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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Pairings -- WWII and The Candy Bombers

Everyone loves chocolate and the children in Berlin post-WWII were no different.  This intriguing story of how American pilots won the hearts of German children (and their parents) during airlifts of food and coal to war ravaged Berlin has been told in several recent books.

Introduce the Candy Bombers with a reading of Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven (Sleeping Bear Press,2002). This is the true story of a 7-year-old girl who writes a letter to the pilot, Lt. Gail Halversen and gets a package in return. The epilogue is as compelling as the story Raven tells. On Raven's author site she shares some correspondence and information about the real Mercedes and the pilot.

Then continue on to introduce longer more involved accounts of the Candy Bombers of World War II. A new book to be released by Charlesbridge on July 28, 2010 shows great promise for upper elementary and older readers. It is Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot" by Michael O. Tunnel (Charlesbridge, 2010)

Gail S. Halvorsen has created (and narrated) a YouTube video about his experiences and would provide more information.
A comprehensive 640 page book,The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour by Andrei Chemy (Putnam, 2008) -- now available in paperback from Berkley Trade, and in audio format from Recorded Books (24+ hours of recordings) is great for that cross country trip.
Let me know what you think of these books — I think you will find them great fun  Settle down in an easy chair with a chocolate bar and enjoy.

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