A senior at Gordon High School and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Gordon Grapevine. She is very popular and gets excellent grades. She dates David Collins, a football player.
A young, enthusiastic history teacher. He is extremely passionate about his job and loves taking on new projects. However, he easily becomes obsessed by his projects and does not always recognize their consequences for the people around him.
Laurie's best friend. Although she is very pretty and gets good grades just like Laurie, the two often compete with one another for grades, for boys, and for popularity.
The dull French teacher at Gordon High.
Ben Ross’s wife. She teaches music and choir at Gordon High.
The quarterback on the football team. He is intelligent but unmotivated, and gets poor grades in school.
The ‘class loser,’ Robert gets bad grades and dresses sloppily. Mr. Ross believes Robert doesn't try hard because he is afraid of failing to live up to the example set by his overachieving brother, Jeff.
A running back on the football team and Laurie’s boyfriend. They have been dating since their sophomore year.
A handsome bully who sometimes picks on Robert.
An African-American student who believes he would never have allowed the Nazis to take power. He plays on the football team with David and Brian.
Robert’s older brother. Jeff graduated from high school a few years ago and was always a popular, straight-A student. He now attends medical school and is training to play baseball for the Baltimore Orioles.
The biology teacher and football coach at Gordon High. He is bitter about the football team’s constant losses, so he is happy when The Wave seems like it will help the team win.
The principal of Gordon High. He becomes aggravated when parents start to get upset about The Wave.
The investigative reporter for The Gordon Grapevine. He is good friends with Alex and is among the first students to become uncomfortable with The Wave.
The music reviewer for The Grapevine and class clown.
Christy Ross’s tennis partner.
A junior on the football team. He is Brian Ammon’s rival, and wants to take Brian’s place as first-string quarterback.
Laurie’s father. He manages a division of “a large semiconductor company” (48) and plays golf as a hobby.
Laurie’s mother. She is very intelligent and knowledgeable about politics.
A senior in Mr. Ross's history class who stands up spontaneously to say how much he likes The Wave.
The Wave Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Wave is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Christy has a flashback in Chapter Four of a previous project her husband was involved in. She remembers how the project became his whole world at the expense of everything else. Mr. Ross becomes easily obsessed with ideas.