The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.
None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.
I remember seeing this book around the house every year at Christmastime. I saw it at the library and thought I would give it a read as I remember everyone enjoyed it. It is such a short story and not that much happens in it. Really you get a lot of bad things the Herdman kids have done, and they are told in a humorous way but if you really think about it it is horrible. These kids do whatever they want and no one does anything about it. They beat up other people, smoke, steal, etc and the adults don't do anything to stop them. Really kind of sad.
The only other thing that happens is that they put on a pageant. Not much work goes into it really and it works out. The Herdman kids actually seem to make it better just being themselves and people can see the true spirit of Christmas (though that doesn't really involve helping these kids. It involves telling a more realistic story of Jesus' birth). It just really didn't have much substance and was just...not really anything.