The Wave

The Wave

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - New)

$6.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 30

Overview

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440993711
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/28/1981
Edition description: New
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 134,838
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.94(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Todd Strasser is the author of more than 120 novels for young adults and middle graders. He lives in a suburb of New York. Visit him online at www.toddstrasser.com.

Read an Excerpt

Laurie Saunders 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.

Laurie looked around the small office, a room filled with desks, typewriters, and light tables. At that moment there should have been kids at each one of those typewriters, punching out stories for The Gordon Grapevine, the school paper. The art and layout staff should have been working at the light tables, laying out the next issue. But instead the room was empty except for Laurie. The problem was that it was a beautiful day outside.

Laurie felt the plastic tube of the pen crack. Her mother had warned her once that someday she would chew on a pen until it splintered and a long plastic shard would lodge in her throat and she would choke to death on it. Only her mother could have come up with that, Laurie thought with a sigh.

She looked up at the clock on the wall. Only a few minutes were left in the period anyway. There was no rule that said anyone had to work in the publications office during their free periods, but they all knew that the next edition of The Grapevine was due out next week. Couldn't they give up their Frisbees and cigarettes and suntans for just a few days in order to get an issue of the paper out on time?

Laurie put her pen back in her pocketbook and started to gather up her notebooks for the next period. It was hopeless. For the three years she'd been on staff, The Grapevine had always been late. And now that she was the editor-in-chief it made no difference. The paper would be done when everyone got around to doing it.

Pulling the door of the publications office closed behind her, Laurie stepped out into the hall. It was practically empty now; the bell to change classes had not yet rung, and there were only a few students around. Laurie walked down a few doors, stopped outside a classroom, and peered through the window.

Inside, her best friend, Amy Smith, a petite girl with thick, curly, Goldilocks hair, was trying to endure the final moments of Mr. Gabondi's French class. Laurie had taken French with Mr. Gabondi the year before and it had been one of the most excruciatingly boring experiences of her life. Mr. Gabondi was a short, dark, heavyset man who always seemed to be sweating, even on the coldest winter days. When he taught, he spoke in a dull monotone that could easily put the brightest student to sleep, and even though the course he taught was not difficult, Laurie recalled how hard it had been to pay enough attention to get an A.

Now watching her friend struggle to stay interested, Laurie decided she needed some cheering up. So, positioning herself outside the door where Amy could see her but Gabondi could not, Laurie crossed her eyes and made an idiotic face. Amy reacted by putting her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing. Laurie made another face and Amy tried not to look, but she couldn't help turning back to see what her friend was doing next. Then Laurie did her famous fish face: she pushed her ears out, crossed her eyes, and puckered her lips. Amy was trying so hard not to laugh that tears started to roll down her cheeks.

Laurie knew she shouldn't make any more faces. Watching Amy was too funny—anything could make her laugh. If Laurie did any more, Amy would probably fall out of her seat and roll into the aisle between the desks. But Laurie couldn't resist. Turning her back to the door to create some suspense, she screwed up her mouth and eyes, and then spun around.

Standing at the door was a very angry Mr. Gabondi. Behind him Amy and the rest of her class were in hysterics. Laurie's jaw dropped. But before Gabondi could reprimand her, the bell rang and his class was suddenly spilling out into the hall around him. Amy came out holding her sides in pain from laughing so hard. As Mr. Gabondi glared at them, the two girls went off arm in arm toward their next class, too out of breath to laugh anymore.

In the classroom where he taught history, Ben Ross crouched over a film projector, trying to thread a film through the complex maze of rollers and lenses. This was his fourth attempt and he still hadn't gotten it right. Frustrated, Ben ran his fingers through his wavy brown hair. All his life he had been befuddled by machinery—film projectors, cars, even the self-service pump at the local gas station drove him bananas.

He had never been able to figure out why he was so inept in that way, and so when it came to anything mechanical, he left it to Christy, his wife. She taught music and choir at Gordon High, and at home she was in charge of anything that required manual dexterity. She often joked that Ben couldn't even be trusted to change a light bulb correctly, although Ben insisted this was an exaggeration. He had changed a number of light bulbs in his life and could only recall breaking two in the process.

