As I was making my book choices for Indiana, I realized that I didn’t have a young adult book. I always seem to choose at least one book that is a young adult or young readers’ book for each state. (Technically, I read 4 young adult books for New Mexico–the two Klages books, the Bruchac […]

John Nichols knows his New Mexico birds. There’s a good list of birds seen in┬áThe Milagro Beanfield War, starting with the flock of nesting killdeer that feature in the opening scene of the book with one of the town’s historic figures, Cleofes Apodaca. There are both literal and figurative buzzards (turkey vultures) and zopilotes (black […]

Well, I have to say I’m having a hard time slogging through The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols (1974). I think I might have had an easier time if I hadn’t read So Far From God by Ana Castillo so recently. In many ways they are similar, and both do a great job of […]

There are several important scenes in Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman, that take place in Chaco Culture National Historic Park. I will try not to give spoilers, but will instead stick to simply “illustrating”–providing the reader with a bit more information on what’s mentioned in the text. First of all, a map of the […]

Several of my recent reads for New Mexico are set (at least part of the time) on the Navajo Nation of the Southwestern United States. First of all, I should note that the Navajo Nation is located mostly in Arizona. The map below shows how the Navajo population is distributed throughout the Nation. (For reference, […]

I’ve been telling my 10 year-old son about the Navajo Code Talkers–and he’s loving it! Kids love secret codes–I certainly did, and so does my son. He recently received a Mail Order Mystery as a gift (the pirate one), and it included several messages in a basic pigpen code. He was very excited, and, although […]

As I said in my (updated) main New Mexico post, after reading Joseph Bruchac’s Code Talker book, and starting to listen to Chester Nez’s Code Talker book, I decided to return to a new incarnation of an old favorite. When I was in high school, in the mid- to late-1980’s my dad and I read […]

There are very few birds in Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac. I got a little bit excited when, on the first page of Chapter 1 the narrator and main character says, “I hoped I would see an eagle, for that would be a good sign.” […]

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac (2005) is a fascinating read, especially for a history buff like me. This was another aspect of World War II that I hadn’t heard much about and excited to learn about. However, unlike Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse, where the […]

In Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac, Ned Begay tells a story about a training exercise he and several other Navajos participated in with their group on the Big Island of Hawaii. Half of the Big Island is rain forest and the other half is desert, […]