios, denn es beschäftigt sich mit der immer interessanten Frage, wie ein faschistisches (intolerantes) System quasi aus dem Nichts entstehen kann. Es ist nicht durch den Führer sondern durch die vielen Mitläufer determiniert, di
Jul 25, 2011 Ashleigh rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 10, 2010 Theresa rated it it was amazing
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 g ...more
Aug 17, 2011 Jequan rated it really liked it
This book is about a true incident that occured in a high school in Palo Alto, California. In one of the histroy classes, teacher Ben Ross showed his students a video about the holocaust. After the video 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 couldnt answer his students questions, so after school he checked out a bunch of ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
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 beha
Sep 16, 2015 Lastik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lecturas-2015
una historia corta pero concisa que cuenta lo que quería demostrarse con el experimento pero acabó saliendo mal. Un gran estudio de las relaciones sociales y el como reaccionaríamos ante una situación extrema. Y nos hace reflexionar en los sucesos del pasado y cómo podría volver a pasar en un futuro (quien sabe, si cercano)

Más sobre mi opinión en la reseña del blog
Apr 28, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Книгата е част от задължителната учебна програма в Германия и Австрия (8.-10. клас), често заедно с немската й екранизация; в много училища се правят и театрални постановки. И макар да е в раздела класика, обяснимо е желанието тя да стигне до максимален брой хора, за да обясни и напомня един твърде чувствителен момент от историята им.
Проблемите и въпросите, които засяга, преминават държавните граници и са все още актуални. Автокрацията е жива и лесно осъществима. Следващият фюрер дреме в нас ил
Feb 18, 2015 Ricky rated it it was amazing
The Wave Book Review

The book The Wave was written by Morton Rhue and Todd Strasser.It was about a fictional book written about a real story. Set in Palo Alto, California, in 1969, the book was about a teacher, Ben Ross, who was having trouble explaining the Nazi rule over Germany. It was one of those books where you feel intrigued when you read it and feel the need to read more. I liked how there was a hook at the beginning of the book, which probably persuaded a lot of the readers to finish it
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“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? “We can stop you, and we will!” 0 likes
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