“My name is Doug Barnes, and this stuff happened on Christmas Eve in my town, which is Asquont, New York.”
The year is 1960, and, as it is every year, the Christmas pageant at St. John’s Episcopal Church, directed by Mrs. Elkins—who used to be in “the Theater” in New York, and who is tall and skinny, with hair the color of the orange part of a candy corn—is a very big deal. Doug is a shepherd this year, which is better than being a “Three King,” because, for one thing, you get to carry a stick.
But there are problems everywhere. Doug’s fellow shepherds are hacking around, which makes Mrs. Elkins yell at all of them; the girl he likes is playing Mary opposite a Joseph who is depressingly smart and athletic and cute; the family dog is doing very poorly, and they have no idea what they’re going to tell Doug’s little sister, Becky, who’s playing one of the Host of Angels and who loves the dog more than anything; and his dad’s just gotten a flat tire, which means they might not even get to the pageant at all.
But Christmas is a time of miracles. And for Doug and his family, this will be the most miraculous Christmas of all.
Dave Barry has been delighting readers for decades with his newspaper columns, nonfiction, novels for adults, and novels for children, but this book is something special: a story for all ages that will touch the heart and make you laugh out loud. And you may never look at a manger scene the same way again.
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