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

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
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Jul 26, 12

bookshelves: historical-fiction, ww2-holocaust
Read in July, 2012

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 taught that their native languages, people, and customs were wrong and were to be discarded. Only the white man's way was acceptable. This information is key because, ironically, the United States needed the Navajo language in order to send unbreakable codes during the war.
The protagonist, Ned Begay, goes through some of the Marines' most important, famous, and deadly battles in the Pacific Theater. Most names of other characters were real people, as the author put a lot of work into research of this topic. I believe he did the true-to-life story justice, making it interesting as well as informative.
Code Talker is a strong read with a sixth-grade vocabulary.
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abby I thought this book was super boring and while about an interesting topic, seemed to drag along.


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