Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, Bookpack Hanging Bag Preloaded Digital Audio Player – August 1, 2015
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This story of Ned Begay growing up practically forced to go to Boarding school where they attempted to erase the Navajo language and culture from the minds of the Navajos. He joined the Marines at age 16 to fight for a country that had mistreated his people for many years. The Navajo Tribal Council issued a profound statement just after Pearl Harbor calling their men to fight for the US - it was moving and brought me to tears. I gained so much respect for the Navajo tribe and their culture.
The story continues to describe what the code talkers did in the South Pacific throughout WWII and how they were able to turn the tide of the War and eventually defeat the Japanese.
The author carefully treats the combat zone so that you get the idea of the horrors without the gore. This makes it a valuable resource in the classroom. So many themes to capitalize upon--integrity, pride and appreciation for the Diné and other Native American cultures, friendship, dealing with prejudice--against the enemy and against others, locus of control, family, etc. As a teacher and a parent, I highly recommend Code Talker. In fact, I will be investing in a class set; my own money, of course, because Code Talkers is so powerful in creating a space for awareness--the kind of awareness that can change paradigms forever.
AUDIO VERSION REVIEW:
Code Talker is poignant to read, but Derrick Henry's recording transforms the novel into a spellbinding fireside evening at "grandfather's" knee. Thankfully, Henry must be Diné or can speak the language well enough to cause my friend, a fellow Diné to say, "He is Navajo." The authentic pronunciation of Navajo words and phrases increases appreciation for why this was America's best hope to create an unbreakable code.
If there is any book one should listen to rather than read, this is it. Actually hearing the sacred language elevates the experience of Code Talker, for it is no longer just a novel, it is now an oral history.
Top international reviews
The Code Talkers are men that never received what they deserved, respect. It did not happen soon enough for most but they where incredible men. Thank you all for your great service to both Canada and the USA.