Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple
Bruchac, Joseph.
New York : Dial Books, 2005
IL 5-8, RL 5.7
ISBN 0803729219

(7 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

This fictional story reads like nonfiction. Navajo Ned Begay joins the Marines in WWII to become a code talker. As he tells his story to his grandchildren, he reveals the harsh life he endured at a boarding school off the reservation where he was forbidden to use his native language. He learns to read and write English all the while secretly speaking Navajo. Later on this makes him and many other Navajos, secret heroes for without their help many of the Pacific battles would have not been won. (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2006-2007)

Booktalk #2

Wolachii is a Navajo Indian teenager who kind of lies about his age and joins the Marines when he’s 16.  He sees some of the bloodiest battles in World War II, including   Iwo Jima, but he wasn’t your average Marine.  He was recruited to translate important messages into the Navajo language on the battlefield and then send them over the radio to the command center.  Now, the Japanese had broken every other code the Marines had used, but they never figured out Navajo.  Wolachii’s job was so top secret that the other Marines thought he was some kind of scout, and he wasn’t allowed to talk about what happened to him for nearly 30 years.  Although Wolachii is not a real person, the amazing stories he tells did happen to the real Navajo Code Talkers.  (Georgia Peach Book Awards, 2006-2007)

Booktalk #3

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.  (Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2008)

Booktalk #4

The book i read was called Code Talkers. It was about a boy named Ned Begay. He wanted to join the Marines but was too young so he asked his parents if they would say that he was 17. They did and he went to war in Japan and you will have to read whether or not he dies.  (Daniel M., k-12 student, Iowa)

Booktalk #5

Ned was a Navajo fighting in World War Two as a code talker. After years of being told not to speak his Navajo language now he has to. After he went through his training to be a marine he went through another training course, but had to learn the code.  (Katherine B., K-12 student, Iowa)

Booktalk #6

What this book is about is how a Najajo Native American named Ned Bengay, wants to go into War World 2. So when his family lets him go into the war, Ned is recruted into a camp where there he is told he will go to war being a code talker. The code talker is a person who connects people through radio during the war, but Ned uses his Navajo language to keep the Japaness people from knowing what their plans are. Ned goes to war and meets new friends and goes to many places, after years go by, the Japaness finally surrender because too many people are getting killed. So America wins.

I would rate this book at 7 or 8 because I am not into war books that much, but it is interesting reading about all the things they have to go through!  (Kristen B., K-12 student, Iowa)

Booktalk #7

Kii Yazhi left his home to go to boarding school. After a week of not speaking Navajo, his name was changed to Ned Begay. When he was in High School he wanted to be a Marine. He wasn't old enough to be one though. After a year passed his parents allowed him to become one. He went to Boot Camp and did everything great, except swimming. After Boot Camp was over he had to go to special training. When he went into the room he was told that he was going to have to speak Navajo to say things during the war. After he learned the code, he was sent to Hawaii for some more training. The code had been updated and he was informed about that. Then he want to war. He was shot in the shoulder during one fight. His friend was shot in the neck but survived. The Japanese surrendered after the US dropped two atom bombs on Japan. The war ended and he got discharged from the Marines. A long time later he was able to talk about what he did. I rate this a 8 because it started out slow, but the action picked up when he fought in the war. (Brandon T., K-12 student, Iowa)

SUBJECTS:     Navajo language -- Fiction.
                        Cryptography -- Fiction.
                        Navajo Indians -- Fiction.
                        Indians of North America -- Southwest, New -- Fiction.
                        United States. Marine Corps -- Indian troops -- Fiction.
                        World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.
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