Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker's Story

Written by Joseph Bruchac and Illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes

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.

Age Range 7 - 9 years
Copyright Year
Page Count
Albert Whitman & Company
Grade Level 2nd - 4th
Lexile 780