Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: Code Talker by Chester Nez

Code Talker by Chester Nez
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: September 2011
Pages: 320
Source: Library
For: Interesting!

Summary (from goodreads):
Although more than 400 Navajos served in the military during World War II as top-secret code talkers, even those fighting shoulder to shoulder with them were not told of their covert function. And, after the war, the Navajos were forbidden to speak of their service until 1968, when the code was finally declassified. Of the original twenty- nine Navajo code talkers, only two are still alive. Chester Nez is one of them.

In this memoir, the eighty-nine-year-old Nez chronicles both his war years and his life growing up on the Checkerboard Area of the Navajo Reservation-the hard life that gave him the strength, both physical and mental, to become a Marine. His story puts a living face on the legendary men who developed what is still the only unbroken code in modern warfare.
Things I Liked:
This book really intrigued me.  I loved reading about those Native Americans who played such a unique and vital role in WWII.  His particular experiences made me realize just how little I know about the treatment of Native Americans in our history. I mean, I know it's always been bad, but this wasn't even always deliberately bad, just neglect and ignoring the kinds of things they experienced.  It was eye-opening and just plain sad.  I liked hearing it from his perspective and he never sounded bitter or angry about it.  His experiences during the war seemed so different from what the "usual" soldiers might have felt, but was still very painful and hard.  An inspiring and interesting read.

Things I Didn't Like:
I did like how it was really his words written down, but that also made for some grammar issues that I would notice and be annoyed about before remembering it was his direct narrative.

Can't think of any

s-factor: !@

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->->
he went to war!

Overall rating: ****


  1. Is this the book the movie Windtalkers was based on?

    1. Oh, I don't even know! The book never mentioned it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't. Now I'm intrigued - I'll have to find out!

  2. I've heard of the code talkers, but I haven't read much about them. This book does sound fascinating. Thanks for recommending!

    1. This was my first experience hearing about their stories and it was fascinating!

  3. I loved this book and recommend it to my students often. I thought the depiction of the battles is something that reluctant readers (especially boys) would like. Great review.

    1. Ooh, yes! I bet it's a good one for those reluctant readers!


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