Navajo Code Talkers

Navajo Code Talkers

4.0 16
by Nathan Aaseng
     
 

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On the Pacific front during World War II, strange messages were picked up by American and Japanese forces on land and at sea. The messages were totally unintelligible to everyone except a small select group within the Marine Corps: the Navajo code talkers-a group of Navajos communicating in a code based on the Navajo language. This code, the first unbreakable

Overview

On the Pacific front during World War II, strange messages were picked up by American and Japanese forces on land and at sea. The messages were totally unintelligible to everyone except a small select group within the Marine Corps: the Navajo code talkers-a group of Navajos communicating in a code based on the Navajo language. This code, the first unbreakable one in U.S. history, was a key reason that the Allies were able to win in the Pacific.

Navajo Code Talkers tells the story of the special group, who proved themselves to be among the bravest, most valuable, and most loyal of American soldiers during World War II.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
The author begins the account with a short history lesson about the Navajo culture and its background. This gives validity to the tale that unfolds of how the Navajo members of the Marine Corps contributed to the victory in the Pacific. The Navajos and their supporters worked hard to convince the Marine generals that their code and their commitment to the war effort were worth taking a chance on. The account of the hardships they endured, from the credibility of their code to the lack of acceptance, makes for interesting reading. Throughout this account, the author candidly explains the many barriers that had to be overcome in order for this valuable component of the war effort to become a reality. This should be a good addition to any nonfiction collection and a valuable research tool for students who are working in this period of history. It should lead to better understanding of the contributions of the Navajo nation to the victory realized by the U.S. in the Pacific, and it will be of interest to reluctant readers because it is fast paced. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 1992, Walker, 114p, illus, bibliog, index, 23cm, 92-11408, $8.95. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Deane A. Beverly; Reading Teacher, Pawcatuck, CT (retired), November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-- A fascinating account that sheds light on a little-known contribution of the Navajos during World War II. A civil engineer who spent his childhood among them suggested that their language be used as a perfect unbreakable code. The result was one of the most secret and important aspects of U. S. intelligence work against the Japanese--Navajo code talking. Aaseng details the process by which native-speaking volunteers developed, learned, and used the complicated coding process to send and receive vital information even when the Japanese were intercepting the messages. He gives many examples of the dangers and prejudice the Native Americans faced in the armed services, as well as the special hardships they endured because of their cultural differences. The short, readable chapters are illustrated with photographs from the National Archives and the Library of Congress. This is a book that will appeal to a wide range of students--those interested in army intelligence and cryptography, and in World War II or Native American history. It should prove helpful for reports, but is interesting enough to recommend for recreational reading. --Yvonne A. Frey, Peoria Public Schools, IL
From the Publisher

“Few books so concisely summarize the Japanese advance and the American response to it, while none provides the same depth of insight into the conditions faced by these Navajo. . . . An important story, compellingly told.” —Kirkus (pointer review)

“A fascinating account that sheds light on a little-known contribution of the Navajos during World War II.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802775894
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Edition description:
1 PBK ED
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Nathan Aaseng grew up in Minnesota and worked as a microbiologist for four years before becoming a writer. He has written over ninety books for young readers. He lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with his wife, Linda, and their four children.

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Navajo Code Talkers 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Hoboken-Lady More than 1 year ago
The Navajo Code Talkers are a group of American Indians who have sadly been almost totally forgotten by the rest of the US. This short book is a good description of how the code talkers started, their successes, and the regrettable failure of the US government to remember them appropriately. The text might be a little difficult for children under the age of 9, but it is a worthwhile addition to anybody's understanding of US history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Think of the enemy trying to intercept your messages, but you have a secret weapon. You are in the desert in the village of Navajo Indians and the country around you is in battle across the ocean. The Navajo Indians want to fight, but they are not considered Americans. Then a code is made up and the Navajos are sent to war where they will send an unbreakable code back and forth as messages. In this book you find amazing secrets. I liked in the book that the Navajos were able to survive in the deserts. The Navajos were able to survive harsh conditions in the deserts of New Mexico where they lived, because there ancestors did the long walk across the desert. Even though the Americans made them live in these terrible conditions, the Navajos wanted to help America win the war. Also, the Navajos could find water to drink by simply finding plants with water inside them, which the Americans may not of thought about doing. I liked that the Navajos were brave in war. Though the Navajos were brought into the military as code talkers, they were also willing to go fight in the war. When one of the code talkers had his foot blown off, he continued to send messages to the battlefield. The Navajos were used to bad living conditions so they never complained out in the jungles. I liked this book because the Navajos were helpful. The American commanders in the book said if the Navajos weren¿t there, the war might have turned out different, because the Navajos were such a big help. If the Navajos hadn¿t sent coded messages, the Japanese may have heard the Americans talking, they could interpret the English, and the Americans might have been attacked badly. Last, they also fought to help the U.S. win the war with their unique language. This story is amazing because you find out these Indians helped us win the war. Even though they were a great help to us, we don¿t hear much about them. Also, for a while the Navajos were kept in secret so that if the military needed them again the enemy wouldn¿t know about them. I think that a lot of people will be amazed by this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book should silence any racists against the Navajos. Evan after their people had been betrayed by our country they still flocked to join the army after the outbreak of WWII. Overcoming religious taboos such as avoidance of dead bodies, and also overcoming great prejudice, they did their counrty a great favor, and undoubtedly saved thousands of lives. They, out of all the marines, took the greatest risk because they could easily be mistaken for Jappanese. I give this book five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so very interesting, that I found myself engulfed in their experiences. The history of the Navajo and what they faced was so well written. Great book even if you are not a history lover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PopsDG More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding look inside a lost piece of history. More than just what they were but who.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello this book is a piece of crap
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amariah Olson More than 1 year ago
Loved this book it was botth fuun and educational rrecccoomend
Brandon Vore More than 1 year ago
this book was very fun and egacational
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Epic to the max
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely annoyed by the horrid editing. There were spelling mistskes, typos, punctuation errors,etc. Did this dude edit it himself!?