The Classroom Experiment that Went too Far

the waveTitleThe Wave​

Author: ​Todd Strasser

Summary: Ben Ross is a history teacher at Gordon high school during the year 1969.  During a lesson about the Holocaust,  the students question how someone as cruel and seemingly inhuman as Hitler came to power.  In an effort to reveal to them how easy it is to get swept up in a movement, Mr. Ross secretly begins an experiment in which he gets the students to unknowingly join a Nazi-like group called The Wave. The students take to it surprisingly quickly.  More quickly and powerfully than even Mr. Ross expected.  Reports of students being coerced by violence to join the movement begin to surface and only Laurie, a student in Mr. Ross’ class, is immediately opposed to the movement. A  few others join Laurie in her opposition, but the experiment is almost taken too far.  Laurie meets with Mr. Ross to tell him that the experiment has gone on too long.  Mr. Ross, realizing he himself has become a part of the experiment, agrees to end it, but tells her that she has to trust his actions the next day at school.

Six Word Review: Based on true events, very enthralling.

I started reading because: I love history and I think movements in particular are especially intriguing.

I would give this book 8/10 stars because it’s really short so it’s a quick read and it involves history.

I loved that Laurie wrote articles about the negativity of The Wave in an effort to stop the movement. I hated that the voice wasn’t stronger.

If Laurie was in a high school yearbook, she would be voted Most Likely To: Revolt and Rebel.

Anything else we should know? The Wave is based on true events that occurred in history class in Palo Alto, California.

–Regina, 18, West Seattle


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