For my Book-Report I chose the novel “The Wave” written by Morton Rhue in 1931 and published 1932. The Wave is Rhue’s most famous noveln.
Other novels written by him:
  • Boot Camp
  • Give a Boy a Gun
  • Nightmare Inn
The Wave is a novelization of a social experiment.
The story takes place in Palo Alto, California in 1969 and is based on a true story!
It was made into a television movie in 1981 and a popular feature film in 2008. This book has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is read in schools around the world.
First time I heard about the book was, when my older brother Thomas finished it and said, that it is a good book, and I should also read it.
I read the book very fast and after I had finished it, I also watched the new film about it.
I was very enthused from the plot, but maybe the film could be better. I think at the final scenes were too much “Hollywood-Dramatic”.


Ben Ross:
An intelligent young history teacher with brown hairs and blue eyes, who is the leader of the Wave, but at the end he gets too far with his own experiment.
He has a wife (Christy Ross) who also teaches, but music and choir at Gordon High School. She understand her husband very well.
He often thinks about problems in his school like bad marks or homeworks.
He wants to teach his students by practical experiments,
to give them a taste of what life in Nazi Germany might have been like.

Laurie Saunders:
She is a pretty and very intelligent young girl in the age of 18, with short brown hair in Ben Ross‘ History class.
She has also a very humorous character and has some funny ideas.
The most time during school she is very attentive, especially in history.
Ben Ross is one of her favourite teachers.
She is the editor of the school-paper.
First she enjoys and supports The Wave very enthusiastic at first but continuously, as she realize the effects of it, she fights against this.

David Collins:
Laurie’s boyfriend. He is the running back on the football team.
Later, he wants to study engineering to become a computer engineer.
He was in The Wave but when he started hurting Laurie he realized what The Wave had done to him.

Morton Rhue’s story about The Wave bases on a true incident at the American Gorden High School. Ben Ross, a young history teacher, who often does experiments in his class, shows his pupils a film about the Nazi Regime and Adolph Hitler.

Afterwards all the pupils are shocked. They can’t imagine that the people of this time didn’t do anything against the Nazis.
So he creates the experiment “The Wave”. He wants to show his pupils what the life was like in the time of the Second World War.
The three rules for this idea are: “Strength through discipline”, “Strength through community” and “Strength through action”. On the third day Ross gives his students yellow membership cards. Some have a red “X” on the other side like Brian’s and Robert’s cards. Those pupils have to act like monitors.
The second “Gestapo” is born.
By the way: Brian Ammon and Robert Billings are pupils getting relatively bad marks. Especially Robert is the class loser. Robert and Brian can’t like each other, but now they have the same job.
From now The Wave is no longer an idea or a game.
The only one who feels strange about The Wave is Laurie Sanders.
She joins pupils that are also against The Wave. They are writing an article about it together. This one explains The Wave as a dangerous movement.
At this time some other students joined The Wave, too. So it becomes famous in the whole school.
Then Ben Ross recognize that he has to stop the experiment right now.
But he can’t, because if he does it, the students will have learned nothing or they will fight against Ben Ross. So he makes a plan.
He calls the students to come to a convention. He said, that their leader wants to talk to them. After controlling whether everybody who is at the convention has a membership card Mr. Ross shouts: “There is your leader!” And then he shows the film about the Nazi Regime and Adolph Hitler they had already seen again. Afterwards, he adds: “You have made some good Nazis!”
Now even the last student wakes up. They had to realize that such crimes like these of the fascist time could happen again and they could be the victims.

About the Author:

Todd Strasser, who is born in May 5, 1950 in New York is author of more than 130 young-adult novels. Some written under the pen name Morton Rhue and T.S. Rue.After studying literature in college, Strasser earned his living working as a journalist.
He is the father of two children, and an avid tennis player and surfer.Strasser has written many award-winning novels for young adults and teens, picking controversial themeslike Nazism, school shootings, and sexuality.
Strasser has also written a number of young adult series, including Impact Zone (about surfing), Drift X (about drift car competitions), and Here Comes Heavenly (about a punk nanny with magical powers). Strasser has also published articles and short stories in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times.

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