The Wave

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The Wave
Morton Rhue
1981 (18 years ago)
Published by:
Dell Publishing Co.
Type of book:
Based on a true incident
Time & Setting:
The story takes place during the late nineties in USA.
Main characters:
Ben Ross: Ben is a history teacher at the high school. He´s a good teacher and a lot of students are fond of him and thinks that his lessons are great. Ben has the ability to get really absorbed in things. If he´s seeking answers or determined to learn something he shuts off the utter world and dedicates himself to the books.

Laurie Saunders: A bright you student who works at the school paper "The Gordon Grapevine". She has a boyfriend called David Collins.
David Collins: Plays in the football team and has a relationship with Laurie.
Robert Billings: The class looser. Has bad self-esteem and doesn´t really care about school and homework. He doesn´t make much noise around himself. The other kids make jokes about him and silly and cruel pranks.

There was slang in the book and it wasn´t hard to understand. Sure there were a few words that I didn´t know the exact meaning of but I still understood the concept after reading the whole sentence.

There are no flashbacks in the book. It is viewed so that you will understand the person in main focus. Mostly it´s about Ben Ross or Laurie Saunders.

The book is about learning something in life. It´s about how easy it is for a group to lose its´ freedom.

The writer is telling us that we should have questions about everything. That we shouldn´t just join anything without knowing what it is. And also he´s saying that it is so easy to fall in the trap without you noticing it so you better be careful.

The Wave - Review

The book is about how a history teacher in a high school wants to show and explain to his students how easy it is to join a group, and give away all your rights to be independent.

It all started with a movie about the Second World War. The students asked the teacher, Ben Ross after seeing an upsetting movie about Nazis how come the Germans didn´t stop the Nazis if only 10% of the population were Nazis?
Ben couldn´t answer that himself so in the evening he was absorbed in a pile of books, seeking for the answer. When his wife and business associate Christy came home and saw her husband surrounded by the books, she sighed and thought to herself "hope he isn´t going to be as absorbed in all this as he has the ability to be when he is determined to find out about something".

The next morning on class he wrote on the blackboard "Strength through discipline". When he started to lecture about what he meant his students actually listened, to his big surprise. To demonstrate what he meant he put up some rules:

- Always begin the question with, "Mr. Ross".
- Stand at the side of your desk while talking.
- Always bring pencil and notepaper to class.
After practising a couple of minutes with the rules, Lauren. (A student in his class, which has by the way very good grades) could feel the energy and force like the class was one unit. But there was something else too, and she wasn´t sure that she liked that feeling.

The following day Ben had not had any intentions to proceed with the group-experiment. But when he walked into the classroom and found the students sitting straight and quiets(like he had instructed them, or more like ordered to do the previous day). He just couldn´t stop. He had to go on.
The following days they came up with a salute, an emblem and a name. The Wave was the name of the organisation. Everyone got membership cards and a certain number were chosen to be "guards", that reports to Mr. Ross if anyone brakes the rules and don´t obey.

Their first mission from the leader himself was to recruit new students to The Wave. A lot of students joined cause in The Wave everyone was equals. The shy kid Robert was now with all the others and none picked on him.
Laura who had had a bad feeling about this saw what The Wave was doing to her friends and classmates - in fact the whole school. Every time in class the mottoes of The Wave "Strength trough discipline, strength trough community, strength trough action!"

The Wave got more and more scary. People had been threatened and beaten up for not joining the wave. And to the school magazine The Gordon Grapevine and anonymous letter had been sent about students picking on other students. There was fear underneath it all. To make people see the "dark side" of The Wave Laura and a few non-wave members published articles that revealed the threats etceteras. David (Laura´s boyfriend) got the mission to stop her from her "friends" Brad and Eric. But how should he stop her? And would Laura´s misgivings be confirmed? How could she stop the wave before someone else was beaten up or threatened? And before it got too long…


I think that this book was very good. I read it in only one day cause I got so absorbed in it. It was written well and the language wasn´t too hard so that you had to interrupt in the middle of the reading. I...

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Inactive member [2001-05-08]   The Wave
Mimers Brunn [Online]. [2019-01-18]

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