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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

post written by Emma Filbrun

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara RobinsonTitle: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Author: Barbara Robinson
Major Themes: Christmas
Synopsis: What happened when the Herdmans, the black sheep of the town, took over the annual Christmas pageant?

My boys loved this book! I read it aloud a number of years ago, and now again recently put it on the shelf that they were allowed to choose a read-aloud from. My 14-year-old chose it, and we all greatly enjoyed this story for the second time. Some of them delight in calling it The Best Worst Christmas Pageant Ever, for obvious reasons if you look at the cover picture.

The narrator is apparently a girl, around 10 years old, although she never really identifies herself. The focus of the story is the Herdmans—an awful group of children if there ever was such! They were passed from one grade to the next each year, not because they had ever learned anything (they couldn’t even read), but because the teachers knew if they didn’t they would have two Herdmans in their class next year. All the children in the town were somewhat scared of the Herdmans, and quite in awe of the terrible things they did. Then one day, all six Herdman children showed up for Sunday School—and it happened to be the day that the annual Christmas pageant was announced. Were they interested!

The main character’s mother unexpectedly found herself in the position of having to organize the pageant this year, and that meant dealing with Herdmans, who had decided they were going to have all the main parts in the pageant. And what a Herdman wanted, he or she got. But how can you act out the Christmas story when you’ve never even heard it before?

You will get somewhat of a fresh look at the Christmas story as you read this book—just as the main character and the rest of the town did. You’ll also be challenged to view the difficult people in your life differently. Despite the picture on the cover, this is not just a humorous book. It’s actually very serious. I don’t seek out Christmas books, and usually don’t consider them great, but this one is great.

WARNING: There are a few words here and there, to illustrate how bad the Herdmans were, but nothing really bad.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12


Links to buy The Best Christmas Pageant Ever:

Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover | Mass Market Paperback | Audible Audiobook | Audio CD (unabridged)

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Book Depository: Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD (unabridged)



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