Barbara Robinson, author of the long popular The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, published by HarperColllins in 1972, died on July 9,2013. She was 85. The book, which many consider now to be a holiday classic, was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and received the Georgia Children’s Book Award, Indiana’s Young Hoosier Book Award, and Minnesota’s Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award. In 2012, it was also included in SLJ’s Top Hundred Children’s Novels.
Robinson wrote two sequels featuring the “Horrible Herdmans” – The Best School Year Ever (1994) and The Best Halloween Ever (2004). The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was made into a television special in 1983, starring Loretta Swit, for which Robinson wrote the screenplay. Robinson was born in Ohio, later attending Allegheny College. She worked as a librarian in Sewickley, PA, and was a mother and grandmother.