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Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two
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Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,642 Ratings  ·  804 Reviews
Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than tw ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 6th 2006 by Speak (first published January 1st 2005)
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Anibal NO it is not it just says how his character went through sacrifices to reach his goal as a navajo marine and how he goes to a boarding school and the…moreNO it is not it just says how his character went through sacrifices to reach his goal as a navajo marine and how he goes to a boarding school and the white teachers treat him wrong.. i really recomend this book :)(less)
Aidan.Muldoon nice one Adaih that was a great answer to the question
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan Rice
Apr 08, 2015 Jan Rice rated it it was amazing
I read this book back in 2008, before I was online or doing reviews, but I had started keeping lists. Reviewed spring/summer 2014

What I remember is the humiliation of the Indians as children before the opportunity to become the code talkers of WWII and serve in the Marines vindicated them. The language for which their mouths had been washed out with soap in boarding schools became a way of saving lives and a source of pride. Also, I remembered the healing ritual the protagonist went through once
...more
Kaethe
Sometimes fiction is better for revealing truth. This novel enables Bruchac to tell much of the story of the pacific theater during WWII through the eyes of one character, now retelling the events to his grandchildren. I'm rather grateful for the framing device, it helps mute the horror somewhat. It's heartbreaking, the discrimination and abuse before the war, the horrors of the war which had to be kept secret until 1969, and the discrimination after the war. But the author manages to distill so ...more
Jerome
Dec 18, 2012 Jerome rated it really liked it
Read this about four years ago in seventh grade. I was starting to get into military history back then, and this book was actually really good for a YA novel about war.

Bruchac has created a terrific historic novel that has enough action for young male adults and enough history and research to appeal to an adult audience. Bruchac does a wonderful job of giving a sense of the complexities of growing up on a Navajo reservation in the first half of the book. The irony of a nation trying to wipe out
...more
Abby Johnson
Jun 11, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it it was ok
All his life Ned Begay has been told that being Navajo is bad. At the mission school, all the Navajos are told to forget their language, to forget everything about being Navajo. Speaking English and emulating the white man is the only way to get ahead, or so they are told. However, when World War II breaks out, Ned learns that the Marines are actively recruiting Navajos. For the first time, Americans are in need of Navajos and their language. An unbreakable code is being developed using the Nava ...more
Pamela
"We were proud to be Marines and even prouder of the role that we had been chosen to play . . ."

Multicultural and historically rich with truth and relevance. Solid engaging storytelling, but with a few editing foibles. Bruchac's engaging novel, told through the voice of a grandfather to his grandchildren, utilizes simplistic and relatively clean language/imagery geared toward upper-middle-grades through young adults. All ages, however, can enjoy and benefit reading of the courageous Navajo Code
...more
Tish
Oct 07, 2012 Tish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars for being informative, especially about an aspect of WWII with which I was unfamiliar. However, as a novel, I would probably only give it 2 stars. The way it was written made it seem like non-fiction, and not very riveting non-fiction at that. I have nothing against non-fiction, but a writer of fiction has the opportunity to enhance the dry facts and really connect the reader to what was going on, the feelings, the action, the impact. Bruchac was not as successful at that as he was at ju ...more
Margaret
Jul 04, 2011 Margaret rated it really liked it
Shelves: level-elementary
7/3/11 ** A very interesting novel about a Navajo teen who enlisted in the Marines shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack; he joined a secret unit charged with creating and using a code based on the Navajo language to send messages throughout the Pacific theater. The story touches on issues with the Indian Schools, language extinction, stereotypes & cultural awareness, the irony of a government trying to stamp out a language and then needing it for military security, etc. However, even with t ...more
Carol
Dec 28, 2008 Carol rated it really liked it
I highly recommend! This is really a sensitive, balanced, well researched account of the Navajos who developed a code which the Japanese were unable to crack. The story becomes alive and real through the fictional protanongist. It is ironic that historical fiction can be more real than just dry history. Although it is dealing with a horrendous war, it is not overly morbid nor gruesome, nor does it glorify war or heroism. The author is sentive to the spiritual as well as physical cost of war and ...more
Marklessgirl
Feb 27, 2015 Marklessgirl rated it it was amazing
This was really good. I did not know anything about how the Navajo where in Wold war 2, just that they did code or something. Now I know so much more and this book is more then a war book, it is a life story starting at 6 years old. I thought that there was going to be a lot of cussing and gore. but there is no cussing and not much gore.
Graham R
Jun 01, 2011 Graham R rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. It really gave me a good idea how much the Navajos helped the americans win world war 2. Also it gave me a really good idea of what the veterans were talking about who were in world war 2.
Jessica
Aug 27, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
I learned something new today. I knew about residential schools in Canada and I guess if I had thought about it I would have realized that it's very possible they could be in other places, but I didn't realize how bad it was before World War 2 even. This is a fictionalized version of a true story which helps explain the events but doesn't go into the same detail as a non-fiction telling meaning that the horror and stark contrast to how the world is for the most part now was muted a little bit. I ...more
Dorothea
Sep 09, 2012 Dorothea rated it liked it
Code Talker is a historical novel for a YA audience, told from the perspective of fictional character Ned Begay as (finally released from U.S. security regulations by the invention of computers that have replaced the Navajo code) he tells his grandchildren about his experience as a code talker in WWII.

