The United States is at war, and sixteen-year-old Ned Begay wants to join the cause - especially when he hears that Navajos are being specifically recruited by the Marine Corps. So he claims he's old enough to enlist, breezes his way through boot camp, and suddenly finds himself involved in a top-secret task, one that's exclusively performed by Navajos. He has become a code talker. Now Ned must brave some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with his native Navajo language as code, send crucial messages back and forth to aid in the conflict against Japan. His experiences in the Pacific - from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima and beyond - will leave him forever changed.
"Readers who choose the book for the attraction of Navajo code talking and the heat of battle will come away with more than they ever expected to find."Booklist, starred review
Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.
But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. This deeply affecting novel honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve, and it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians.
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
"Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac's tale is quietly inspiring..."School Library Journal
Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola.
He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, Skeleton Man, and The Heart of a Chief.
For more information about Joseph, please visit his website www.josephbruchac.com.
"Readers who choose the book for the attraction of Navajo code talking and the heat of battle will come away with more than they ever expected to find." Booklist, starred review
"With its multicultural themes and well-told WWII history, this will appeal to a wide audience." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Bruchac's gentle prose presents a clear historical picture of young men in wartime, island hopping across the Pacific, waging war in the hells of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima. Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac's tale is quietly inspiring..." School Library Journal