The wave is about a history teacher whose name is Ben Ross. His class was starting to study the time that Hitler began making all the Jewish people stay in camps. Ben Ross could not find a way to get his class interested into this time period, so he decided to try to make a group, He would play like a Hitler type scenario and his class would be the Jewish people. He would make this group open to the whole school. Ben Ross told his idea to his class. He announced the group, and he had a pretty good turnout. They called the group that wave and they made a handshake, and a symbol. Laurie a girl in Ben Ross’s class joined the wave at first and was in it for a while, but she saw that it was becoming way too serious. She decided to drop out of the wave. The wave became so popular that almost all the school was in the group. Ben Ross started to dress in suits, instead of his usual jeans and a nice shirt. He started to dress like a dictator. Ben Ross had the kids in his group sit with very good posture, and if they wanted to talk they had to address him as sir and they Stood up and talked very crisp and clear. When they were through talking they had to sit back down the proper position. Ben Ross thought that his experiment was going really good. All the kids were really taking it serious and he was enjoying it too. Laurie who quit the group saw that everyone was in the wave and she was on the staff of the Gordon Grapevine the school newspaper she decide to write and article about how everyone was taking this wave thing way to serious. Her article in the paper was published and everyone saw what she wrote.
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This made all of the group members very upset, they started to threaten her, and make her feel left out because she had quit the wave. Laurie had a boyfriend David who was in the wave, kept telling her that she should join the wave again, he didn’t realize that why she didn’t want to be in the group. This was splitting them apart. Laurie and David were talking one night and David brought up that she still was not in the wave, and she needed to join the wave. Laurie told him that she did not want to be involved in it, it was getting way to serious. People were getting hurt. David got really mad and grabbed her arm. He then saw what he was doing and let go it made him very mad. He knew it was all because of a silly group he was in. He was hurting someone that he really cared about. David then decided that he needed to drop out. The wave started to get very too serious, kids started to threaten and even beat up other kids that weren’t in the wave. They were not one of them so they had to be taught a lesson. Ben Ross discovered that his wave group was getting way to serious; he called a meeting to tell his group that it was getting out of hand. He realized this when he discovered that other kids were getting hurt just because they choose not to participate in the group. He told them that he never meant for it to get this far out of hand. He also told them that he had to put a stop to it now. It was good lessons until it got out of hand. This book was based on a true story that happened in a High School History class in Palo Alto, California.