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Barbara Robinson Quotes

27 of the best book quotes from Barbara Robinson
  1. #1
    When it was over people stood around the lobby of the church talking about what was different this year. There was something special, everyone said—they couldn’t put their finger on what.
  2. #2
    They were just so all-around awful you could hardly believe they were real: Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys--six skinny, stringy-haired kids all alike except for being different sizes and having different black-and-blue places where they had clonked each other.
  3. #3
    But I knew—I’d heard Imogene Herdman telling Alice what would happen to her if she dared to volunteer: all the ordinary, everyday Herdman-things like clonking you on the head, and drawing pictures all over your homework papers, and putting worms in your coat pocket.
  4. #4
    He just reminded everyone that when Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” Jesus meant all the children, including Herdmans.
  5. #5
    “What I like best about Sunday school,” he said, “is that there aren’t any Herdmans here.”
  6. #6
    But when all the mothers found out about the Herdmans they withdrew their babies.
  7. #7
    The thing was, the Herdmans didn’t know anything about the Christmas story. They knew that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday, but everything else was news to them—the shepherds, the Wise Men, the star, the stable, the crowded inn.
  8. #8
    Some people said it wasn’t fair for a whole family who didn’t even go to our church to barge in and take over the pageant.
  1. #9
    Elmer Hopkins, the minister’s son, has been Joseph for as long as I can remember; and my friend Alice Wendleken is Mary because she’s so smart, so neat and clean, and, most of all, so holy-looking.
  2. #10
    Of course nobody even thought about the Herdmans in connection with the Christmas pageant. Most of us spent all week in school being pounded and poked and pushed around by Herdmans, and we looked forward to Sunday as a real day of rest.
  3. #11
    That was the thing about the Herdmans—there was always another one coming along, and no teacher was crazy enough to let herself in for two of them at once.
  4. #12
    The Herdmans moved from grade to grade through the Woodrow Wilson School like those South American fish that strip your bones clean in three minutes flat . . . which was just about what they did to one teacher after another.
  5. #13
    When it came time for Claude Herdman to pass to the second grade he didn’t know his ABC’s or his numbers or his colors or his shapes or his “Three Bears” or how to get along with anybody. But Miss Brandel passed him anyway.
  6. #14
    New kids always laughed about that till they got a look at the cat. It was the meanest looking animal I ever saw. It had one short leg and a broken tail and one missing eye, and the mailman wouldn’t deliver anything to the Herdmans because of it.
  7. #15
    Of course it was a great lesson to the Herdmans—they learned that wherever there’s a fire there will be free doughnuts sooner or later.
  8. #16
    I heard Alice gasp and she poked me. “I don’t think it’s very nice to burp the baby Jesus,” she whispered, “as if he had colic.”
  1. #17
    “I’ve got the baby here,” Imogene barked at the Wise Men. “Don’t touch him! I named him Jesus.”
  2. #18
    I couldn’t believe it. Among other things, the Herdmans were famous for never sitting still and never paying attention to anyone—teachers, parents (their own or anybody else’s), the truant officer, the police—yet here they were, eyes glued on my mother and taking in every word. ‘What’s that?’ they would yell whenever they didn’t understand the language, and when Mother read about there being no room at the inn, Imogene’s jaw dropped and she sat up in her seat. ‘My God!’ she said. ‘Not even for Jesus?’”
  3. #19
    As far as anyone could tell, Imogene was just like the rest of the Herdmans. She never learned anything either, except dirty words and secrets about everybody.
  4. #20
    When they got to the part about swaddling clothes and the manger, Imogene asked, “You mean they tied him up and put him in a feedbox? Where was the Child Welfare?”
  5. #21
    “What was the matter with Joseph that he didn’t tell them? Her pregnant and everything.”
  6. #22
    The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse.
  7. #23
    “Why, Gladys isn’t going to hit anybody!” Mother said. “What an idea! The Angel just visits the shepherds in the fields and tells them Jesus is born.”
    “And hits ’em,” said the kid.
  8. #24
    [E]veryone sang “Silent Night,” including the audience. We sang all the verses too, and when we got to “Son of God, Love’s pure light” I happened to look at Imogene and I almost dropped my hymn book on a baby angel. Everyone had been waiting all this time for the Herdmans to do something absolutely unexpected. And sure enough, that was what happened. Imogene Herdman was crying. In the candlelight her face was all shiny with tears and she didn’t even bother to wipe them away. She just sat there—awful old Imogene—in her crookedy veil, crying and crying and crying.
  1. #25
    After all, that was the whole point of Jesus—that he didn’t come down on a cloud like something out of “Amazing Comics,” but that he was born and lived . . . a real person.
  2. #26
    Since Gladys was the only one in the pageant who had anything to say she made the most of it: “Hey! Unto you a child is born!” she hollered, as if it was, for sure, the best news in the world. And all the shepherds trembled, sore afraid—of Gladys, mainly, but it looked good anyway.
  3. #27
    “They looked like the people you see on the six o’clock news—refugees, sent to wait in some strange ugly place, with all their boxes and sacks around them. It suddenly occurred to me that this was just the way it must have been for the real Holy Family, stuck away in a barn by people who didn’t much care what happened to them. They couldn’t have been very neat and tidy either, but more like this Mary and Joseph.”
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