Monday, May 15, 2006
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Wow. I learned so much from this book. I knew vaguely that Navajo Indians had made codes that were used in World War II, but I didn't know any details. Joseph Bruchac, who is himself a Native American, obviously did a ton of research to write this book. The character in the book is a young Navajo who enlists in the Marines and becomes a Code Talker. I found the story to be gripping, and I knew as I was reading it that it was entirely grounded in fact. The most fascinating part to me was the descriptions of what it was like for the Marines who fought the Japanese on the islands of the Pacific. Conditions were horrible, and so much needless killing occurred. Any reader interested in war will devour this book, and will enjoy a fast-paced war story with the added advantage of the perspective of the Navajo Indians who were told their language and culture was worthless, and later told to use that language to help their country.