A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two
This work of historical fiction tells about a young Navajo named Ned Begay, a code talker, and his experiences in the Pacific during World War II. (It is a popular book with middle school boys.) This novel provides much information about the code talker program that remained classified for decades after the end of the war. Bruchac includes an author’s note with information about the Navajos and the code talkers and a selected bibliography that lists titles of books about the Navajos, the code talkers, and World War II.
More Information about Code Talkers
- Navajo Code Talkers and the Unbreakable Code (Central Intelligence Agency) This article includes the code talker alphabet.
The Story of the First Thanksgiving
Illustrated by Greg Shed
Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2000
The Winter People
Set during the French and Indian War, this exciting story tells about a fourteen-year-old Abenaki named Saxso whose village of Saint Francis (Odanak) is burned to the ground by the British. Saxso’s sisters and mothers are taken captive. With his father dead, Saxso takes it upon himself to track down the British raiders and bring his family back home. Although Saxso is a fictional character, the story is based on an event that occurred in October of 1759 when “Major Robert Rogers led a force of 200 men, some of whom were Stockbridge Indian scouts, in an attack on Saint Francis.” Includes a map and an extensive author’s note.
The Arrow over the Door
Illustrated by James Watling
Penguin Putnam, 1998
This historical novel is based on the “Saratoga Meeting” or “Easton Meeting”—an event that occurred in 1777 between a group of Abenakis and Friends at a Quaker Meetinghouse just before the battle of Saratoga in New York. The Abenakis arrived to find a congregation of peaceful people and embraced them as friends. The Arrow over the Door is told in alternating chapters by fictional characters Stands Straight, a young Abenaki, and Samuel, a Quaker boy. Both boys are changed by their encounter with each other that day.
The Story of Bird Woman and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
This is a well-researched and informative historical novel about the young Shoshone who served as a translator, peacemaker, and guide for Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition. The book is told in alternating first person narratives by Sacajawea and William Clark. Includes a map, author’s note, and selected bibliography.