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Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber
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Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  63 reviews
"From little things come big things," Gail Halvorsen remembered his father saying. As a twenty-seven-year-old American pilot, Brother Halvorsen's job was to airdrop much-needed food and supplies to the people of West Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. But it was his simple gift of two sticks of gum that launched an extraordinary humanitarian endeavor and earned him t ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 4th 2013 by Shadow Mountain (first published October 15th 2013)
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Average rating 4.53  · 
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 ·  271 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Start your review of Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the wonderful true story of a young American cargo pilot who brought joy and hope to thousands of children in Berlin by dropping tiny parachutes of candy during the Berlin Airlift. My hardcover includes a DVD with the story of the "Berlin Candy Bomber" narrated by Tom Brokaw and includes archival film clips of "Operation Little Vittles." Brokaw's reading is accompanied by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra and there is an appearance by the actual Candy Bomber himself at age 92! Th ...more
A fantastically illustrated and eloquently told of the Berlin Candy Bomber, Gail Holversen, an American Pilot, who delivered Candy parachutes to the children of Germany.

It includes a narrative CD of Tom Brokaw with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

A Wonderful Honouring Memorial to a Wonderful Honorable Man!
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a neat story! Three years after World War II ended, Stalin blocked transportation into West Berlin so the United States and Britain transported food and other supplies by air so they wouldn't starve. Lt. Gail Halvorsen was one of the pilots and one day, after delivering flour, he spoke with a group of 30 children hanging out near the runway. They asked questions about the planes, how much flour they carried and if the airlift would continue. Children around the world were known to beg for c ...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm so, so happy to share this book with you today because I love this story. Why? Because it's a story of hope, healing and love.

This is a true story set during WWII. Gail Halvorsen was serving in the US Air Force as a pilot. What started out as a small act of kindness by one man spread into the hearts of people all around him until it became something great and monumental. It touched the hearts of so many people then and it touches my heart today.

I love how this book captures not only the sett
The Lady
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excerpt from my blog review and giveaway running 12/5/2013-12/9/2013:

When I was given the opportunity to review Christmas From Heaven, a zing of excitement went through me. I had been wanting a new Christmas story to add to our collection, and I was thinking this one might be a good choice. Well, after reading it to my children and enjoying the DVD included with it, the votes were in—this is a fabulous Christmas story!

What I like most about Christmas From Heaven is that it tells a story from hi
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This is a truly amazing and beautiful book. I've heard the story of Col. Gail Halvorsen before, and this is a gorgeous retelling. The photos and reproductions of German children's letters are priceless. I haven't listened to Tom Brokaw's reading of the story, but I'm glad there's a CD with the book because I probably couldn't read this aloud without getting a lot of catches in my voice. ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love it, my fifth graders love it, and it truly hits you in the feels.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Read this with my 8 year old son Lee. The instructions for a tissue paper parachute are included at the end of the book and we made one together—it worked! We put a Lindor chocolate on it and it floated down the stairs. So fun even my 13 year old daughter Kate wanted make one and they had “floating” contests off Lees bunk bed. It brought the beautiful nature of the story to life. I loved the mix of illustrations with actual photographs too.
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Author: Tom Brokaw
Illustrator: Robert T. Barrett
Contributor: David Werner
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
October 2013
ISBN: 978-1609077006
Genre: History / Children / Christmas

Many years ago when World War II was coming to an end, American soldiers started delivering food and supplies to the poor Germans in the bombed out houses. One of the pilots for these operations started talking to the children and hearing their stories. His name was Hal Halvorsen. Hal had two pieces of
Cheryl Malandrinos
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a special gift this holiday season, I hope you'll consider Christmas from Heaven, a book with DVD that brings to life the true story of "The Candy Bomber."

