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

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
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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 the Navajo language but using it as a crucial means of communication during 20th century wars should not be lost on the reader while reading the second half of the book. Bruchac's narrator tells this tale in an even-keeled, even-tempered manner. The reader is allowed to gain his own sense of injustice our nation has inflicted upon its Native American population. Bruchac's description of the progression of America's involvement in World War II's Pacific campaign is well laid-out and dramatically presented. Highly recommended.

This book is brilliant. It is non-fiction, but the author turned the story into a masterpiece. This book is about a native American named Ned Begay , who is taken from his family when he was young, and put in a boarding school. He grows up, learns English, and joins the army. He is a special person; a Navajo. The Navajo language was used as a code in World War Two. The Japanese enemies could figure out any code in less than a week, so the U.S. Marines needed a language that had never been studied or known of. The earlier unbreakable code was the white code, but it took four hours to send a message that the Navajo code could send in 2.5 minutes.

Every part of this book is in complete detail, and is very specific. Joseph Bruchac is the award-winning author of more than 100 books, most of which draw upon aspects of his Native American heritage. Among other honors, he has won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for his enduring contribution to the field of multicultural literature for children. He lives in Greenfield Center, New York. I would have given this book three stars, but I remembered a really creepy and funny part of the book: when a dead soldier comes back to life... on his own! The author didn't make the story boring, or tweak it up to make it sound more modern, he just wrote a true breath-taking, action-packed, amazing novel about the World War Two Navajos. Ned Begay has a ton of adventures throughout the book. He makes some friends, some of them die, some get seriously injured, some just manage to stay alive. He actually meets John F. Kennedy! He doesn't kill anyone (which in my opinion isn't very cool) but he does encounter some rotting corpses.

This book may get boring in some places, but as soon as you want to put it down, it starts to get good again. I recommend this book to people who like historical non-fiction (AKA history), and everybody who enjoys reading. I really loved this book because it's so hooking. I love the way Joseph Bruchac describes everything with such detail. I don't know how he found out so much about World War Two, but I like it. It took me several weeks to read Code Talker, but it was as satisfying as the blurb said it would be. It is one of the best books I have ever read. The Navajos were really important people during the war, so I think you'll be impressed when you read a story written just about them.
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Finished Reading
December 18, 2012 – Shelved

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Megan I fully agree with you

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