Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Code Talker - review by parent

This book was one of the choices on the required summer reading list for 8th graders. My son is not a huge reader but enjoyed this book because it is well written and deals with a subject most people do not know about. The story begins with a straight forward account ...
This book was one of the choices on the required summer reading list for 8th graders. My son is not a huge reader but enjoyed this book because it is well written and deals with a subject most people do not know about. The story begins with a straight forward account of how some Navajo children were sent to boarding schools to be "taught" how to be less Navajo. In particular, that the Navajo children should speak only English and not their native language. It talks about pride and, how for the narrator, this was a hurtful experience. However, during World War II, when enemies were breaking military codes, the Navajo language became instrumental in sending messages. Much of the book is about the battles for the South Pacific islands. Information is given when a fellow soldier is killed but it is presented in a matter-of-fact way without being too detailed (the reader comes away with a sadness about, for example, the loss of a friend). Importantly, the book tells about the pride felt by the Navajos who, ultimately, were respected by their peers.

posted by 687226 on September 5, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Informative

This book was all right. It was not my favorite WW2 novel, but it did surpass a few. This book was very informative, I learned a lot, but it wasn't absorbing. I often felt I was only being preached at, and I didn't even remember the main characters name, because ever...
This book was all right. It was not my favorite WW2 novel, but it did surpass a few. This book was very informative, I learned a lot, but it wasn't absorbing. I often felt I was only being preached at, and I didn't even remember the main characters name, because everything seemed so impersonal. It felt like a history text book, and wasn't nearly dark enough for a WW2 novel. One thing it did manage to capture whole-heartedly was the Navajo spirit.

posted by Awesomeness1 on June 25, 2009

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    Bought it for Independent Reading for 11-year-old boy

    My son and I both loved this book. He's not a reader, but it's told almost in the voice of a person sharing an Indian legend, which kept him interested through the slower parts. And I, as an adult, didn't find it too simplistic even though it was also perfect for an 11-year-old.

    After we finished this book, my son asked me if there were other books like this because his teacher makes them find an Independent Reading book every month and he usually finds it torturous.

    Highly, HIGHLY recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Code Talker - review by parent

    This book was one of the choices on the required summer reading list for 8th graders. My son is not a huge reader but enjoyed this book because it is well written and deals with a subject most people do not know about. The story begins with a straight forward account of how some Navajo children were sent to boarding schools to be "taught" how to be less Navajo. In particular, that the Navajo children should speak only English and not their native language. It talks about pride and, how for the narrator, this was a hurtful experience. However, during World War II, when enemies were breaking military codes, the Navajo language became instrumental in sending messages. Much of the book is about the battles for the South Pacific islands. Information is given when a fellow soldier is killed but it is presented in a matter-of-fact way without being too detailed (the reader comes away with a sadness about, for example, the loss of a friend). Importantly, the book tells about the pride felt by the Navajos who, ultimately, were respected by their peers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    The best book in the World!!!!!!!

    I do not read very much at all. But this book i just could not put down. Also easy to understand too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2009

    The Navajo Marines of World War II

    Unknown by many, but the Navajo Indians played a key role in the winning of World War II. They're language was used to send secret messages from unit to unit without being intercepted by the enemies. Known as code talkers, these men risked their lives and were quite important in World War II. This book was hard to put down and I wanted to read more and more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    I read this book in my college english class, I love this author

    I read this book in my college english class, I love this author! Great insight story of WW2, great details of the aftermath with what this soldier has seen and has whitnessed of being a navajo, and joining the u.s. marine's, what his dream was, and how he accomplished it! If you have had a member of your family in the marines, or yourself are in it. Read this book! It's a great story.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    Navajo Marines in the Pacific

    Code Talker is probably one of my favorite World War 11 novels ever. I really liked the suspense of how of the journey that Navajo Ned Begay (main character) when he was just a little boy growing up in a missionary school to then in the Pacific Ocean dodging bullets and sending messages in their sacred language. While Ned is in the Pacific in Japanese territory, we see through his eyes on how things are for him and his fellow comrades in war. Some things that Ned encounters may be happy and peaceful or scary when Ned becomes in a life or death situation which in my opinion makes a great thrilling book and keeps you wondering on what is going to happen next. I truly recommend this books to anyone who likes adventure, thrill, mystery, or likes to read about World War 11 books.

