The six Herdman children, known for wreaking havoc at their elementary school, take center stage in Barbara Robinson’s humorous novel "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." The troublemakers unexpectedly redeem themselves - partially at least - when they volunteer to take on roles in the annual Christmas pageant. The Christmas pageant has already begun on the wrong foot, as the pageant’s seasonal director has suffered an injury, and the novice Mrs. Bradley must manage the production, which now stars the "worst kids in the history of the world." During rehearsals, the Herdmans take an unexpected approach to the subject of the play, taking the play in a brand new direction as they listen to Mrs. Bradley retell the Bible story. The words take on new meaning for the Herdmans, and a rather unconventional play begins to emerge. Everything appears to be falling apart, as dire predictions are proved accurate, and Mrs. Bradley feels at her wits' end. But in true Christmas fashion, the children’s down-to-earth rendering of Holy Family’s tale is an unexpected success, leading everyone to concur that it was the best Christmas pageant ever. A Christmas classic, Robinson’s novel is not only a hearty laugh, but also a touching tribute to the true heart of the season, and remains a novel that resonates with readers young and old.