The Wave – The Beginning of Disaster
Hey, everyone! Today I’m blogging about a book called The Wave by Todd Strasser.
The Wave, the first 4 chapters that I’ve read of it, is somewhat slow. Kind of an introduction to all of the characters and the setting.
Some of those characters that are introduced are Laurie Saunders, Amy Smith, Mr. (Ben) Ross and his wife Mrs. (Christy) Ross, David Collins, and many more.
As the editor – in – chief of The Grapevine, the newspaper of Gordon High School, Laurie was troubled by the lateness of the issues. She didn’t think her staff was disciplined enough, but did not know what to do about it. As she passed Mr. Gabondi’s French class, she saw her best friend Amy Smith and tried to catch her attention. Though, unfortunately, she also caught Mr. Gabondi’s attention and almost got in trouble, but thankfully the bell rang just in time. Amy joined her and they continued to Mr. Ross’ History class.
Mr. Ross was in his classroom, having trouble with the projector (as he did with many things that were mechanical). Despite his lack of mechanical skills, he definitely had a reputation as an outstanding teacher. The other teachers and workers were divided on their opinions of Ben – some liked his energy and creativity, while others thought he should be more traditional. For his part, Ben was troubled by the attitude of many of his students, who valued their social lives much more than their homework. As the students started to enter class, Ross enlists the help of David Collins for the projector. Robert Billings was made fun of by Brad when he dully asks if they’ll be watching a movie that day. As class began, Ross warned students about homework getting too sloppy – the third time he’d done so that semester.
Mr. Ross’ class was studying World War 2, and the film they watched was about the Nazi concentration camps. Ross spoke of Hitler’s rise to power, anti – Semitism, and the Final Solution. The class was so absolutely shocked by the millions who died in this manner, which didn’t surprise Ben, considering the comfortable middle class way they were raised. When asked if all Germans were Nazis, Mr. Ross told them that less than 10% were party members. When asked why no one tried to stop the Nazis, Mr. Ross explained that most Germans said that they’d not even known of the camps’ existence. The students scoffed at this, exclaiming that they would never had let such a thing happen if they were in that situation.
David Collins had already finished his lunch when Laurie joined him. Together, they watched as Robert Billings sat at a lunch table and the two girls that had been sitting there leave. They wondered if anything was wrong with Robert or something, but Laurie was still thinking about the Nazi video. She lost her appetite, leaving David to eat most of her lunch. Amy Smith and Brian Ammon joined them. David was part of the football team and Brian was the team’s quarterback; he had two trays of food, wanting to gain weight before the game against Clarkstown. Laurie asked if they have a chance of winning this game; David wasn’t sure since the team was the opposite of organized and definitely not motivated. David then asked about calculus, as he wanted to prepare for studying engineering in college.
All four students continued to watch Robert Billings as he read a Spider – Man comic book. Brian mentioned that Robert slept through the Nazi movie, and David pointed out Laurie was still upset over what they’d seen. Out of annoyance, Laurie brought Amy with her to the Grapevine office. They hung out around there for a while.
Ben Ross was troubled by his inability to answer his students’ questions about why the Germans had even allowed the Holocaust to happen. On his way home, he stopped at the library to take out books on the subject. It seemed that historians hadn’t really had any answers about the acquiescence of the German people, leaving him to wonder if it had to be experienced to be understood – and further, if it could be recreated in his classroom as some sort of experiment…