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Navajo Warriors

    The story is about Navajo Marines of World War Two. This book isn't for little kids it is an older kids' book. And the book is a great book to read especially if you like World War 2 and Navajo subjects then this is a book for you.

    It is about a Navajo boy who is sent to a white school and is forbidden to talk his native talk. He is also told that Navajos are bad and worthless. Until Pearl Harbor was bombed Navajos were thought of in that way. When they went to war they had codes and the Japanese had broken all their codes so they used a Navajo man for an assignment and they decided that they were going to use Navajos. When he is fifteen he goes and enlists in the army and he becomes a code talker during World War 2. I am judging the book by how good it is and what I am interested in. My great grandpa fought in World War 2 and I've been interested ever since.

    I have been into World War 2 books for a while and one of them I loved the most is called Elephant Run and it is about a boy that lived at Pearl Harbor. When they bombed it his mom sent him to live with his dad in a rain forest. As soon as he gets there the Japanese take over the island and take his dad to a prison camp while him and his friend Mya is forced to work for the general around the house. As they make a daring run on an elephant it is truly a good book.

    So overall Code Talker is a great book that people should read. I rate this five out of five and it is one of the best books I have ever read. It is hard for me to find a book I will actually read and enjoy and this was one of the few of them and I wish the book wouldn't have ever ended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    One of the most exciting books I have read yet

    When I first bought this book at my book fair I thought it was just a cool looking book. Then I started reading it and found that it was a really great book. I hate reading books normally and very few books catch my attention... When I read the first few para. of Code Talkers I couldn't put it down. Every page had something else on it that made me want to keep reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2008

    A reviewer

    Ned Begay knows he¿s going to be a Marine in World War II, but doesn¿t know how big a job he¿s going to have that involves his sacred language. Ned becomes a Marine, and his job is as a code talker. He gets shipped from island to island, sending and receiving messages. Ned is in some brutal combat but survives, and so does America as it defeats Japan. This is a great story of a boy who was taught that his native language was no good, but that very same language helps win World War II. I¿d recommend this to anyone who loves vivid descriptions of war and a terrific story. This book does an awesome job of showing how scary war can be. In World War II, the Japanese often did banzai attacks at night. Banzai attacks are where soldiers sprint with anything that could possibly hurt someone, and don¿t stop until the enemy is dead or the soldiers are all dead. Another example is when Ned, the main character, was running with his best friend, Georgia Boy. And then Georgia Boy got shot in the neck by a Japanese bullet. In 1929, the Red Cross created rules that said captured prisoners of war had to be fed and housed in a humane way. But Japan didn¿t agree to those rules, so the prisoners who were captured by Japan were forced into slave labor, starved, and beaten. I like how code talkers, who are Navajo Indians, were very important in the war, which made Ned very happy. One of the reasons it makes him so happy is because in boarding school, he was taught that his native heritage was worthless and dumb. The Navajos in the war would talk in a secret code to one another that the Japanese couldn¿t understand. Unfortunately, at the end, Ned walks into a bar and the bartender won¿t serve him just because he¿s Navajo. Ned is very disappointed because he worked so hard for America, and yet he¿s still looked at as though he¿s not an equal to white people. It¿s interesting how the Japanese have very different beliefs from Americans. One of the Japanese thoughts was that when you do a kamikaze, you die with pride. A kamikaze is when a plane flies into a boat, usually an aircraft carrier, and tries to kill everyone on the boat even if it means dying themselves. In Iwo Jima, a tiny island, the Japanese pasted on every pillbox (a minor fortress in warfare) that the goal for the Japanese is to kill ten enemy soldiers before they die. A Japanese belief is to never surrender. When Emperor Hirohito surrendered, it was a complete shock to the Japanese. This awesome war book shows how even people who are treated like dirt can turn out to be heroes. And Ned certainly was a hero. Ned also had a huge amount of self-control. He couldn¿t tell anyone about being a code talker until later after the war. I love how this is almost like an underdog story that shows no matter what race you are, you can still do something incredible. I¿d recommend this book to anyone who likes a super action book. S.Howard

