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Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot"

by Michael O. Tunnell

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43916639,933 (4.25)3
"World War II was over, and Berlin was in ruins. US Air Force Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. They were hungry and afraid. The young pilot wanted to help, but what could one man in one plane do?"--dust jacket flap.



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Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
The Candy Bomber would be great in a curriculum unit for older elementary and younger middle school students for an interactive read aloud. I think older middle school students would also be able to enjoy and engage with the book as a read aloud. I am not sure students would easily read the book on their own especially because of its length, not because of the content. Since the candy bomber would drop candy/chocolate/and gum to the children in Berlin, it quickly became publicized and the called it Operation Little Vittles. The candy and fabric they used to parachute down to the children was not cheap, and everyone donated what they could. They even began leaving notes on the silk cloth and parachutes to be handed over to any American military policeman so that it could be used again to send more candy. Eventually, Operation Little Vittles became a huge operation and they received so many letters praising them and asking for more candy. This would be a good book to use for an assignment to write letters to Lt. Halvorsen as if they were the children receiving the candy and they could talk about what may have been going on in "their families" and comment on what was happening in West Berlin to assess their understanding. ( )
  DianaNewman1617 | Apr 23, 2020 |
My son really enjoyed this true story of a US Air Force pilot who participated in Berlin's airlift after World War 2.
  wunderlong88 | Nov 21, 2019 |
This book is about a U.S Air Force pilot name Gail Halvorsen. It takes place after World War II. After the world war America and England were sending supplies to Germany. Gail wanted to help bring the kids that lived there some happiness, so he went to the border and gave them a few sticks of gum. After seeing how happy they were he said he would drop some candy for them, he told them to look for the plane that wiggled its wings. He started dropping candy and word got around and eventually people started sending him candy and napkins, sheets and cloths to make parachutes out of. Multiple candy factories sent him hundreds of pounds of candy! Kids wrote him letters thanking him for the sweetness in there life. Halvorsen even visited a Children's Hospital and taught kids how to blow bubbles with bubble gum.

I think this book was pretty much perfect. The author, Michael O. Tunnell, obviously put a lot of work into it. There were plenty of pictures of him meeting kids and examples of the fan mail he got. They also added a few extra things like the fact he carried a flag in the Olympics for Germany. It was informative, but not boring. The author described the events and even talked to a few of the people that were given candy from the plane! This book is good for kids who need it last minute for there report for Library Thing. ( )
  SamanthaC.B4 | Oct 21, 2018 |
Summary: This is an account of the Berlin Airlift over a 14-month period in 1948-1949. 1,736, 781 tons of food was airlifted into the Western Sectors of Berlin to keep the German people of Berlin alive, as the Soviet Union restricted shipments of food into the city. But, not only food was provided for Berliners. Candy was dropped by little parachutes to the children of the city, and this is the story of Lt. Gail Halvorsen and his mission to bring “sweet vittles” to the desperately poor and hungry children of Berlin. He offered hope.

Personal Response: I picked up this book as I was looking through books related to World War II for a final 6th grade project that the students will be working on after Easter. I read it quickly, and then called my mom to ask her questions. I wanted details. My mom was five-years-old living in the French Sector of Berlin and she remembers the excitement of seeing the American planes flying over Berlin. They would land in the American Sector of the city, but it still meant that the people of Berlin would not starve to death. I grew up hearing how much the Berlin Airlift impacted my own mother’s life and how she saw the American’s as “saviors.” This book brought the memories to life. My mom never got any chocolate or gum from the “Candy Bomber” but she knew that there was hope and kindness in this world, and good people in the world that made a difference.

Curriculum Connection: I introduced the subject of the Berlin Airlift to my 6th grade students today. I showed a ton of pictures, and then I began reading this book to the students. I told them that when we finished reading this book (or parts of it, because of its length) that they would be writing letters to either Lt. Gail Halvorsen or my own mother. The “Candy Bomber” is 96 years old and lives in Utah. I found his address and will be mailing the students’ letters to him in three weeks. They can also write my mom and ask her questions. I will set up a FaceTime session that the kids can ask her questions, and she can tell her story. There are so many curriculum connections to make with this book, but I think that this is a way to engage their thinking, and give them a way to relate their historical learning to the “here and now.” I’m excited! ( )
  rjrubylou | Apr 7, 2017 |
This book could be used as an interactive read aloud for grade 5 because it is a long book with few pictures and it is about WWII, which may not be suitable for younger grades. I would use it as an interactive read aloud because it shows other parts of WWII, besides just the war. It is also about children that could be the same age as them so they could relate to the book.
  brandi3325 | Feb 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
added by Katya0133 | editHorn Book, Susan Dove Lempke (Sep 1, 2010)
This is a real treat—a World War II title with a happy ending.
added by Katya0133 | editSchool Library Journal, Eldon Younce (Jul 1, 2010)
[An] accessible and positive portrayal of a serviceman who wasn’t on the battlefield. Irresistible.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Kathleen Isaacs (Jun 1, 2010)
The abundance of war details aid in the transition from one chapter to the next but tend to overrun the telling, hampering narrative flow. Readers who stick with it, however, will gain a unusual perspective on the beginnings of the Cold War.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus (Jun 1, 2010)

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Average: (4.25)
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2 editions of this book were published by Charlesbridge.

Editions: 1580893368, 1580893376

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