Thus far in his career at Gordon High—Ben and Christy had been teaching there for two years—he had managed to hide his mechanical inabilities. Or rather, they had been overshadowed by his growing reputation as an outstanding young teacher. Ben's students spoke of his intensity—the way he got so interested and involved in a topic that they couldn't help but be interested also. He was "contagious," they'd say, meaning that he was charismatic. He could get through to them.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Wave (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 147 reviews.
iluvvideo More than 1 year ago
A fictionalized account of real life events. A high school teacher dismayed by his students laid back, disinterest to his lesson about Hitler and the Holocaust decides to try an experiment. What if, a society could be invented, stressing group conformity vs. individual thought; social equality for all members; and rigid adherence to discipline? And so began the Wave. At first all seemed well. More attentive students, more material covered, increased group and individual pride and most of all a sense of belonging. Sounds good, huh? But at what cost? If in fact I did not know that this in fact DID happen (Ron Jones 1967), with disastrous results I would not have believed it still possible. However, such groups offer some gains, but can also invite mindless conformity, violence and even mob rule. Hopefully this book helps teach a very important lesson to us all. Be yourself, whatever that may be. And even more importantly, think for yourself. We'll all be better off if you do!
nyrich More than 1 year ago
This book was assigned to my daughter for 7th Grade English and I was intrigued by its concept, so decided to read it. I have no regrets. It is undoubtedly young reader fare, but that just makes it a quick read for grown-ups. It does not in any devalue the story contained therein. This is a lesson that adults should read as well, particularly those who blindly follow a person or an ideology without considering whether he/it is right for them or supports their values. Sometimes the simplest parable is the most powerful lesson of all.
Amanni More than 1 year ago
I read this book in many different grades in elementary and high school. I loved it every time I read it. It's a fascinating read, definitely recommended for everyone! Also - this book is muccccchhhh better than any movie version they've ever some out with.
Lil_Nil More than 1 year ago
I liked this novel. It caught my interest early and if you like a book that requires a familiarity with history, this is a good book. I'd recommend this book for any of my friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for summer reading and I couldn't take my eyes off it. After every chapter I wanted to learn what would happen next. I finished it before summer came! It's a very good book and I suggest to anyone to read it because it teaches a life-long lesson. If you have nothing to do on a rainy day, I suggest that you read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short, but awesome!!! I highly reccomemd it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The wave (book and miovie) are a very amazing, frigtening, and true story that i would recomend to people ages10+.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book... Makes you wonder.
B-RAD95 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book! My teacher made my class read one of two books this book or The Giver. But since I have already read The Giver I choose The Wave but my teacher said I had to read The Giver so I asked if I could have a copy of The Wave to read at home. I couldn't put it down. It really shows how people can get carried away and go to far even if they are with good intentions. Like they say history is bound to repeat its self. Thank god it wasn't on that large a scale as Nazism was but it was still bad. But the book was excellent and shows how something like that can come between people, cause controversy in your mind, and cause violence. I would recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wondered how your school would be if it turned its thinking the way Adolf Hilter did to the Jews. Well Mr. Ross taught the students the way of life ruled by Adolf Hitler. This lead to the effect that Adolf Hilter had on all of his soldiers. Giving the student the knowledge of how he really got his whole entire party. To follow him and his ways. Middle School students and Up will enjoy this book if you like History and WW2 and the rise and fall of the Nazis and the Jews.If you have not read this book, READ IT!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for school beacuse it was part of an assignment. At first I thought it would be a fun book to read and it sounded interesting. Then when I finished the book i was so dissapointed. It was a total waste of time. The Wave was a dumb experiment that these immature students took way too seriously. I understand that this is based on a true story but it seems so unrealistic. The characters seem so gullible an codependent. It was as if the needed the Wave to survive and they couldnt think or do anything for themselves. Over all, I think that the author could have done a better job. THIS BOOK SUCKED!!!!!!!
