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Navajo Code Talkers Paperback – January 1, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-- A fascinating account that sheds light on a little-known contribution of the Navajos during World War II. A civil engineer who spent his childhood among them suggested that their language be used as a perfect unbreakable code. The result was one of the most secret and important aspects of U. S. intelligence work against the Japanese--Navajo code talking. Aaseng details the process by which native-speaking volunteers developed, learned, and used the complicated coding process to send and receive vital information even when the Japanese were intercepting the messages. He gives many examples of the dangers and prejudice the Native Americans faced in the armed services, as well as the special hardships they endured because of their cultural differences. The short, readable chapters are illustrated with photographs from the National Archives and the Library of Congress. This is a book that will appeal to a wide range of students--those interested in army intelligence and cryptography, and in World War II or Native American history. It should prove helpful for reports, but is interesting enough to recommend for recreational reading. --Yvonne A. Frey, Peoria Public Schools, IL
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Few books so concisely summarize the Japanese advance and the American response to it, while none provides the same depth of insight into the conditions faced by these Navajo. . . . An important story, compellingly told.” ―Kirkus (pointer review)

“A fascinating account that sheds light on a little-known contribution of the Navajos during World War II.” ―School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1170 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens; Reissue edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802776272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802776273
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First of all, I am an 8th grade student at Houghton Middle School. I read this for a book report, and I found this book fascinating, interesting, and exciting. It talks about from their roots and their culture, all the way to their finest hour at Iwo Jima and Mount Suribachi. I reccomend this book to anyone who is interested in World War 2 and the Navajo Code Talkers.
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Format: Library Binding
A fascinating true story about the Navajo people, World War II, and creating and breaking codes. This book is of the sort that really makes history come alive for readers. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband will shortly be purchasing several copies for use in his Jeopardy Reading Tournament that he holds each year for 4th and 5th graders in the school district he is a media specialist in.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The code talkers are an important part of WWII history. The book tells more of their story and is better than the movie from Hollywood. This author has done his research and presents the human story of the Native Americans who helped the country that had a long history of broken promises to their people.

Navajo Code Talkers is an excellent narrative of first person experiences and should be included in school history reading lists. It is that good.
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Format: Paperback
After traveling to Northern Arizona last summer, I wanted to learn more about the Navajo. I found this book which tied in with my interest of WWII. It was a fast read and very informative.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been interested in the history of code talkers since I first heard about them and this was a great read for adults or kids. While you could tell there was some subjectivity to the way it was presented the bias wasn't so strong that you felt your emotions were being directed. It was just an awesome read. Not only did you learn about the code talkers themselves, but there was a lot of information on decoding and the war itself. And given that the Navajos who served in the war were heroes...that the book was clearly sympathetic toward their side felt justified.

I highlighted a bunch of interesting stuff in the book--and actually stopped reading to go tell people in my family about what I was reading...this excerpt from the book on the code they created was really interesting:

This alphabet was especially useful in communicating locations. For example, if a code talker was transmitting orders to attack the island of Saipan, he could say "Al-tah-je-jay dsibeh wol-la-chee tkin bi-sodih wol-la-chee nesh-chee." The code talker receiving the message would translate this message as "Attack sheep ant ice pig ant nut." He would recognize the alphabet words and would spell out "Saipan," using the first letters of each of the English words.

***

Great subject and a well-written book. You can't go wrong with this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting book about a little known aspect of word war II. For a long time no one was allowed to talk about it. There is no doubt that the Navajo Code Talkers had a very important place in the outcome of the naval battles in the Pacific.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for all American History students. It is the previously carefully guarded secret story of how a small group of Native Americans made a huge difference in the fate of the Allies in World War II. Engaging and riveting are two of the words that can be used to describe the telling of this historical episode in cryptography. The world will finally know how the Navajo Code Talkers literally saved countless lives, and probably ensured the outcome of The War.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Navajo Code Talkers is a well-written history of the secret encryption program using Navajo speakers during World War Two. Aaseng provides a concise examination of the beginnings of the program, its difficulties and successes. It's a great story! Despite a tragic history at the hands of the US government, the Navajo people throw themselves into the war in support of the country that almost destroyed them. It's a compelling read.
The only criticism that I have is the brevity with which Aaseng tells this story. There is so much here that is not said, so many details that are missing. Events are brushed over quickly, individuals are discussed without enough substance and problems faced the the program that should take pages to discuss and explore, instead take paragraphs. Despite it being a well-written study of a noble subject Navajo Code talkers left me wanting more.
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