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Todd Strasser

Author of The Wave

159+ Works 14,742 Members 352 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Todd Strasser was born in New York City. While still a child, Strasser and his parents moved to Roslyn Heights, New York on Long Island. Strasser attended the I.U. Willets Elementary school and then the Wheatley School for junior high and high school. Strasser went to college at New York University show more for a few years, before dropping out. He lived on a commune, and then in Europe, where he was a street musician. While he was in Europe, Strasser wrote songs and poems in letters to his friends. He decided to try writing. Upon his return to the United States, Strasser enrolled at Beloit College where he studied literature and writing. After graduating, Strasser worked at the Middletown Times Herald-Record newspaper in Middletown, New York, and later at Compton Advertising in New York City. In 1978, he sold his first novel, Angel Dust Blues. Strasser used the money to start the Dr. Wing Tip Shoo fortune cookie company. For the next 12 years, Todd sold more fortune cookies than books. n 1990, Strasser moved to Westchester County, N.Y., where during the next few years, he wrote various movie novelizations, including Home Alone, Free Willy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Jumanji. In 1993 he wrote Help! I'm Trapped in My Teacher's Body and since then has written 16 more Help! I'm Trapped... books, as well as several other series. All together, he has published more than 100 books. Strasser is alos a speaker at schools and conferences when he is not busy writing Strasser has won numerous awards in the course of his career, including the 1995 New York State Library Association Award for Outstanding Children's Literature for the Help! I'm Trapped Series, several State Literature Awards, the 1996 International Reading Association Children's Choice as well as the 1996 Children's Book Council Children's Choice for Give a Boy a Gun and the 1996 American Library Association Best Book for Teens. He won the 1997 American Library Association Notable Book for Abe Lincoln for Class President, the 1988 American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, and was a 1988 Edgar Allan Poe nominee from the Mystery Writers of America. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Todd Strasser also writes under the pen name Morton Rhue


Works by Todd Strasser

The Wave (1981) 2,297 copies
Give a Boy a Gun (1999) 743 copies
Boot Camp (2007) 641 copies
Can't Get There from Here (2004) 378 copies
Fallout (2013) 335 copies
Wish You Were Dead (2009) 301 copies
Con-fidence (2002) 280 copies
If I Grow Up (2009) 203 copies
Too Scared to Sleep (2007) 191 copies
Blood on My Hands (2010) 173 copies
Jumanji (Novelization) (1995) 159 copies
No Place (2013) 136 copies
How I Changed My Life (1995) 132 copies
The Pagemaster (1994) 131 copies
Home Alone (1990) 124 copies
Free Willy: A Novelization (1993) 110 copies
The Diving Bell (1992) 102 copies
Too Dark to See (2008) 102 copies
The Beast of Cretacea (2015) 97 copies
Too Afraid To Scream (2008) 95 copies
Kill You Last (2011) 89 copies
Kidnap Kids (1998) 88 copies
Famous (2011) 85 copies
The Good Son (1993) 61 copies
Price of Duty (2018) 55 copies
Howl-a-Ween (1996) 55 copies
Close Call (1999) 53 copies
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) 51 copies
Rookie of the Year (1993) 50 copies
Addams Family Values (1993) — Author — 49 copies
For Money and Love (2007) 49 copies
Free Willy 3: The rescue (1997) 49 copies
The Wave (Penguin Readers) (1753) 48 copies
Shark Bite (1998) 47 copies
Summer of '69 (2019) 45 copies
Hey Dad, Get a Life! (1996) 41 copies
Mutilated Monkey Meat (1997) 40 copies
Drift X: Slide or Die (2006) 37 copies
The Accident (1988) 33 copies
Here Comes Heavenly (1999) 32 copies
Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts (1997) 31 copies
Beyond the Reef (1989) 27 copies
Richie Rich (1994) 26 copies
Thief of Dreams (2003) 26 copies
Count Your Blessings (2007) 25 copies
Friends Till the End (1981) 23 copies
Home Alone 3 (1997) 22 copies
The Good War (2021) 20 copies
Grizzly Attack (1998) 19 copies
Battle Drift (2006) 17 copies
The Mall from Outer Space (1987) 17 copies
Take Off (2004) 17 copies
Super Mario Brothers (1993) 16 copies
Close Out (2004) 16 copies
Rock 'n' Roll Nights (1982) 15 copies
Sidewayz Glory (2006) 15 copies
Angel Dust Blues (1979) 13 copies
Buzzard's Feast (1999) 12 copies
Hocus Pocus (1993) 12 copies
Cut Back (2004) 11 copies
Dance Magic (1999) 11 copies
Chopped-Up Birdy's Feet (1997) 10 copies
Pastabilities (2000) 10 copies
Summer's Promise (1993) 8 copies
Summer's End (1993) 8 copies
Turn It Up (1984) 8 copies
Gator Prey (1999) 7 copies
The Beverly Hillbillies (1952) 6 copies
Spell Danger (2000) 6 copies
The Boys in the Band (1996) 5 copies
Three Ninjas Kick Back (1994) 5 copies
Dschihad Online (2016) 5 copies
Street Fighter (1994) 4 copies
Pink Cadillac (1989) 3 copies
Wild Life (1987) 3 copies
Workin' for peanuts (1983) 3 copies
Curtindo a Vida Adoidado (2016) 2 copies
Freaked (1993) 2 copies
A Very Touchy Subject (1985) 2 copies
Moving Target (1989) 2 copies
Playing for Love (1996) 2 copies
American terrorist (2016) 1 copy
Tribu de l'asphalte (2012) 1 copy
The Wave [abridged] (2018) 1 copy
LA OLA (2022) 1 copy
La bomba 1 copy
On The Bridge (2014) 1 copy

