This is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a long time. After World War II, Germany was divided into four sections that were occupied by the winning forces. The capital, Berlin, was also divided into four sectors – although the entire city was in the Soviet controlled sector. In 1948, after a disagreement, the Soviets decided they wanted control of Berlin, so they blockaded the city from the rest of the world. No trains, trucks, or cars were allowed to reach Berlin. The only way to bring in supplies like food, medicine, and coal was by airplane. The Americans, French and British joined forces to air drop these supplies to the people of Berlin. Of course, candy was a luxury, not a necessity, so there were no sweets in Berlin. That is, there were no sweets until Uncle Wiggly Wings started Operation Little Vittles. American pilot Gail Halvorsen gave his chewing gum to children gathered at the end of the runway. This one small, kind act blossomed into an international effort to bring candies and sweets to the people Berlin. When the military learned of his candy drops, they were treated as a great act of publicity and good will. The military sponsored what was officially called Operation Little Vittles. Individuals and corporations donated candy that was dropped by parachute over different neighborhoods in Berlin. Halvorsen signaled to the children of Berlin that candy was being dropped by wiggling the wings of his plane. The project brought a lot of joy to the beleaguered city that year. In fact, years later, grown-ups brought their children and grandchildren to meet their favorite pilot, Gail Halvorsen. This book is exceptionally written. ~Alexa Newman, Youth Services Librarian
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