Tiffany Cooke's Reviews > The Wave

The Wave by Todd Strasser
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Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: 2011, historical-fiction, young-adult
Recommended for: Teachers doing a unit on the Holocaust
Read in March, 2011, read count: 2

The Wave by Todd Strasser is an awesome book for reluctant adolescent readers, if they have enough background knowledge on The Holocaust and Germany in WWII.
This book is based on a true story of a high school history teacher in California in 1969. He is teaching his class about WWII and the Holocaust. His students have mixed reactions to the lesson. Some students are horrified at what they saw in the video. Other students felt it was a sad event, but it had no bearing on life today. Still others question how the German people could allow this to happen.
Their teacher decides to set up a simulation to show his students how people could fall into this type of thinking. His simulation is a shocking success and is soon spreading around the school. The teacher and the students begin to lose themselves in The Wave. The Wave gets out of control fast and shocking parallels to Nazi Germany occur.
My students love this book and it has led to amazing discussions and connections in class. We have learned about WWII, the Holocaust, and Hitler's Youth. We have looked at the editorial cartoons from Dr. Seuss during WWII and learned to evaluate propaganda posters from all the countries involved in the war. They have made intriguing connections with current events in the middle east and with bullying in our school.
I highly recommend this book to all teachers. It is scary to see the power we weild in our students' lives. I also recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WWII or for teachers teaching a unit on The Holocaust.
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