This is a story along the lines of "The Little Drummer Boy" or "A Christmas Carol" wherein a societal outsider is brought into the fold by the story of Christmas. The outsiders in this case are wrong-side-of-the-tracks fatherless children who end up barging into and taking over the local church Christmas pageant. The funniest parts are the tales of the Herdman kids' extensive history of delinquincy, as well as their naive takes on a story they've never heard before. The other adults and children and their outlooks are nicely realized. Best of all was the narrator: She had the perfect character voice for this type of story, like someone's grandma recounting a memorable slice of her adolescence. I listened with two early teens, who laughed all the way through.
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