A Junior Library Guild Selection April 2018
2018 Cybils Award Finalist, Elementary Non-Fiction
BRLA 2018 Southwest Book Award
2019 Southwest Books of the Year: Kid Pick
2020 Grand Canyon Award, Nonfiction Nominee
2020-2021 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award Master List
STARRED REVIEW! "A perfect, well-rounded historical story that will engage readers of all ages. A perfect, well-rounded historical story that will engage readers of all ages."—Kirkus Reviews starred review
As a young Navajo boy, Chester Nez had to leave the reservation and attend boarding school, where he was taught that his native language and culture were useless. But Chester refused to give up his heritage. Years later, during World War II, Chester—and other Navajo men like him—was recruited by the US Marines to use the Navajo language to create an unbreakable military code. Suddenly the language he had been told to forget was needed to fight a war. This powerful picture book biography contains backmatter including a timeline and a portion of the Navajo code, and also depicts the life of an original Navajo code talker while capturing the importance of heritage.