Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot” as Want to Read:
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  576 ratings  ·  121 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 9th 2002 by Sleeping Bear Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  576 ratings  ·  121 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot
Lisa Vegan
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone; fans of inspirational stories; history buffs
I cried all the way through this book, yet I really can’t think of one less than positive thing to say about it.

This is a wonderful history book for middle school age kids.

It’s about a real little girl, a real pilot, and a chapter of history about which I’d known nothing about until I read this book. These two people are the focus, but the situation of the West Berlin’s citizens being blockaded by Russia in the years after World War II, and the pilots who delivered supplies to them, is covered
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This heartwarming little book just left me teary-eyed! This very beautifully illustrated book is about a little girl in Berlin and a generous American pilot who was known as the Chocolate Pilot as he used to drop chocolates from his plane for the kids during the crisis that emerged after WWII.

Interesting thing is, the people mentioned here are real people! The incidents mentioned here actually happened!

And the illustrations are out of the world! I kept staring at those! Simply mesmerizing!

Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
This is another book my son and I read together as a background for a school project they are beginning on WWII. It's a true story about an Air Force pilot that dropped candy from his plane to the children in Berlin. It's a pretty short story but it's so heartwarming. Even in just those few pages, it brought tears to my eyes. It reminds you that there are good people in the world. I think everyone should read it once.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About the Aftermath of WWII
I found myself close to tears by the end of Margot Theis Raven's Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, a picture-book retelling of the story of Lt. Gail Halvorsen, the "Berlin Candy Bomber," and the young German girl (one of many) who wrote him with a special request. A pilot in the US Air Force, and a participant in the Berlin Airlift, which ferried much-needed supplies to West Berlin after WWII, when the Soviet Union was blockading the city, Halvorsen responded to pleas from local children for can ...more
I am trying so hard not to cry after reading this book--especially as I'm sitting at the Ref desk! But you know me and my weakness for "based on a true story" books and movies. This picture book is a sweet and gentle telling of a true story that I had never heard before. And can't believe I never have! It is so wonderful! And I'm now quite intrigued about all the lives he touched and how his little deeds have escalated so much in this world.

The book is very informative. Has nice illustrations (
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful story about the Berlin Airlift and the way that Lt Gail S. Halvorsen's Operation Little Vittles affected the lives of the hundred thousand children in Berlin. The story was fascinating and the additional information provided at the beginning and end of the tale really reinforced the importance of the supply runs. The illustrations are terrific and very expressive and complement the story very nicely. The fact that Col Halvorsen continued his airdrops to refugees in more recen ...more
Luisa Knight
A true story about a little girl during the Berlin Airlift and how she came to befriend the Chocolate Pilot who rained candy down from the sky.

Ages: 4 - 9

#postworldwar2 #germany

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book R
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and illustrated childrens' book. "The Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949 is still one of the greatest humanitarian missions the world has ever known. Like a great sky bridge, airplanes flew 24 hours a day, three minutes apart, to feed 2.2 million people for 15 desperate months." My dear friend Ingrid lent me the book who was there and lived through the war and the after effects of it. I highly recommend this book.
Raven, M.T. (2002). Mercedes and the chocolate pilot: A true story of the Berlin airlift and the candy that dropped from the sky. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.

Seven year-old Mercedes Simon is a young girl living in West Berlin with her mother, three years after WWII ended. In 1948 Josef Stalin blockaded the routes to West Berlin and the people there had little or no access to food or supplies. This book is about how Mercedes learned that there was an American pilot nicknamed the “Cho
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this picture book by Margot Theis Raven. I did not know a lot about the Berlin Airlift before reading this story. It was amazing to read about what the people of West Berlin had to go through in 1948. I did not realize how much work pilots had to do in order to get food to the people in the Airlift. This story made me think how lucky I am able to get food any time I am hungry without having to wait.
It was sad to read how this poor little girl had to live. It was incredible how happy a
Elizabeth S
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
The best part of this book is that it is true. It was fun for me to read, because I've already read about the Chocolate Pilot, aka the Candy Bomber. The pictures are great, and really filled in a lot of people who haven't seen a bombed city. It is one thing to read about a bomb-riddled apartment house, and another thing to actually see what it looks like to walk down the street in such a city.

I wouldn't recommend the book for a preschooler. Not that there is anything scary or inappropriate, but
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love the story of the Berlin Airlift and have read several books about it in the past few months. Here is another wonderful book with beautiful illustrations. Geared towards a younger child, I will add this book to my picture book collection.

Why I picked it up: I love Evergreen, if my library doesn't have the book, I can have it shipped from another library!

Why I finished it: I needed to stop crying at my desk, what if a patron caught me? or worse my boss?

