Title: Code Talker
Author: Chester Nez with Judith Schiess Avila
Thoughts: This is an amazing memoir, and I highly recommend seeking it out. While I’ve read a lot of World War II literature, my main area of focus has been the European theatre since that’s where my great-grandpa was. However, I think I was in Lower or Middle School when I read another book about “code talkers” and I was absolutely amazed. The U.S. force recognized the need for an “unbreakable” code, one that could not be used by the Japanese. Since the Navajo language is an entirely oral language—not written—it was used as a code to transmit messages that the Japanese could not weaponize. Native Navajo speakers joined the Marines and used their language—and as far as we know, the code was never broken. These men were unfortunately not immediately recognized for the role they played in ending the war, and while they have been recognized in certain capacities now, it’s imperative that we seek out their story and amplify it.