by Ryan Kruger
4th period NM History
This book review is on the book Code Talker. This autobiography is about a Navajo World War II veteran, who is very famous for being one of the original 29 Code Talkers, known as Chester Nez. The book was written by Chester himself, and author Judith Schiess Avila. Chester is the only current Navajo Code Talker that is still alive. This amazing and inspiring story covers his whole life from growing up on the Navajo Indian Reservation, discrimination in boarding school, and eventually triumphing for his role as a Code Talker in World War II, and the events that happen to him even after the war. “Im no hero.” Chester says. “I just wanted to serve my country.” (page 1)
Chester grew up on the Navajo Indian Reservation or as he called “the checkerboard.” Life was very tiring for him as work had to be done there to survive, and his mother died very early in his life. By the late 1920’s Chester was shipped off to boarding up until he went to the marines. Boarding school at fort Defiance was hard as Chester had to learn to speak English, was punished for speaking Navajo, and him and other Navajos were bullied as well. However, he would end up becoming fluent in both english and navajo.
After school, Chester Nez signed up to be apart of the marine core, to help defend his country during World War II. Him and other Navajos were assigned to use their language to develop a code that could be used to win the war. This was interesting because before the war, their language was not important in boarding school, and it wan’t allowed to be spoken. Now, they were in a spot where their language was eventually going to be the key to winning World War II. Because the Navajo language is tonal and unwritten, it is extremely difficult for a non-native speaker to learn. The code created an alphabet based on English words such as ant for “A,” which were then translated into its Navajo equivalent. On the...