Who I would recommend it to: Anyone wi
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was very touched by this beautiful, true story of Gail Halvorsen who dropped chocolate and candy for the children of East Berlin in 1948. I loved reading of Mercedes and how Gail read the letters and often responded to the letters these children wrote to him. I loved reading of the impact these simple acts would have on Gail and Mercedes' lives in the future. I will admit that I got choked up reading this story. It was beautifully told and beautifully illustrated. I love finding people who did ...more
Lucia Benzor
What a 'sweet' story that is hardly ever told. Great illustrations, great story. Would use when talking about the state of the UK in the beginning of WWII and the Blitz. Good to help them think about the little things that they appreciated becuase of all the war the took from them that we may take for granted.
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful true story. This is exactly the kind of biographies that I love reading aloud to my children. The ending is special. The illustrations are not my favorite style, but they are not distracting, hence the 4 star.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ellie, jacob, mom
Wonderful read. Helped to show my kids the after effects of WWII.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my! Such a Chocolatey-sweet little book! A true story of the Berlin Airlift, and candy that dropped from the Sky. Describing the premises of a war-torn Berlin in 1948, and stricken by Joseph Stalin’s try to take all of Germany and ultimately all of Europe under his communist rule, the roads and railways were blocked, so American Airforce had to drop tons of food, and other necessities for the people of Berlin for 15 hard months. Among the airlifts, a young Lieutenant; came to known as Chocol ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The illustrations are beautiful! The story is true and endears us to a period of time in the history of Germany after WWII.
Christine Turner
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 nouri ...more
Anna Baker
Beautiful book. Could be boring for students if not hyped up by the teacher. Excellent for helping students get a grasp on the complexity of war and what happens after a war. There are so many details about WWII that the big picture may be lost when teaching a class about it. I think narrowing on one detail, like this book does, promotes a deeper understanding of the situtation than a shallow sweep of all the details of the war. (I actually had no idea that Stalin even tried to take over all of ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to this through our book club by a woman who is from Eastern Germany, served a mission in the mission office in Western Berlin, and because of an uncle who lived in Californa was privileged to come to America. She received a dress from Hurricane with Carroll Heaton's name and address in the pocket. Through that contact, she came to Hurricane and stayed. (story is very much shortened!) Now she is in our ward, and married to an old friend of my father-in-law. To hear her read this ...more
Laura (booksnob)
This is a true story about a American pilot named Col. Gail S. Halvorson USAF and a little German girl named Mercedes Wild.

World War II has ended and the four allies, Russia, Great Britain, France and the United States all controlled parts of Berlin. Russia controlled East Berlin, while the three remaining countries controlled the three sectors of West Berlin. On June 24th, 1948 Stalin tried to take over control of all of Berlin, thereby creating a blockade of West Berlin by cutting off all rout
Allison Homeyer
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A touching true story of Mercedes Simon, a young German girl, and her friend Gail Halvorsen, an american pilot. Together they bring joy, and love to the children and families of West Berlin by dropping candy-filled parachutes during the Airlifts of World War II.
As a reader it was very easy to fall in love with such a wonderful true story. It's hard to even imagine how much these small acts of kindness meant to these children. I love anything World War II related, even if it brings me to tears at
Ashley Bunch
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved reading this book to my second graders. We were talking about timelines in social studies & the way things look in the past/present and a colleague recommended this book. Its a story about a girl living in Berlin during WW2 when times were very hard, but a pilot tried to make things a little better for the children by dropping chocolate on the city spreading joy and hope. This book sparked interesting conversation and we tied in maps/geography as well into our lesson. My stude ...more
Kathleen Anderson
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
I've heard of books about the Berlin Candy Bomber that were written for adults, but my friend loaned this book to me to read and I love it! It's a true story of a pilot who was flying supplies to West Germans in Berlin whose supplies had been cut off by Russians after WWII. This author is sharing the story of a young girl who lived in West Berlin and her personal experience with Gail Halvorson, the pilot. Excellent book and fabulous illustrations.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I already love the story of "candy bomber" Gail Halvorsen. This book was a beautiful telling of the story from the perspective of Mercedes, one of the children of Berlin at the time. I loved the inclusion of some background at the beginning of the book, and the follow up with a surprise at the end of the book, as well as learning more about what happened with Halvorsen after his tour of duty during the airlifts was over. Very touching book.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is such a sweet book about a little girl living in Berlin after the war. She has a wonderful encounter with the Chocolate Pilot (or the Candy Bomber) and continues this wonderful relationship into adulthood. This book would be great when talking about the Berlin Wall and the restrictions put into place by various rulers/dictators.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Exceptionally presented, this account of a story of the Berlin Airlift is certain to captivate readers. Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched, this is the kind of book that brings to life a moment in history that might otherwise remain unknown for many potential readers. Really well done and thoroughly enjoyable.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
Great book, great story about how to make a bad situation good. An American pilot drops chocolate and candy from his plane for German children following WWII. There is historical details at the front and back book that give more insights. Excellent! Even better the pilot was from my Home State of Utah and he is also a member of my Church...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! :-D
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book and an incredibly heart warming story! I highly recommend it to children and adults alike. The only thing preventing this book from receiving 5 stars is the lack of a map which would have provided children with so much more information. Publishers refusal to add maps to books is a real loss.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
  • Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
  • Dead Lake
  • Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness
  • Go to Sleep Mom!
  • H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination
  • Looking Like Me
  • Black Cat
  • Wings
  • The Phantom Twin
  • Library Lion
  • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
  • Waking Kate (Lost Lake, #0.5)
  • Themes and Variations
  • Hello Lighthouse
  • Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
  • The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger, #2)
  • The Wednesday Wars
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
78 likes · 14 comments