Author: Todd Strasser (Morton Rhue)
Plot: The book The Wave is based on a true story and it’s about an experiment that doesn’t go as expected. It all starts in a history class where the teacher, Ben Ross, is showing his class a short movie about the Nazis in Germany during the Second World War. After the movie some of the students are in a bit of a chock and ask Ben how come the German citizens didn’t do anything to stop the Nazis. Ben then decides to conduct an experiment with his students, but without them knowing about it, to show them how easy it’s to lose your own mind when you’re a part of something much bigger. He creates what he calls “The Wave”, a community where he’s the leader, and the key to success is through community, discipline, and action. But just after a few days the experiment goes really out of hand. All of a sudden there’s a “we” and a “them” and those who aren’t a part of The Wave get excluded and some even get beaten up. Ben doesn't know what he’s going to do, should he stop the experiment or should he see how far the students will go?
Thoughts about the book: I really like this book although it’s kind of short, because it’s interesting to see just how easy individuals can stop being individual and think for themselves when they’re a part of a bigger group. But also how far they can go without noticing all the bad things that are happening because of this group. This book is still relevant today because it’s a reminder of the the things that once happened and how easily they could happen again. It tells us about the experiment as a story which makes it easier for the reader to understand. It also creates a discussion about the ethics of this experiment and whether it’s okay to conduct an experiment like this or not.
The fact that the writer, Morton Rhue, has several different main characters that all see The Wave in different ways is another thing that makes it easier to really understand the message that Morton Rhue wants to give. But even though I like that the book has more than one main character I still find the characters a bit dull and boring. I would want them to have a deeper personality and I think that would make the story better because it then would feel even more realistic.
You can really see that The Wave is meant to be read by teenagers and young adults when you read the book. The language is easy to follow and there are a lot of dialogues in the book. And even though one of the main characters is Ben, the teacher, it still feels like there’s more focus on the students and how they feel about the experiment. To create this young adult setting Morton Rhue even gives his students teenage problems so that it will be easier for the young adult readers to put themselves in the situation and understand it.
Rating: 8/10.I like it a lot and I think that everyone should read it because it really makes you understand how something like the situation in Germany during the Second World War could happen and how we should prevent it from happening again.