farfromkansas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first heard about The Wave when I was a grad student at Stanford University: one of our professors spent half a class session talking about a ¿classroom experiment¿ that had happened in Palo Alto, and what the students (as well as the community) learned from the experience. That teacher, Ron Jones, was a celebrated instructor at a Palo Alto high school and his attempt to teach the students about Nazi Germany resulted in a truly singular life lesson that cannot be replicated. In an attempt to recreate the experience of Jones¿s students, Todd Strasser has written The Wave, a thinly-veiled fictionalization of the event; however, while this is novel is a valiant attempt to retell the events of that Palo Alto classroom, the power of the novel comes primarily from the retelling of Jones¿s teaching and lesson, not from the novel¿s prose.In Strasser¿s novel, a young teacher named Ben Ross creates a culture of ¿discipline, community, and action¿ (called ¿The Wave¿) within his classroom in order to teach his students about the creation of a fascist society. Much to the surprise of Ross and some of his students, The Wave quickly takes on a life of its own¿ and threatens to spiral out of control. Although the novel might seem to veer off into unrealistic fiction (calling to mind echoes of George Orwell¿s dystopian societies), the text never deviates from the events that actually occurred in the classroom of Ron Jones in the late 1960¿s. Nevertheless, young students today might find kindred souls within Strasser¿s believable (albeit two-dimensional) characters, even though the author never fully fleshes out the characters. The biggest weakness of the novel is actually Strasser, himself: the quality of his writing never fully matches the strength of the story: while the prose often feels artless and clunky, it is the plot itself that carries the novel through to its powerful conclusion.Like Ben Ross¿s 12th-graders in the novel, many students today might wonder how Hitler managed to enthrall so many young people with the Nazi movement; The Wave allows adolescent students the opportunity to see firsthand how such a movement is capable of building up so much momentum. While the prose of The Wave might seem too stilted and unnatural for a high school audience, the book could be very successfully taught in a middle school classroom; in this way, a teacher might be able to make the distant horrors of the Holocaust and World War II come to life for students in a very realistic, believable fashion.
iluvvideo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fictionalized account of real life events.A high school teacher dismayed by his students laid back, disinterest to his lesson about Hitler and the Holocaust decides to try an experiment. What if, a society could be invented, stressing group conformity vs. individual thought; social equality for all members; and rigid adherence to discipline? And so began the Wave. At first all seemed well. More attentive students, more material covered, increased group and individual pride and most of all a sense of belonging. Sounds good, huh? But at what cost? If in fact I did not know that this in fact DID happen (Ron Jones 1967), with disastrous results I would not have believed it still possible. However, such groups offer some gains, but can also invite mindless conformity, violence and even mob rule. Hopefully this book helps teach a very important lesson to us all. Be yourself, whatever that may be. And even more importantly, think for yourself. We'll all be better off if you do!
jensha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting and short read about a high school teachers experiment with group conformity. How quickly young minds can be swayed, making it all to obvious how the Hitler Youth movement existed and how "thousands watched and did nothing". Really powerful for a group discussion ... maybe as a read-aloud in class. Now quite dated -- technology and the lives of high schoolers and their teachers.
heike6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is short, and it seemed to be on everyone's reading list this past summer. It also sounded interesting, despite the fact that it is a "novelization of a teleplay [...] based on a short story." It is about a high school history class experiment in 1969 that a teacher started in order to help the students understand how the Nazis rose to power. The experiment got a little out of control, but the book ended well with a solid lesson. I couldn't think of a better way for kids to learn this lesson, and I highly recommend the book. It is very realistic and is written in a manner that any middle or high school student would understand as a modern high school experience.
keristars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Apparently this book is highly recommended for adolescents because of its lessons about peer pressure and bullying, or somesuch. It was an assigned book in my adolescent literature class, which seemed odd: it purports to be either a novelization of a movie based on a true story, or a novel based on a true story - I haven't been able to find out which. Either way, it reads like a novelization of a movie, as though someone were translating a movie script to more regular prose, complete with product placement advertising. Perhaps it has some good lessons for adolescents that a book like "Lord of the Flies" doesn't, but I couldn't get past the feeling that I was reading a made-for-tv movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a good book has a lot of history references and this is the perfect book for you. It’s a very easy read. I think this book is perfect for any age. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey is anyone on
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice book so far
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strasser is a GREAT author which is what drew my attention to "The Wave" but it was way worse than what I expected. Not at all what I wanted. "The Wave" was boring cause it didnt have "hype".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though the reviews I read I was very intrigued by this book and went on to reading it. I felt it was very unintresting, the plot felt very underdeveloped and the story felt rushed. I didn't really feel a connection to the charecters. If you have little to no knowlegde on the holocaust I think this book is for you but on the other hand if you know a lot about the holocaust I would advise to skip this read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book! I love it so much. A must read. <3