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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 need…

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

by Barbara Robinson

Overall Book Review:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was written in 1971 and has been charming readers ever since.  It is a humorous first-person account of a Christmas pageant that has been hijacked by the town’s juvenile delinquents.  However, it isn’t just the humor that gives this story its magic; there are honest characters and some insightful truths that are never preached in a heavy-handed manner.

I have a friend who reads this story to her children aloud every Christmas as one of their traditions.  The audiobook version adeptly captures the spirit of the narrator and the book.  The book is only about a hundred pages and the audio version is only about two hours so it is perfect for that quick holiday trip and appropriate for even the youngest children.

If you would like to revisit the Christmas story, through fresh eyes, you couldn’t have better guides than the Herdman family.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations.

Violence/Gore:  Verbal threats; several reports of bullying (hitting, pinching, etc.); destruction of property, no injuries.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Juvenile delinquency, dysfunctional families, parental abandonment

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Report of children smoking cigars.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!