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

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Throughout World War II, Navajo Code Talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending communications in an unbreakable code that used their native language.



The United States is at war, and sixteen-year-old Ned Begay wants to join the cause—especially when he hears that Navajos are being specifically recruited by the Marine Corps. So he claims he’s old enough to enlist, breezes his way through boot camp, and suddenly finds himself involved in a top-secret task, one that’s exclusively performed by Navajos. He has become a code talker. His experiences in the Pacific—from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima and beyond—will forever change him.

Throughout World War Two, 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 twenty years. When the war ended, they weren’t able to tell anyone—not even their families—about their true contribution.

But we now know their amazing stories, and Joseph Bruchac brings them to life through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. Code Talker honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve; it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians; and it speaks eloquently about the brutal realities of battle. It is a deeply affecting novel, and a terribly important one.

Joseph Bruchac is the award-winning author of more than 100 books, many of which draw on 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.

 

Author: Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki)

Binding Availability: Hardcover & Paperback

Published: 2005

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Navajo