Robert's Reviews > The Best Halloween Ever

The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
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's review
Oct 26, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, halloween, 5-6, series, school, humorous, school-library, read-aloud
Read on October 26, 2011

Last evening I was reading a teacher site I sometimes frequent. There someone asked about this book. Someone else provided a very detailed project packet, which I downloaded. I made plans to run out at lunchtime to get the one copy Cumberland County has. Upon entering school, I thought to check our school library, just in case. Sure enough, we have a copy and no one had checked it out two days before we celebrate.

I have read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It's a very fine tale. This sequel, written 30+ years later, pales in comparison.

Oh, there is some zaniness here. Frankly, the build-up is quite good. All is set up for a classic perfect ending as one might expect from the Christmas tale. But that's the thing, Christmas has that emotional connection tied to the holiday—the meaning. That was the hook in the Christmas story. Early on in this book I thought of that. Halloween doesn't have that spiritual angle to play. And sure enough, this falls flat due to the fact that there is nothing uplifting for the Herdmans to have learned from the episodes here.

Yes, they mess everything up again. And in a convoluted manner, it all works out. But there isn't the Linus moment, as it were, where we (and they) gain inspiration because of it. Without that, the book is severely lacking.

Fun, yes. Compelling, no.
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02/20/2016 marked as: read

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