When twenty-seven year old Gail Halvorsen is assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, he has no idea how the encounter will change his life. As Lt. Halvorsen performs his duties, he notices German children gathered behind fences at the end of the Tempelhof runway. He talks to the children, and knowing they have s
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Christmas From Heaven was perfect for my family. The true story absolutely captivated my eight-year-old and the pages are long and smooth and gorgeously illustrated. She really enjoyed reading it, and then I put on the DVD that came with it and she just about died from the awesome. "Mom! He's reading at the same time as me!" She didn't care that it was Tom Brokaw in a velvet sport coat with his velvet voice, she was just captivated by the story and the performance. (I have had the pleasure of at ...more
Holly Mueller
This was Katie's Christmas Eve picture book - every year I give the girls a Christmas picture book along with pajamas for their Christmas Eve gifts. They are the only presents we open on Christmas Eve. This year I found a gem - the true story of Gail Halvorsen ("Hal"), a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift. His job was to fly supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin during WW II. One day, he noticed a group of children who asked about thing ...more
Renae Ramos
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My Review

"The real spirit of Christmas-to give whatever we have, no matter how small the gift." Author Tom Brokaw gives his readers a renewed outlook on giving and receiving, and is a great story to read to your children or alone in hopes of remembering what is truly important during hard times. That feeling of warmth you get when you read something beautiful occurred while reading about the selflessness of these men during World War II. I appreciate the true story aspect, and the history which
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Christmas From Heaven” is one of the most touching true stories I have ever read. It is the story of the WWII Berlin Candy Bomber that distributed two sticks of gum to a bunch of war ravaged German children. From that mere gift came a most remarkable fete directed by 27 yr. old pilot, Colonel Gail Halvorsen. He promised those kids he would fly over and drop candy to them, and he came through, big time!

This remarkable book includes a DVD. On the DVD Tom Brokaw reads the story, with music backgro
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This is a beautifully made book. The book has illustrations with picture inserts of the actual people depicted in the story.

"Hal" was 27 years old flying food into West Berlin in 1948. It was Christmas Eve and he realized that what he was doing was the true spirit of Christmas.

He had love and compassion in his heart for the people who were hungry and suffering after the end of the war and an idea was formed when he witnessed the children watching him through a barbed wire fence. They were gratef
Uh oh. Waterworks alert. True story, Christmas, aid missions… this is not going to be pretty. This is the story of Gail Halvorsen, a 27-year-old American pilot who participated in the Berlin airlift of 1948-49. The Russians had laid siege to Berlin, and people were starving, so the US and Britain undertook a massive effort to fly food and supplies into the city. Halvorsen noticed children gathered outside the fence at the air base where he unloaded, and he and his crew began dropping candy tied ...more
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
On Christmas Eve, 1948, American pilot, Gail Halvorsen (Hal), was delivering 20,000 pounds of flour to war-torn Germany in what was termed "Operation Vittles."

On this delivery his mind traveled "back six months to the day that had changed his life."

It was on that day that he saw a group of children...

He talked with them and marveled at their humble, grateful attitudes.

He offered them two sticks of gum and wished he had more to give.

An idea was formed...

Read this amazing book and find out how Hal
Cami Checketts
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect book to add to your Christmas collection. I read it to three of my boys. My 7yo and I had quite an in-depth discussion about World War II and what kind of hardships the children in Germany experienced. It was not only a great history lesson, but quite a humbling experience for a boy who is very kind, but honestly has never experienced real hunger, cold, fear, or loss.
I was halfway through the book when my visiting teacher stopped in for a visit. My 11yo kept reading without
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a remarkable story and I absolutely loved it. If you started a tradition of reading Christmas stories to your family each year, I suggest this one. It was a heartfelt true story of the Berlin Candy Bomber. I appreciated the photos and illustrations throughout the book. It also included a DVD which was outstanding. I enjoyed reading this book to my son who is three (sort of young). He didn't quite understand but I summarized a few parts and he especially liked the airplanes. I definitely ...more
This book beautifully illustrates what I love about Christmas stories. It's a story of compassion, creativity, and courage from an American pilot, reaching out to German children at the end of World War II. The book includes not only the story as told by Tom Brokaw during the 2012 Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert, but also illustrations and photographs that add the perfect compliment to the tender story. Also included with the book is a DVD presentation of the telling of the story at ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Topic: Biography
Theme: selfless acts, holiday, inspirational
My thoughts: What a lovely story that shows humanity at its best all wrapped up in a Christmas story that will be told repeatedly for generations to come. I am excited to share this story with my 7 year old and I don’t care that it’s July.

