Navajo Code Talkers
Navajo Code Talkers

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Annotation: The story of the Navajo Indians who served in World War II by using their ancient tribal language as a means of secret military communication.
Genre: World history
Catalog Number: #210838
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Walker & Co.
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition Date: 2002
Pages: 114 p.
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8027-7627-2 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-4173-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8027-7627-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-4173-1
Dewey: 940.54
LCCN: 92011408
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
The role played by Navajo Indians as 'code talkers' in World War II is described in detail. Aaseng discusses the difficulties involved in creating a code using the Navajo language. Once developed, it proved unbreakable, and the Native Americans, once trained, proved highly efficient and effective. The subject matter, explored in a straightforward manner, will be of interest to many readers. Bib., ind.
Kirkus Reviews
The gripping story of the Native American volunteers who provided a unique military service during WW II to the very government that had oppressed their people. <p> The gripping story of the Native American volunteers who provided a unique military service during WW II to the very government that had oppressed their people. Using their own language, specially trained Navajo transmitted messages that the enemy could neither read nor falsify, greatly facilitating military operations in the Pacific. The background information here is particularly effective; 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. Particularly interesting are how hard it was for them to convince other Americans that they weren't Japanese, and how some of the talkers attributed their safe return to blessing ceremonies conducted on their behalf by Navajo healers. Aaseng also shows the importance of coded communications to military operations, giving examples of how the early cracking of Japanese codes led directly to some crucial victories. After the war came white ignorance and neglect: the talkers were not officially thanked until 25 years later. An important story, compellingly told. Map; many b&w photos; source notes; bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 9-14.)</p> "
School Library Journal
Gr 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
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 109-110) and index.
Word Count: 20,971
Reading Level: 9.5
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 9.5 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 8480 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.9 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q08266
Lexile: 1170L

Navajo Code Talkers tells the story of this special group, who proved themselves to be among the bravest, most valuable, and most loyal of American soldiers during World War II. On the Pacific front during World War II, strange messages were picked up by American and Japanese forces on land and at sea. The messages were totally unintelligible to everyone except a small select group within the Marine Corps: the Navajo code talkers-a group of Navajos communicating in a code based on the Navajo language. This code, the first unbreakable one in U.S. history, was a key reason that the Allies were able to win in the Pacific.

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