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The Wave Paperback – January 8, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 299 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

"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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ember (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307979121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307979124
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading The Wave for my eighth grade english class and I thought it was great. I was only supposed to read up to chapter six for Monday, but I got so into the book that I finished it. I only wish that it was a little longer and that they had spent more time on the ending. It was really good to completely get a grasp on how much American youth will rely on one leader to think for them. Even though the book takes place in 1969, I think the incident could still take place today, because so many kids are still willing to follow a leader and do what the majority is doing. Deep down, The Wave really is a classic story about the effects of extreme peer pressure.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Wave by Morton Rhue
"Morton Rhue" is a pseudonym and his real name is Todd Strasser . He was born in New York City in 1950 and he grew up on Long Island (N.Y.). Todd went to the I.U. Willets Elementary School. The he went to the Wheatly School for junior high an high school. He had trouble with spelling and grammar. Later he graduated from Beloit College. He was a reporter on the Middletown (N.Y.) Times-Herald Record and an adverting copywriter before his first novel for young people, Angel Dust Blues, was published 1979. For some years he supplemented his income as the owner of Toggle Inc., a small fortune-cookie company. He and his wife, Pamela, live not far from New York City with their daughter, son, and yellow Labrador retriever. "The Wave" was the first book he had published under his pseudonym "Morton Rhue". As Todd Strasser he published more than 100 books. He wrote movie novelizations, too, for example "Free Willy", "Jumanji" or "Home alone". He got many awards for some of his books.
The book is called `The Wave', because the experiment, the teacher started is named like that. His intention is to create something, which symbolises movement, direction and impact. Then he gets the idea of calling it `The Wave' , because a wave has these characteristics. In order to give the `Wave members', his pupils, a feeling of community, he also introduces a special symbol and a special salute. The symbol is a circle with the outline of a wave inside it. The salute is to cup the right hand in the shape of a wave, then to tap it against the left shoulder and hold it upright.
Ben Ross a history teacher at an American high school is discussing the horrors of the holocaust. The students ask how all this could happen.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll start out by saying to adults out there that this is a book I would highly recommend...for your youngsters. First, it has characters that young adults like to read about--high schoolers, cheerleaders, football players, etc. Strasser also includes minor characters for break away from the action or for comic relief. I know my students enjoyed the characters, especially the girls who enjoyed the interaction between them and the fact that the progagonist is a female. Second, it deals with things that many young adults should know more about and/or have strong feelings about: the Holocaust and peer pressure. Discussing Nazi-ism with my class prior to reading the book caused them to ask many of the questions that the characters asked. The book helped them to understand the Holocaust better and lead to a discussion about peer pressure and the importance of setting your limits clearly before someone in high school pressures you into something (drugs, drinking, sex, stereotyping). Finally, it's a well written book. It has short chapters (everyone likes those), it's fast paced (because the book takes place over a week or so) and the main points are easilly understandable because the author has the characters repeat important information in different ways several times to make sure the young adult reader is not getting lost in sub-plots. In all, an excellent work that more parents or other adults should read with their children.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Ben Ross decides to illustrate how Naziism came into being, he conducts a very dangerous experiment. He insists that the students in the high school history class he teaches stand and salute when responding; he teaches them the credo "Strength through discipline!" "Action through Discipline!" The students quickly respond and one boy who had previously neglected his stuides and personal grooming transformed into a serious diligent student under this new approach.

In time, the students are so pulled under the Wave, as the movement is called. They insist that other students salute them; they conduct Wave rallies and even attack a boy because he is Jewish. Parents pressure the principal to take some action and it is only the teacher's clever way of bringing the experiment to an end with the help of two students who had their own brushes with danger involving the Wave to show just how fascism can be encouraged and developed.

This was based on an actual case in California in 1969 and it illustrates the power of group mentality. An excellent, tautly written work!
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Format: Turtleback
Can you imagine recreating a leader like Hitler and a group that followed him like the Nazis? Well, this book does. The Wave is based on a true occurance in Palo Alto, California in a High School History Class. This book is about a classroom experiment that goes too far. Mr. Ross is a High School teacher that teaches a group of students that form "The Wave". When most of the school gets caught up in "The Wave", two students realize it has gone too far. But can they stop it before it's too late? I thought The Wave was a very good book and really made you think if something like this would ever really happen again. I give The Wave 5 stars.
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