I remember the first time I ever encountered this book. I was in second grade and Mrs. Jordan (who wasn’t a very engaging out loud reader) read this book to the class. At the time, I did feel that this was a great book, and upon re reading… I think I liked it even more. Why did it impress me more reading it from an adult perspective? Perhaps it is because as a ‘grown up’ I have run into the Herdmans, and Mrs. Armstrongs, and Alice Wendelkens, and that is what makes this book such a classic Christmas Story. It is funny only because we see a little or a lot of ourselves in the narrative.
The story starts with an annual Christmas Pageant. It goes amiss from the start as the narrator’s mother is assigned to take over the pageant. Further problems happen when the Herdman kids decide to take part. The Herdman’s are the most vile children known to man and have never even heard of the nativity story. The narrative continues with practices and mishaps and the hilarity and ends with the entire town experiencing a different type of pageant but remembering what Christmas is all about.