I don't think I ever read this book in school. I do remember seeing my high school put on a stage production of this. I'm not sure what made me think of it, but thought I'd give it a try.
The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a history class in Palo Alto, California in 1969.
Ben Ross is a high school, teacher at Gordon High School. He shows his students a video of Hitler as part of their studies on WWII. His students are mortified. They cannot understand how everyone accepted this view. They question how this could happen. They are convinced, it could never happen again.
So the next day, Ben introduces his students to discipline. And strength. And later action. He creates a symbol (the wave) and even has a salute. Soon, his students are recruiting new members. While they are disciplined and getting through their work, they are starting the threaten those that do not want to be a part of their group. They are excluding others. They have... become what they felt would never happen.
While not the best books ever written, the idea and what occurs is not just something you can see, it's something that is happening. It's something to be concerned about.
Moral of the story; if in your heart it feels wrong, then it is wrong.