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Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo…

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Joseph Bruchac (Author)

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1,671677,841 (3.86)37
After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.
Title:Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two
Authors:Joseph Bruchac (Author)
Info:Speak (2006), Edition: Reprint, 231 pages
Collections:Your library

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Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac (2005)


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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Too'tsoh = whale in Navaho.

It would have been welcome if the author had presented a set of balanced choices instead of bombing the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ( )
  m.belljackson | Feb 4, 2021 |
I never really learned much about the Pacific part of World War II. This chronicles a remarkable time when Navajos were integral to winning the war against Japan. It is a slight fictionalization of a very real historical event. The history and culture should be fascinating (and it IS interesting) but by and large, I found the actual execution of it a little dry. I feel it would have been better to either have more history or more drama. It felt somehow stuck in the middle. I never really connected to the main character. The conceit is that it is a man telling a story to his grandchildren but it feels like a transcript and not really alive. ( )
  Sarah220 | Jan 23, 2021 |
i would not choose this book to read for fun, but i had to read it for a school project. surprisingly, it was interesting and educational. ( )
  kritikags | Aug 19, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
I highly recommend the audio for this book because of the Navajo songs and passages of the text. It was really wonderful to actually hear the language that's at the heart of this story. It's also a great choice for anyone who's interested in combat stories, since much of the book takes place during battles in the Pacific theater of WWII.

I found the whole book fascinating, and while it's a fictional account, the author's afterward points out that all the people aside from the main character are real soldiers. I'm definitely going to look for some non-fiction on the code talkers next. ( )
1 vote bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Gr 5 Up-In the measured tones of a Native American storyteller, Bruchac assumes the persona of a Navajo grandfather telling his grandchildren about his World War II experiences. Protagonist Ned Begay starts with his early schooling at an Anglo boarding school, where the Navajo language is forbidden, and continues through his Marine career as a "code talker," explaining his long silence until "de-classified" in 1969. Begay's lifelong journey honors the Navajos and other Native Americans in the military, and fosters respect for their culture. Bruchac's gentle prose presents a clear historical picture of young men in wartime, island hopping across the Pacific, waging war in the hells of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima. Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac's tale is quietly inspiring, even for those who have seen Windtalkers, or who have read such nonfiction works as Nathan Aaseng's Navajo Code Talkers (Walker, 1992), Kenji Kawano's Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers (Northland, 1990), or Deanne Durrett's Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers (Facts On File, 1998). For those who've read none of the above, this is an eye-opener.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
added by sriches | editSchool Library Journal, Patricia Manning (Jul 24, 2009)
Meredith Ackroyd (Children's Literature)
When Kii Yázhí is sent away to the Navaho mission school, he quickly learns what it is to be a Navaho in a white man’s world. At the mission school, he is given a white man’s name, Ned Begay, and he is forbidden to speak his Navaho language. In order to receive an education, Ned must leave his Navaho language behind. Although determined to excel in the white man’s school, Ned is also determined never to forget his Navaho language and culture. When World War II breaks out, Ned suddenly finds that his language is of value beyond the reservation: Prized for its complexity and obscurity, the Marines use the Navaho language to develop a secret military code, recruiting Ned and other Navahos as top-secret code talkers. It is in war that Ned comes of age, as he learns about life and death, friendship, race relations, and the pride to be found in one’s language and culture. Though far from home, Ned is able to sustain and renew his faith and pride in his Navaho language, culture, and beliefs. A first-person fictional account of the Navaho code talkers in World War II, Bruchac presents a detailed look at the history and culture of the Navaho people. Although at times his main character seems to serve more as a vessel for history than to tell his own story (often at the expense of the emotional impact of personal events), the book presents an interesting and important multicultural perspective on American history. 2005, Dial Books/Penguin Group, $16.99. Ages 12 up.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Meredith Ackroyd
Sixteen-year-old Ned Begay detested life in the Navajo mission school where he was sent. There, "anything that belonged to the Navajo way was bad, and our Navajo language was the worst." However, in one of the greatest ironies in American history, when WWII broke out, Navajos-victims of the US Army effort to destroy them in the 1860s and the harshness of the mission schools in the 20th century-were recruited by the Marine Corps to use their native language to create an unbreakable code. Navajo is one of the hardest of all American Indian languages to learn, and only Navajos can speak it with complete fluency. So, Ned Begay joined a select group of Navajo code talkers to create one code the Japanese couldn't break. Telling his story to his grandchildren, Ned relates his experiences in school, military training, and across the Pacific, on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. With its multicultural themes and well-told WWII history, this will appeal to a wide audience. (author's note, bibliography) (Fiction. 10+)
added by sriches | editKirkus Reviews
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This book is dedicated to those who have always, in proportion to their population, volunteered in the greatest numbers, suffered the most casualties, won the most Purple Hearts and decorations for valor, and served loyally in every war fought by the United States against foreign enemies, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan and Iraq--to the American Indian soldier.
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Grandchildren, you asked me about this medal of mine.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.

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