Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac


Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 231

Publication Date: 2005

Summary: In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Navajo Indians were sent to boarding schools to learn English and they were forbidden to speak their native language or celebrate their culture.  Fast forward to World War II, when the US Marines needed a code that could not be broken by the Japanese to send important messages from one location to another.  Navajos were recruited by the Marines specifically because their language was complex and hard to learn.  This story goes from reservation boarding school to action-packed war zones in the Pacific theater.

Recommended: Yes! Though it was written for young adults, this book will appeal to anyone who likes World War II or historical fiction.

If You’re Offended: Only one instance of the word damn.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “I think it was probably harder for young white men to be abused like that by their drill sergeants than it was for us Navajos. Being Indians, we were used to having white men shout at us and tell us were were worthless and stupid.”    “Once again I heard the sound that is one of the most awful things anyone can hear: the dull thud, between the sound of a slap and a punch, of a bullet hitting the body of a human being.”