It's very plainly written, but that's not a bad thing because the story of the code talkers is so interesting it doesn't need any help. There are some very effective parts which make a connection b
...more
Pandora
Nov 25, 2013 Pandora rated it really liked it
Using a fictional character of a code talker this story tells of the invaluable contibution made by the Navajos who created an unbreakable code using their language. Besides, bringing to light this story that had to remind hidden the novel also balances history by bringing to account the Japanese's horrors by concerating on the Pacfic side of WWII. Joseph Brunchac does an excellent job of bringing the Navajo's concept of the world to light.

"Although the Japanese said they were liberating the isl
...more
Ms. Okes
Jul 26, 2012 Ms. Okes rated it it was amazing
Code Talker is a wonderful book, describing the secret role Navajo Marines played in World War 2 by using their native language to send coded messages to allied forces. Although the narrator is fictional, his experiences are representative of actual Navajos as they were taught and then recruited to the Marines for their important task.
I appreciate that the author chose to begin with the white man's education many Navajo children endured. This education served as a retraining; Indians were taugh
...more
Kathleen
I love, love, love the voice of this novel. It is well written and completely in character. Unfortunately, because this is the story a Navajo man is telling to his grandchildren, I feel like we miss some of the emotional resonance of his experiences in WWII. When someone is wounded, they usually either get better or have the horror of their injuries marginalized and made more palatable. Hardship, suffering, and death are mentioned, but named characters make it through. Practically the only perma ...more
Cameron
The "Code Talker" is a book about Navajo's during World War II. The main character is a Navajo that is fluent in both English and the language of the Navajo's which he calls the sacred or pure language. His younger years are spent at boarding school or on the preservation where the Navajo live in poverty and aren't treated well by other Americans. But after Pearl Harbor he wants to enlist into the Marines and does as soon as it was made possible. To make the code process faster and more effectiv ...more
Tyler
Nov 25, 2013 Tyler rated it it was amazing

