The Wave by Todd Strasser

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The Wave
Todd Strasser
Dell Publishing Co., Inc, 1981, 138p, $5.50
0-440-99371-


It is possible that many in the world have had visions about being in control of others. But what if the power you possess becomes so powerful that it is almost impossible to stop what you have created? For Ben Ross, one of the protagonists in Todd Strasser’s novel The Wave, his powerful leadership among his students is taken too far until his dictatorial authority becomes viral and everyone is under his command. Only Ben can put a stop to his own experiment before it spreads beyond his school. Will he choose to end his own experiment, or continue it until he creates a corrupt world?

Throughout this year, Ben Ross’ high school class has easily managed to detach themselves from his teaching, with the exception of a few star students, and it seems that nothing interests or motivates his students. Instead, at the end of each period, Ben is left with a class half asleep. It is not until their study of World War II, does the class become deeply disturbed by a clip of people being slaughtered in concentration camps. Apart from the students’ reaction to the clip, Ben sees this as an opportunity to begin an experiment and continue to engross his students. However, it is not before long that his class experiment is spread to other classes and people miss there own classes to join Ben’s. His whole school is involved and neither parents nor teachers can stop the powerful group that Ben Ross has started.

Todd Strasser’s writing was so vivid that I almost felt as if I were sitting in the front row of Mr. Ross’ class. In addition, Strasser’s use of dialogue between each of the characters was so engrossing it was almost impossible to unglue my eager eyes. Every page was an adventure because it was always a mystery as to what Ben would do next with his students, or how many more students would become involved in his experiment. The Wave is an amazing book that teaches everyone not to become obsessed with power, no matter how much he or she possess it. This engaging novel is for anyone who is ready to leap into a world of human dynamics. I rate it a five out of five stars.





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