Code Talker (PB)

SKU: 0142405965

Joseph Bruchac
Grade Levels:
Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine
Navajo, Southwest
Book Type:
Copyright Date:

Sale price$14.99


Code Talker: A Novel About The Navajo Marines of World War Two is an historical novel about a Navajo man who endured boarding school (residential school) to become a United States Marine during World War 2. Renowned Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac weaves a quiet but engaging story where the Code Talker tells his grandchildren about the history of his wartime medal. The story begins as the narrator tells about his childhood on the Navajo Reservation. He is fluent in his Dine language and as a child is taken to a mission boarding school where priests and teachers try to make him over into an American youth who no longer retains his cultural heritage or language. This fictional tale retains the voice of the narrator Ned Begay as he explains the harsh treatment of the school and his years in high school. Despite the teachers telling him his language must no longer be spoken, Ned finds that when the United States declares war he readily wants to enlist. Despite his youth Ned eventually succeeds and is recruited as a special code talker. His sacred language was no longer despised as the military needed the Navajo men who spoke fluent Navajo to devise a special code that Japan could not break. The war years are told with candor as Ned finds himself in a foreign land as a communications expert. He tells of battles especially Iwo Jima and the final atomic bombing of Japanese cities. Throughout the storyteller retains his calm and resolute voice and explains how important the language and spiritual beliefs are to his Nation as well as the larger country of United States. Bruchac provides notes about his process of telling this important story that is generally overlooked in American history books. He adds a bibliography of some of his references. This is a novel that may take time to engage the reader but it well worth the effort. Guided Reading Level: Y; Lexile Level: 910; Reading Level: 6.4; ATOS Level: 6.4. Discussion Guide:

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