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US Studies : WWII Nonfiction Book Project: Code Talker

Descriptions of nonfiction books for the US Student book project.

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII Book by Chester Nez and Judith Schiess Avila

About the book

Chester Nez Interview

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Library Journal Review

Library Journal:
While the Japanese could figure out many World War II American codes and transmissions, they could not crack the Navajo Code Talkers. Nez was one of the original Code Talkers serving with the Marines. Here, with Avila (New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Chautauqua Program), a Code Talker scholar, he tells of a hard New Mexico childhood in the Great Depression; the discrimination against Native Americans; how the code was developed from a language with no written background; his dangerous wartime experiences on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, and Peleliu; and his postwar life. The big picture of the Pacific Campaign is only selectively mentioned; instead there's lots of detail of personal effort, suffering, and boredom, summoning the true flavor of the war and a portrait of those who made a valuable contribution to the war effort. The appendix is a 1945 "Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary" from the U.S. Navy, also available online. VERDICT Accessible and compelling, this is recommended for general readers as well as World War II history buffs. --Daniel K. Blewett (Reviewed October 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 16, p90)