Code Talker is Inspiring World War II Fiction | Mentoring in the Middle

Code Talker is Inspiring World War II Fiction

Book covers of Stella by Starlight, Code Talker, and Shouting in the Rain
"Grandchildren, you asked me about this medal of mine. There is much to be said about it....What was a code talker and what did we code talkers do?  Why was the secret we shared so great that we could not tell even our families about it until long after the war ended?  You cannot weave a rug before you set up the loom.  So I will go back to the beginning...."

And so begins this marvelously-told historical fiction novel by Joseph Bruchac.  War is never beautiful but Bruchac weaves Navajo thinking into his story about Marines fighting some of the toughest battles in the Pacific in a way that is both gentle and accurate.
Cover of the book Code Talker
Ned Begay enlists in the Marines at the age of 16, lying about his age.  Bruchac takes us through Ned's training to the military decision to use the Navajo language to create an unbreakable code.  Why Navajo?  "It was one of the hardest of all American Indian languages to learn."

Having been trained, Ned and other Navajo Marines are sent from one Pacific island to the next as forces battle the Japanese, moving from one island to the next, including Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.  Ned's blessings, his sense of humor, his sense of honor, and his commitment to his work shine through this book.  

This is an excellent book for those who want to read about the Pacific theater of World War II.  If you want to have students read it as a class, in small groups, or individually, I have created a novel study guide which you can purchase on TpT here.

You can also read my reviews of Stella by Starlight or Shouting in the Rain.

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