The Wave

The Wave

[a Novel]

eBook - 1981
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.

This novel dramatizes an incident that took place in a California school in 1969. A teacher creates an experimental movement in his class to help students understand how people could have followed Hitler. The results are astounding. The highly disciplined group, modeled on the principles of the Hilter Youth, has its own salute, chants, and special ways of acting as a unit and sweeps beyond the class and throughout the school, evolving into a society willing to give up freedom for regimentation and blind obedience to their leader. All will learn a lesson that will never be forgotten.

Baker & Taylor
Tells the story of a high school history class experiment that frighteningly demonstrated the power of fascism.

Publisher: Carmel, Calif. : Hampton-Brown, c1981
ISBN: 9780307979131
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 20, 2018

"The Wave" book is based on a true story (and is a novelization of the 1981 ABC-TV movie called "The Wave" by Norman Lear, which got an Emmy). The real teacher, Ron Jones, did this experiment on his history class of 10th graders during a Holocaust lesson, back in 1967 in a Palo Alto, California high school. There is now a documentary film, called "Lesson Plan", which features Mr. Jones and several students describing how the experiment went, how they felt, and what they learned. It was in the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival, and can be found now at

Nov 25, 2017

This is an amazing book! I read it for my Humanites class and I loved it. The book is about Laurie Saunders and David Collins and their adventure in this movement called "The Wave". It shows how the German people could have done nothing to stop the Nazis. The book is based on a real event that happened in a school in the US. This makes the story seem even more realistic and in a way, scary.

booklady413 Sep 08, 2014

A look at how cults and group indoctrination can spread like a disease. Based on a true story , Strasser's novel reveals how an experiment by a high school history teacher called the wave takes over the whole school. Ben only wanted to show how someone like Adolph Hitler could have convinced the people of Nazi Germany that he was the best solution to their problems, and how they followed him like sheep. A great tie in with this book for a history project on youth and Nazi Germany is Swing Kids.

Mar 25, 2014

very good book, must read.

May 02, 2013

Attached to a true story, THE WAVE is shocking in that it occurred; far-fetched as it may seem, it exposes the ease of growth for the roots of Nazism. This fictionalized account of the incident in 1969 tells the story of innovative history teacher Ben Ross and how it created an unquestioning student movement that observed disciplined unity first as equality, but then as superiority, wreaking havoc on the high school. Don't get me wrong; it won't be celebrated as a classic. It's simply not that kind of book, but written in such a terse manner, it would be ideal for a book report, simple young adult fiction with a tantalizing twist.

Mar 06, 2013


Aug 24, 2011

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!

Mar 26, 2011

Awesome book describing to kids and adults a like i a fictionalized way about how it would have been under Nazi occupation during WWII.


Add Age Suitability
lou687 Jun 28, 2013

lou687 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 02, 2013

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top