Associated Works

Jumanji (1981) — Editor — 3,098 copies
Who Done It? (2013) — Contributor — 133 copies
Visions: 19 Short Stories (1987) — Contributor — 70 copies
Ultimate Sports (1995) — Contributor — 66 copies
Connections (1989) — Contributor — 44 copies


adventure (176) animals (197) board games (42) bullying (44) Caldecott (158) Caldecott Medal (76) chapter book (99) children (104) children's (146) children's literature (65) experiments (46) family (44) fantasy (338) fascism (68) fiction (852) friendship (41) game (43) games (112) high school (69) historical fiction (46) Holocaust (43) humor (96) imagination (79) jungle (71) mystery (82) novel (40) picture book (295) read (73) realistic fiction (146) school (141) science fiction (86) series (48) short stories (59) Star Wars (58) teen (62) to-read (323) violence (45) YA (215) young adult (222) young adult fiction (55)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Strasser, Todd
Other names
Rhue, Morton
Rhue, T. S.
New York, New York, USA
Places of residence
Westchester, New York, USA
Montauk, New York, USA
Beloit College (BA|1974)
New York University
copy writer
Disambiguation notice
Todd Strasser also writes under the pen name Morton Rhue



This is still one of the most interesting (and unethical) experiments done on group mentality and when communities become unhealthy. Although this ending is pretty true to what actually happened, the ending in "Die Welle" seems more accurate.
Moshepit20 | 46 other reviews | Nov 2, 2023 |
This is the perfect book to introduce German 9th graders to the pecking order in American schools as well as to things getting out of hand due to unexpected amplification, as is the case with other Strasser / Rhue books (although those, like "Give a boy a gun" or "The Wave", are more suitable for 10th / 11th grade). In a language that even to FLE students is perfectly clear, Strasser points out just how much each person influences others in what they do / don't do and say / don't say. Like a prequel to Asher's "Thirteen Reasons". And, of course, like in "The Wave", it tells about the effects and repercussions of group dynamics. Not interesting literarily, but sociologically very much so.… (more)
Kindlegohome | 1 other review | Jul 28, 2023 |
This book was about a whole lot more than I was expecting, but I think something was lost in execution. Maybe I just didn’t click with the main character like I wanted to?

Also, being a attendant of Woodstock ‘99, I was hoping for a main part of this book to be at the original Woodstock, and that just wasn’t the case. It was more of an afterthought.

I did like the idea of a boy dealing with the potential of being drafted (my dad was one of those boys, and was in fact drafted). The feeling of the era came through, but I just felt like something was missing to bring all the different aspects together.

My sole purpose of wanting to read this book was the Woodstock element. As an attendant of Woodstock '99, I have all sorts of nostalgia for all the Woodstock festivals. But this book isn't really about that. Sure, he goes to Woodstock at one point in the book-- but it's such an afterthought and a blip on the radar that I wouldn't have even included it in the synopsis.

This book is really about a dude who likes to do drugs and worry about things. And he has plenty to worry about!! He's right on the cusp of being drafted to serve in the Army during the height of the Vietnam War. With boys dying by the thousands, it's a valid fear for him to have. But I didn't really think the getting high part was helping with his dilemma. But hey, to each his own... I'd probably get high too if I thought I was about to go die in the jungle.

Lucas as a character just didn't do it for me. He wasn't really likable, he wasn't good at anything or motivated to better himself-- and he was more than a little self-centered. He sort of reminded me of Holden Caulfield (who I severely disliked) because he would think of doing all these grand things, but never follow through.

What I really liked: I was super surprised to go on this draft journey with Lucas. My own father was drafted during this time (he didn't end up in Vietnam, but went through all the fears and realities of being drafted, trained, and assigned), so I really enjoyed reading about what it was like for Lucas. I also found the information that Lucas got from his buddy that was serving over there to be so disturbing and heart-wrenching. I wasn't prepared for this book to have such sad/serious moments.

This book went deeper than I was expecting, but there still seemed to be something missing. Was it the fact that I didn't connect with the main character?? Was it the meandering plot that went through a lot of mundane moments to get to the point of the story?? I'm not 100% sure, but there seemed to be something lacking for me.

OVERALL: Meh. At times I liked it, but other times I was totally bored. I didn't love the main character, but I was interested in his overall plight. I kind of just wished this whole book was set at Woodstock and about something completely different.

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Michelle_PPDB | 11 other reviews | Mar 18, 2023 |
School shooting. Suicide

2.5 Stars
Mrs_Tapsell_Bookzone | 30 other reviews | Feb 14, 2023 |



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