Code Talker

book review

Book Review by: Blake Evans

In the book Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac, 16 year old Ned Begay must go through tough times as a US Marine during World War 2. He learns survival tactics and many other strategies about how to become a sacred Code Talker. He must learn and study the code to be perfect. One mistake could cause horrible results. The way the story was written gives it a tone of telling a story to someone else. It is looking back on the narrator’s life, giving it an interesting point of view.

In the Beginning of the story Ned is at his house with his family about to go to the mission school where he will stay throughout high school. It gives details of his Navajo life style being at his house. They begin to travel far away to the school. Once they get to the school, he meets other Navajos who are new as well. As they are going through school the white teachers all tell them that their language is useless. But Ned never forgot it. During the years of high school, the Marine Corps went to the school looking for native Navajos who can speak both Navajo and English fluently to recruit to be in a special part of the Marines. They went through boot camp and learned how to do all sorts of things they might need to know as a US Marine. They didn’t know it at the time, but they would soon become the Code Talkers for World War 2.

The author did a good job keeping me hooked after each paragraph. He likes to leave you hanging at the end of each chapter, especially when he starts to get into the battles which are interesting. That’s what made me want to read more each time I got to the end of each chapter. The major conflict is that

Ned must use his sacred code to send crucial messages back and forth to help the soldiers win the war against the Japanese. The Theme in the novel is, the whites thought that they were superior over the Navajos. But they find out there not. The fight through all the places he will go and who he meets will be that Ned Begay will never be the same for as long as he lives.

The author did a really good job of conveying the historical setting of the novel. For example Ned rode in a horse drawn wagon on the way to the mission school. Also he explains the times that the whites kicked all the Indians out of their land but then gave some of it back. When he gets recruited by the marines. The US is going through World War 2. The best part of Bruchac’s writing is that he likes to leave you hanging and makes it interesting. Instead of being boring he puts some action in each chapter. It spices up the writing a little and makes it less dull. All through the book was very good, I think the author should have put more places in where the man is talking to his grandchildren. To me I almost forgot he was telling a story. If the author had put more of where he stopped telling the story and talked to the children then I think it would be a little easier to understand.

The central theme of Code Talker is that the Navajos can do everything just as good if not better than the whites in America. Ned learns that the white’s aren’t perfect. But in fact he was better at a lot of thing than them. I really liked this book. It has a good theme to it and gives a good story. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 star rating. One because it was overall very good and fun to read. But it could go a little faster and maybe put some more action in the beginning. But overall I thought it was an excellent book to read. I would definitely recommend the book. If you like historical fiction and suspense, then I would definitely recommend this book to you. The wars of the past such as World War 2 are also in the book, so if you are interested in the war then this would be a good book for you as well. Because it has some action and refers to the past it was a really interesting book. So I would definitely recommend reading this, because I really enjoyed it.

Historical Accuracy

The author led me to understand the time period very well. I could tell that the story was in the past before World War 1. Then progressed through World War 1 and 2 as he Ned was fighting as a code talker. The author put not too much, but not too little details about the historical times. He used them here and there just as if he was reminding you that you were in the 1900s. None of the historical events or elements were incorrect as I researched. They were all on real places or things such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, or Ned Riding in a wagon to get to school. Ned is also fighting in World War 2, which shows the historical time as well. I think the author did a very good job describing and giving details about the time period of the book. He really explained well to the readers and did a good job not putting too much in or too little.

Informational peice. Pearl Harbar

“He led us into the hall outside the main office to listen to the radio. It told a terrible story. The Japanese had attacked the United States at a place called Pearl Harbor. Most, if not all our planes and boats were destroyed. Many people died.”

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The morning of December 7, 1941 the attack led to the entering of the United States into World War 2. The Japanese used the attack as a preventive action to keep the US from interfering with military actions. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese planes. 4 out of 8 Navy battle ships were sunk and all but Arizona were brought back up. The other 4 were sent out to fight in World War 2. 188 US aircraft were destroyed, 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. It was a tragic attack.

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Short narrative peice

Today is the worst day ever. I’m six years old, just old enough to start going to school. My parents are waiting outside for me with my uncle that’s about to take to something called a mission school. My mom and dad were dressed in their finest clothing. She gave me a small bundle of clothing which made my heart hurt. I’m really getting shipped away to school. Then my uncle called for me. So I climbed up into the wagon and we started off to the mission school. I waved hundreds of times before my parents became out of sight. We got to the edge of town so I dropped a splinter that has my blood on it from being in my finger on the ground to keep a little of me behind. As we came in to the mission school I could see that there were other Navajos that were new as well. The principle was white and started shouting at us but we couldn’t understand him.


Works Cited

"Allies of World War II." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.

"Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.

"Axis Powers." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016. Staff. "Pearl Harbor." A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 02 May 2016.

"Navajo." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.

"World War II." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.