Code Talkers: Books for All Ages

These books tell the stories of "Code Talkers", Native Americans who were recruited during multiple wars by the U.S. military to use their languages as a secret code. While many Americans never knew of their heroism and contributions to history, these books ensure that their legacy will be recognized by future generations.

Thanks to Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature for her recommendations!

Learn more

To learn more about Code Talkers, take a look at the following:

Code Talker Stories

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: The Diné (Navajo) language helped win World War II, and it lives on in this book, as the Code Talkers remember the war and reflect on the aftermath and the legacy they will leave behind. The veterans, able to speak to a daughter of one of their own in English and Diné, truly shared from their hearts. They not only provided more battlefield details, but they also reveal how their war experiences affected themselves and the generations that followed.

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two

Age Level: 14-16

Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years. But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker.

Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers, Volume 1

Age Level: 12-14

Based on the true stories of the Native American Code Talkers, this incredible graphic novel features nine original stories by Native American artists and writers documenting the heroic tales of Code Talkers from World War I through the Korean War. The graphic novel also features a history of the Code Talkers and a lesson plan for teachers who wish to use the book to teach students about the struggle and accomplishments of these Native American heroes. 

Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers: Annumpa Luma -- Code Talker

Age Level: 12-14

Follow the story of Corporal Solomon Louis and the exploits of the first Choctaw Code Talkers in World War I. Written and illustrated by Arigon Starr, this is one of the stories included in Volume One of the Tales. Published by INC Comics, the Indigenous Narratives Collective.

The Unbreakable Code

Illustrated by: Julia Miner
Age Level: 6-9

John, a young Diné (Navajo), is frightened to leave his lifelong home on the reservation and move to Minnesota with his mother and new stepfather. The boy's grandfather assures him he'll be all right since he has an "unbreakable code," the Diné language. The man goes on to tell the story of how he and other Dinés were recruited by the Marines and developed a message code based on their native language that helped the U.S. in the Pacific during World War II. — School Library Journal

Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers

Age Level: 12-14

"Speaking their native language — which the Japanese could not decode — Diné (Navajo) soldiers were instrumental in U.S. marine victories in the Pacific during World War II, relaying vital information between the front lines and headquarters. Kenji Kawano, a native Japanese photographer whose black and white images of surviving 'code talkers' are unusual for their sensitivity, notes with some irony that these soldiers were his father's enemies at one time." — Amazon.com