Activities: I would use this book in my language arts class and have students come up with other ways they can help others in need. For a history I would have the students view video of this time area
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars-love-it
If you get a copy of this book you must listen to the Audio CD with Tom Brokaw telling the story. It is in video form from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Performance . If you have the CD with the book great if not the youtube link

I was experiencing this book at work, trying not to fall into a puddle of tears.
Such a great story, well told with great pictures. The video is touching..and in the end you get to meet Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen in the end!

I don't l
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I feel I am giving a lot of 5 stars to the Christmas books I am reading. Fantastic stories. This book is a stellar addition to my Christmas collection.Besides the beautiful, colorful illustrations there are amazing photos of the pilot, children and even the planes. The story is about the pilot known as the candy bomber. "This is the real spirit of Christmas-to give whatever we have, no matter how small the gift."

The book comes with a DVD of Tom Brokaw narrating the story and The Mormon Tabernac
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story is unforgettable and what makes this book special is it comes with a DVD featuring the story read by Tom Brokaw and performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The paintings are wonderful and I especially love the actual photographs and letters included from this period of World War II.
I read this book to my kids and let me tell you, it was really hard not to cry! What an amazing story and reminder of just how fortunate we are. I love stories like this one that help my children to be
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A familiar story--this time told in the context of Christmas. As the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does their annual Christmas concert, they often include a story which Shadow Mountain or Deseret Book makes into a hardcover picture book for the next holiday season. Drawings are beautiful, the story is true. If you really want to release the waterworks, read the story out loud to your kids and then watch the DVD (included) to see the REAL Candy Bomber surrounded by kids, receive a standing ovation from ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is an inspirational book for right before the New Year! It tells the true story of an American pilot who had the vision and compassion to air drop candy to children in a wartorn country (Germany) after World War II. This gesture brought about untold healing and generated gratitude from the people of Germany. It also brought together donors in the United States. Fabulous!!! The recipe for hope is here! Children, candy, recognition, kindness, selflessness.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I give the story a 5! It is great to have a true children's Christmas story about something other than Santa coming on Christmas morning. I give the layout of the book a 3. I wasn't blown away with the artwork and I found it a bit confusing to have the black and white photos mixed in on the same page with the colored illustrations. I would have enjoyed it better if the black and white photos were saved for the end of the book. ...more
Dec 02, 2013 marked it as picture-books-read
A truly beautiful and inspiring and hopeful story. I cry every time I read it. I'm so grateful for the examples of real people like Hal Halvorsen. I have a feeling this will be a family favorite for many years to come. See my full review here: ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We purchased this book for our boys and our Elf, Chippy, gave it to them on Christmas Eve. Wonderful true story of the Berlin Candy Bomber. The accompanying DVD with Tom Brokaw reading the story along with bringing out the real Candy Bomber himself brought tears to my eyes. Great story for children of all ages!
Angie Cornelison
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story about post World War II. One man with an idea who made life just a little better for others. His father always told him...From small things come great things. I had the wonderful opportunity to see this live at the conference center in Salt Lake City. What an amazing experience.
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Thomas John Brokaw is an American television journalist and author, previously working on regularly scheduled news documentaries for the NBC television network, and is the former NBC News anchorman and managing editor of the program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. His last broadcast as anchorman was on December 1, 2004, succeeded by Brian Williams in a carefully planned transition. In the later ...more

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