#BookReview: The Wave by Todd Strasser #War #History #Holocaust

Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from a book I read in school, The Wave by Todd Strasser. This is a classic read, which I feel holds a message as relevant today as ever. Here’s my review >>>

About the Book:


The Waveย is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969.

The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a “new” system to his students. And before longย The Wave, with its rules of “strength through discipline, community, and action”, sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum ofย The Waveย and realize they must stop it before it’s too late.


My Review:


As relevant today as ever

I first read this book in school and its message stayed with me all these years–I’ll refrain from admitting to just how many years that is!

This book is a fictionalised version of events that actually happened in Palo Alto, California, in 1969, during a school history class. The fact that The Wave took off so quickly and easily serves to highlight the importance of teaching history and keeping its lessons alive. Especially historical atrocities as related to wars and genocides.

Here are some lines that stood out for me …

Thank God man had not invented a way to convey smells through film, because the worst thing of all would have been the stench of it, the stench of the most heinous act ever committed in the history of the human race.’ย … As the world was in 1969.

And …

‘A wave is a pattern of change. It has movement, direction, and impact.’

While it’s a disturbing read, it’s an important one, and I’m so glad I reacquainted myself with this book.

As relevant today as ever,ย The Waveย gets a resounding five stars from me.


NOTE ON RATINGS:ย I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER โ€” Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! โ€” An okay read. Didnโ€™t love it. Didnโ€™t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS โ€”Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA โ€”Lots of issues with this book.


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

Iโ€™d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


26 Comments on “#BookReview: The Wave by Todd Strasser #War #History #Holocaust

  1. As a fascinated reader of everything WWII, thanks for sharing this tantalizing review for this book, which I’ve just added to my list. <3

  2. Thank you for such a relevant post on a very frightening issue, Harmony. “There are none so blind as those who will not see!”

    I’ve made note of this book though I’ll have to read it at a time when I can handle it without going berserk in frustrated anger. And I agree with pretty much all of what’s been said above.

    Thank you for sharing your review. <3

    • Thanks so much, Marcia! Yes, definitely a read for a time when youโ€™re feeling on top in general. Hugs and love ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I used to teach this book to my high schoolers back when teachers had the autonomy to teach whatever books they wanted. I always connected it with my Holocaust unit when we also read Night by Elie Wiesel. The lessons within the book are so powerful. Thanks for shining a light on it, Harmony!

    Yvette M Calleiro ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I hate this stuff isnโ€™t part of our national curriculum anymore. Great you used to teach it! Thanks, Yvi, and for sharing about the book! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This sound fascinating but terrifying too. I always want to understand the why of things.

  5. I recall hearing about the original experiment, though I don’t remember where I heard it from.

    I read a non-fiction books several months back that included a section on the holocaust and I could barely get through it.

    The book sounds frightening but also incredibly eye-opening.

    • I struggle enough reading fiction never mind actual accounts. Well done for persevering! This is a scary read that weโ€™d do well to re-introduce into the school curriculum โ€ฆ but, of course, itโ€™s not โ€˜wokeโ€™ and will likely get added to the โ€˜Fahrenheit 451โ€™ burning list instead! Thanks, Mae ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This is an important message for today since so many people claim to be “woke” and want to erase the parts of history that don’t fit into their ideal way of life. I’m reading a fictional book set during World War II. The things the Nazis did were atrocious.

    • Agreed on all points! I wish people truly would โ€˜wakeโ€™ up. Thanks, Joan ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Group Think scares me terribly, and it is the reason I don’t identify with one political party or another. In the name of whatever, people justify their actions in the group. And like Nazis, they shelve their humanity for “the cause”. This sounds like a powerful book — timely and revelatory. Thank you for sharing it with readers, Harmony. ๐Ÿ’™

    • I agree with everything youโ€™ve said, my friend. I donโ€™t allow anyone else to tell me what to think โ€ฆ a danger of the so-called โ€˜newsโ€™ channels these days, which give us โ€˜commentaryโ€™ in addition to telling the story? Thanks, Gwen ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Such a timely and important topic. And to think it was written… when were you in school? Five years ago? ๐Ÿ˜

    Great review, Harmony.

    • Yep โ€ฆ five years sounds about right โ€ฆ ahem ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคญ! Thanks, Staci ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Your usual great review but of a book which could carry a vital message for today.from a historical perspective. Thank you. Massive Hugs

    • For certain. Frightening what short memories we humans have and how history repeats itself. Thanks, David. Huge hugs ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Great review, Harmony.

    Have you read Touching The Wire by Rebecca Bryn? “Enjoy” is the wrong word, but it’s a powerful story.

    • Thatโ€™s on my to read list as of now. Thanks for the recommendation, Sarah ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

    • It is, even more so as I watch so much terrible history repeating itself. Thanks, Toni ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

    • It is a scary read, especially as it happened so long along but resonates so strongly with the present day. Thanks, John ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