This story is about a United States Marine Navajo radio operator during the second world war in the south pacific.The main characters were Ben Yahzee and Staff Sargent Anders.The main characters ran into many problems with the Imperial Japanese Army.There were no adventures in the book.My favorite character was Ben Yahzee for all of his heroics and ideas.I myself could not relate to any of the characters in the story.I have never done anything the characters in the story have done.I liked the t
...more
Mercutio
Oct 30, 2015 Mercutio rated it really liked it
Wow this book is amazing. I first read this book in 5th grade and I've read it more then 4 times from then. This book is perfect for the average person who is interested in how WW2 went down with the secret "Code Talkers". Code talkers used their sacred Navajo language to communicate through the battle and deliver information.
Amy Ziegler
May 05, 2015 Amy Ziegler rated it really liked it
If a group of people stripped you of your language, culture, and even your name, do you think you would volunteer to help them fight a war? That's exactly what Ned Begay, the protagonist of Code Talker. Set in America (and later the Pacific) during World War II, Code Talker follows Ned, a young Navajo man. As a child, Ned was sent to a white boarding school and forced to adopt the ways of white men. He was given a white name and forced to only speak English. The goal of the instructors was to "b ...more
Bernadette
Jun 10, 2015 Bernadette rated it liked it
Joseph Bruchac is one of my favorite children's authors. Also, I enjoy reading about World War II, a conflict in which my grandfather served. So I have wanted to read Code Talker for some time. It is the fictional life story of Ned Begay (Kii Yazhi) who attends schools in which only English is allowed to be spoken. Then, ironically, he and other Navajos are recruited by the U.S. Marines to utilize their native languages as "code talkers." Sent to the Pacific Theater, Ned and his peers become vit ...more
Anthony
Jan 03, 2015 Anthony rated it liked it
Shelves:
I have always felt that Americans were the scum of the earth for what we did to the Indians. Because I feel this way the first few chapters in the book angered me greatly. It angered me to the point that I would have quite reading it if I could have, but I could not so I powered through the first few chapters. I strongly suggest that you do the same because it is a great book. It’s like a bowl of soup; knowledge soup with little bits of humor floating around.
I love the way Joseph Bruchac finds
...more
Diane
Nov 27, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I kept getting distracted and having to go read about the history that he describes!
Carissa
Jan 29, 2015 Carissa rated it really liked it
I loved this book because it was part of my history!
Nan
Mar 15, 2012 Nan rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-past, rated-g
Written for the youth-lit market, but a fast and engaging read for anyone with a craving for an alternative WWII story. This is a good title for reluctant readers I think, because of the narrator's (Ned Begay's) outsider-looking-in perspective on a consuming, harrowing time. Plus, the Navajo cultural info is woven in smoothly--you don't feel lectured.
Amy Barker
Apr 24, 2015 Amy Barker rated it really liked it
What an amazing story about the Navajo men who used their language to code messages that the enemy could no decipher. It is set in WWII. All of their contacts had been breached and codes decoded, until they realized the power of the native language of The Navajo Marines. They were not able to tell anyone what they were doing, even their own families, in fear that the enemy would find out the means by which they were communicating. Such an amazing historical fiction young adult book. I had the pl ...more
Hannah Lou
Jul 09, 2015 Hannah Lou rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I didn't think I would like it...then I took a chance and read it, and it was super good!! :)
Bryce Bastar
Oct 20, 2015 Bryce Bastar rated it really liked it
Personal Response: I enjoyed Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac, because it dealt with World War II. I read it as often as I could on my free time. It is a great book. I wish the book was longer and had a sequel so I could keep reading.

Plot: The book was a story about a young Navajo Indian boy who went to boarding school. At the boarding school, the white people were very mean and rude to the Indians. He was the smartest in his class. He also wanted to go home to his parents because he was treated so
...more
Andy Theall
Oct 29, 2014 Andy Theall rated it really liked it
An interesting historically accurate novel, this story is great for those who want a good story but also are interested in the non-fiction events of world war two. I chose to read this book because I wanted to read a non-fiction book but for my summer reading at school often it is easier to write about fiction stories, so I chose this. I found it to be a great choice and would definitely read other books like this. This book was an easy, quick read which was perfect for me as I was not looking f ...more
Cory Dorn
Sep 03, 2015 Cory Dorn rated it it was amazing


I enjoyed reading "Code Talker" by Joseph Bruchac. This book first starts off with a grandfather, Ned Begay, telling his code talking stories of the Navy. His first story starts off with him, first leaving home and going to an English boarding school. When he gets to that English boarding school they treat him like dirt. They take off his best clothing and give him new clothing that isn't the greatest. The English school also gives him an army haircut, and they give him new rules to follow. The
...more
Arminzerella
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Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by wh ...more
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“Strong words outlast the paper they are written upon. ” 41 likes
“Never think that war is a good thing, grandchildren. Though it may be necessary at times to defend our people, war is a sickness that must be cured. War is a time out of balance. When it is truly over, we must work to restore peace and sacred harmony once again.” 18 likes
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