Luann's Reviews > Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
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Aug 24, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult, 2008, war, american-history, ms-rec, onebookaz
Read in August, 2008

Code Talker is very readable and well-researched. It feels like an actual memoir since it is written as if Ned Begay were telling the story to his grandchildren. The beginning of the book, which details his experiences in boarding school and high school, felt very authentic. I was also very interested in the parts about the code and how it was created.

I was worried that the war chapters might have too much graphic violence, but I felt that Bruchac handled that part quite well. Of course there is some violence, since this is a book about World War II, so I wouldn't suggest this book for younger students. I also felt that the chapters about war went on a bit too long, but maybe that was symbolic for how long the war lasted.

A favorite quote, as Ned offers to teach a fellow soldier in boot camp how to read: "All through Indian school we had been taught that white men knew everything. That day, for the first time, I realized several things. The first was that bilagaanaas are not born knowing everything. The second was that in many of the most important ways, white men are no different from Navajos. The third? That no matter who they are, people can always learn from each other."
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