The Wave is a YA historical fiction book that takes The Third Wave classroom experiment from 1967 into a modern-day setting. Students in Burt Ross' history classroom don't understand how Nazism was able to become so powerful- surely the people would have realized their actions were wrong and stop it, right? Wrong. To illustrate how powerful peer pressure and human desire to gain social power can overpower moral beliefs, Mr. Ross creates a fake movement called The Wave. But the experiment grows quickly out of hand and it is up to two students of their school newspaper to expose the truth and stop it.
When I've learned about the Nazis in school I've had the same questions that these kids had. How could these ordinary people turn into monsters and think killing millions of children is acceptable? How can loving, kind people suddenly forget their morals and be brainwashed so easily? Like their teacher, mine haven't exactly had the best answers either. The Wave explains everything- it's like something clicked in my brain after reading it. How come I hadn't heard of this before? As an editor of my school newspaper, I also loved the influence of their newspaper.
I found this story absolutely fascinating. There is no question in my mind that this event should be taught in all history classes and this book should be required reading in schools worldwide to teach us a valuable lesson about the dangers of sacrificing moral beliefs in favor of social acceptance and self-worth. This book reminds and questions the readers beliefs and puts them in their shoes. The Wave is very thought provoking. If you were in this situation, what would you do? Would you blindly follow the leader regardless of the outcome or would you find the strength to think for yourself?
I highly recommend this book!
Title: The Wave
Author: Todd Strasser
Publisher: Laurel Leaf Books
Rating: 5 Stars