The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
I don't remember the first time I read this book, but I'm sure it was before I was in high school. I have read it many times since, and enjoyed reading parts aloud to my daughter this holiday season--though she didn't seem to get nearly as much out of it as I did!
The story takes a new spin on the traditional Nativity scene. I appreciated looking at what a child has heard her whole life, but never really stopped to think about much. Suddenly, her whole world is upended by the Herdmans, a family of scruffy kids who take over the church Christmas pageant. Seeing the ancient tale through their eyes, brings up questions in her mind, and unexpected answers.
I was going to list one of my favorite quotes, but now I can't seem to find my copy of the book. The gist of it is after the first rehearsal the narrator's mom (the director of the pageant) comes home to ask her dad what he would think if he'd never heard the Christmas story before. He thinks about it for a moment, then states that it was really sad no one could find a decent place for a pregnant woman to sleep for the night. Her mom agrees, saying she's never really thought about it, but Mary had to give birth in a barn!