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Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot [Hardcover]

Our Price $ 15.26  
Retail Value $ 17.95  
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Item Number 445258  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   48
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.2" Width: 9.72" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 9, 2002
Publisher   Sleeping Bear Press
Age  7-9
ISBN  1585360694  
EAN  9781585360697  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The true story of a young German girl, Mercedes Simon, and of the American pilot, Gail Halvorsen, who shared hope and joy with the children of West Berlin by dropping candy-filled parachutes during the Airlift.

Publishers Description
A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that Dropped from the Sky.

Life was grim in 1948 West Berlin, Germany. Josef Stalin blockaded all ground routes coming in and out of Berlin to cut off West Berliners from all food and essential supplies. Without outside help, over 2.2 million people would die.

Thus began the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian rescue mission that utilized British and American airplanes and pilots to fly in needed supplies. As one of the American pilots participating in the Airlift mission, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen helped to provide not only nourishment to the children but also gave them a reason to hope for a better world. From one thoughtful, generous act came a lifelong relationship between Lt. Gail and the children of Berlin.

This is the true story of a seven-year-old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the Airlift and of the American who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot.

Artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen's evocative paintings illuminate Margot Theis Raven's powerful story of hope, friendship and remembrance.

About the Author: Margot Theis Raven has been a professional writer working in the fields of radio, television, magazines, newspapers, and children's books for thirty years. She has won five national awards, including an IRA Teacher's Choice award. Ms. Raven earned her degree in English from Rosemont College and attended Villanova University for theater study, and Kent State University for German language. Ms. Raven splits her time living in Concord, MA, Charleston, SC and West Chesterfield, NH.

About the Illustrator: Born in the Netherlands, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen studied at the Royal Academy of Arts inHolland. He immigrated to the United States in 1976, and years later he became a children's book illustrator. "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot" is Nick's ninth children's book with Sleeping Bear Press.

Buy Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven & Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781585360697 & 1585360694

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More About Margot Theis Raven & Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen

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Margot Raven and E. B. Lewis collaborated on Circle Unbroken, a Booklist Top 10 Black History Book for Youth. Their most recent picture book was Night Boat to Freedom, published by FSG in 2006. The author lives in Charleston, South Carolina. The artist, a Caldecott Honor Medalist for Coming on Home Soon, lives in Folsom, New Jersey.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Ages 9-12 > General   [21670  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Children's Books > History & Historical Fiction > Fiction > General   [433  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Children's Books > History & Historical Fiction > United States > 1900s   [330  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
"giving a helping hand" or "wing waggling"  Nov 29, 2008
I found this book by happenstance. If I had not been in the process of automating the books in our school library (I'm the librarian), I would never have "found" this book. The Dewey Decimal people have it catalogued under "Berlin (Germany)--History--Blockade, 1948-1949--Juvenile Literature" or 943.1550874. So that is where a previous librarian placed it. Makes sense. And now I know where it is. That's backstory.

"Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story about the Berlin Airlift and the Candy That Dropped from the Sky," written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenbuyzen, is a wondrous story of not just hope, but hope with joy. According to Raven, Stalin intended to starve (to death) over two million West Berliners by blockading their access to food and supplies. He intended to add West Berlin to his quadrant of Germany (so divided after WWII).

The Allies (United States, England, France) still had open air corridors into West Berlin. These they utilized to initiate a "sky bridge" to drop supplies into the city. From June 26, 1948 until September 30, 1949, British and American forces flew more than 277,000 missions, day and night without stop. Or as President Harry Truman said, "There is no discussion. We stay in Berlin. Period!" (All information is taken from the introduction.)

Two pages with two words: BERLIN 1948 set against a landscape of bombed out buildings need no other words. This is a desperate time. This is a desperate place. Then the book takes us to a very specific, very personal place: Young Mercedes is haranguing her four chickens to lay eggs or they will end up, according to her mother, as dinner. Mercedes and her mother live in a heavily mortared, yet still inhabitable building.

After seeing little children's deep desire for sweets one day near the flight field fence, one pilot, Lt. Gail Halvorsen, started tying up candies at the end of a little parachute made out of a hankerchief and dropping them out of the sky. He would waggle his tail wings to let children know which aircraft would drop the chocolate candies and gums.

One little girl, our Mercedes, did not catch any candies the day her mother took her to the field. She wrote and asked him to make a drop over her house with white chickens in the yard. What does a seven-year-old child know about flight patterns? Instead, he mailed a packet to her.

Ret. Col. Havorsen and Mercedes are still friends and meet occasionally.

There is much more to the story of the chocolate drop and the follow-up. This is a wonderful resource to read to students studying Germany, war-time related stories, international friendships, or whatever connection you see here. I marvel at the artwork that matches the story and wonder how Gijsbert conceived his ideas to fit a broad story. My only objection, and I really am reluctant to mention it, is that Mercedes is drawn too big for seven years old. But, oh, the facial expressions!

I repeat: This is a wondrous book!

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot  Jun 18, 2008
This is the most beautiful childrens' book! It is a true story, I have been very fortunate to meet this pilot, Gail Halvorsen. This is a wonderful way for children to read about an important piece of history that had a lasting impact on not only a city but the millions of people saved by a great act of kindness. This particular event should not be lost, but kept alive. I highly recommend this book to children of all ages! Beautifully illustrated!
A Family Keepsake  Feb 12, 2008
We had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Col. Halverson and Mercedes during one of his visits to Berlin this year. We invited the beloved Chocolate Pilot to speak to a small group of American Scouts and organized a book reading beforehand. Word got out and over 350 people showed up to hear this story! The audience was mesmerized. Everyone, both parents and children alike, were touched by the story of human kindness. Margot Theis Raven does a wonderful job recounting the true story of Mercedes, a seven year old German girl, who dreams of receiving a little happiness, in the form of candy, in postwar Berlin and of a kind American pilot who makes her dream come true. This beautifully illustrated book honors both Col. Halverson and Mercedes. My children absolutely love this book. And so do I! It's a true family keepsake.
Vanessa Hansen, BSA Troop 46 'Freedom Outpost'
Great Addition to your Library  Sep 9, 2007
We loved this book. We read it last year while studying about Germany. We loved it so much we bought it ourselves. Beautiful true story about how even in the hardships of war, blessing happen. The kids and I even cried a little as we read this one. Just a great read with great illustrations as well.
A Gem of a Book!  Jun 7, 2007
Some years ago, I "dragged" my wife and son to meet the Candy Bomber when he came through town. He gave a really nice speech in which he told the story of Mercedes. Amazingly, I had finally found a pilot who hit a sweet note with them. A year or two later, they even went to meet him again, and my son caught candy he dropped at the airport. Well, when the book came out, my wife latched onto it in an instant. She was so taken with the book and the retelling of the story of Mercedes, that she has incorporated it into her class room. Super nice man and touching story. The author did a splendid job that does both justice. You'll enjoy this one!

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