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008

    Outstanding book

    'Code Talker' By Joseph Bruchac is an exciting and informal book about the Navajo code talkers of World War Two, putting it in front view of what these Marines experienced during WW2. An outstanding book, I would recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    Great book

    I recommend this book, Code Talker, to other people because this book was based in WW II 'World War 2' when the Navajo tribes were kicked out of their home land, and they were forced to walk a 300 mile walk to their new home land. So many Navajo died on the trip. Later on in the book this kid goes to a military camp to join the marines. While this was happing the U.S army needed a code talker that no one understands. So that¿s why I recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    extremely good. has history and about natives of America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    : This novel displays accurate accounts from history that are well known, for example the flag raising on the island of Iwo Jima. It reads almost like a history book. The chapters are divided by the places that the U.S. Marines were sent to during the war. The author, Joseph Bruchac, begins with a brief description of what the Navajos were wanted for during WW2 and he concludes with acknowledgements to the Navajos who helped him to accurately portray this story, including the man who inspired the novel. The author does a good job at displaying the values and culture of the Navajo tribe, including family values, language, and spiritual beliefs. There is not any obvious contradiction in the author¿s display of historical events. The author provides an accurate depiction of the society at that time, especially in the end when the Navajo soldiers returned home to an unwelcome reception. A criticism of the novel is the way the Japanese soldiers are described from the viewpoint of a U.S. Marine, words such as ¿monster¿ is used which is a one-sided point of view. Bruchac uses some dialogue in the story, particularly when the soldiers from the South are speaking. The main character is telling this story of his past to his grandchildren, therefore he clearly defines any military jargon that he uses in his narrative. The author concludes with Begay explaining the importance and symbolism of his medal that he was given for his participation in WW2. This is because for years the Navajo Code Talkers were not honored for their service as other soldiers of the time were honored. This portrays a growing awareness for equality among all in today¿s society.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    best book

    it was a can't put down book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2007

    An AMAZING book

    this is a great book about the navajo indaians and what they had to go through in the boarding schools that they were sent to there they were to learn english. Ned Begay became a student there who loved to learn and tried his hardest to learn all he could there. During his time at the school he hears of a great war that is going on a marine recruiter comes to their school because they need navajo's to become code talkers for the marines. Overall I found this to be a very fascinating book that should be read by all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2006

    Code Talker - Captivating

    Code Talker is about a Navajo, sixteen year-old boy who decides to become a Marine during World War II, especially when he hears the Marine Corp needs Navajo Indians for a special operation. His name is Ned Begay and he is not afraid to fight for his people. Ned will be a Marine and more importantly he is a code talker. Code Talker is a great book and anyone who read the book could feel the history, the power and the pride of the Navajos along with the Marines. The characters in this story are spectacular by the story end all of the characters are fully developed. I connected with Ned Begay because he was a prideful young man and was in the Marine Corp. I have the same pride and wish to join the Marines Corp, when I get older. The issues the Navajo Marines had to deal with when they came back to America were the racism and hatefulness. Code Talker is a remarkable story about how Navajo Marines had to overcome differences and continuing going forward. In the entire war Navajo Marines proved to their commanding officers and others who were skeptical of the code and code talkers. The Navajo Marines proved them wrong and this story proves it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2006

    Gripping story with historical context of great honor

    Brings forth remeberance and comprehension towards the so very important aspect of American Indian efforts in WWII. Breaks the understanding down through the perception of 1 character.(Main Character)gives a visual experience while gliding through the pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    An Incredible Najavo Story About World War Two

    Ned Begay is a Najavo Marine soldier that is disrespected by his teachers in boot camp and punish him if he uses his native tongue around them. He was to only use it when needed in battle. He is to be a code talker in the marines fighting against the Japanese over the Pacific during World War Two. He learns that it is tough to make friends when they think your race is different but he makes several friends along the way because of his talent to go through the mental and physical problems of the training and the war because he lived in tough times and has gone without food before. He ends up helping in a major part of the war because only he and the others could speak najavo, not the Japanese. He fights alongside other marines and goes through tough times by losing fellow najavo's and other white marines. But he survives in the end and gets to go back to his mother, father and younger sister. With his best friend by his side 'Georgia Boy' who he helped teach to read. Overall, it was an extremly good book if you like good storylines, action, and learning about the people who made a difference a long time ago.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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