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The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

The Whipping Boy (original 1986; edition 1986)

by Sid Fleischman, Peter Sis (Illustrator)

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4,006911,278 (3.65)54
Title:The Whipping Boy
Authors:Sid Fleischman
Other authors:Peter Sis (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic (1986), Edition: 2nd Printing, Paperback, 90 pages
Tags:Box 19 D

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The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (1986)


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In this book the Prince Brat as the kingdom calls him has an attitude of arrogance and entitlement that changes into thinking about others and being a good friend. The prince decides to runaway and takes his whipping boy as a companion, but soon after is caught by two thieves that try to ransom the prince. In in effort to save himself the whipping boy tries to convince the would-be kidnappers that he is the prince and to let the actual prince, whom they think is the whipping boy, take the ransom note. The prince is not keen to what the whipping boy, Jemmy, is doing and does not play along; making it harder for Jemmy to get both of them out of the kidnappers shack. Then at a chance jump for the door the two are free, but have the kidnappers at their heels. Once out of sight of the kidnappers Jemmy tries to rid himself of the prince, but cannot and ends up feeling pity for him, and allows the prince to flee with him. As they try to outsmart and flee from the kidnappers Jemmy learns to trust the prince, and the prince learns what it means to be a friend. Finally the two boys make it safely back to the castle and the prince keeps his word to keep Jemmy safe, and Jemmy stays in the castle to be a friend to the prince.

Personal Reaction:
I think this book tells a great story of how we can learn to trust people, how friendship can change a person, and how working together can be better than working alone. I think this book could also classify as a folktale, since it has a moral of not being selfish to the tale. I also think the book can be exciting for students to read in class; the kidnappers, dancing bear, and the boys running and outsmarting the kidnappers will definitely keep their attention, as well as giving them talking points to discuss in class.

Classroom Extension:
1. I would use this book in my class as a reading choral book to enhance adn practice weekly vocabulary.
2. I would use this book in the above way and then have my students gather in groups to discuss certain topics such as being selfish, working together can be better than alone, dangers of running away from home, help the boys received and would they talk to strangers if they were the characters.
3. I would have a classroom discussion, as in our first video ffom last weeks literature circle, about the topics each group had to see their answers, and to let my students make their viewpoints with text support.
  JennDunham | Nov 24, 2016 |
This is a slapstick story with a serious side to it. Prince brat is whipping the character named Jemmy, he won’t cry and the Prince is getting upset about it. Both of these characters decides to run away, it all falls apart when they are kidnap by some criminals. This story runs and dodges, treating us to adventure and comedy, and at its heart it is a sympathetic view of two boys – both, in their way, deprived.

Personal Reaction:
This book is a little like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn or Little House on the Prairie. I like the adventure of two boys traveling and escaping danger. The title can use some adjusting along with kids being whip. The slapstick comedy loosen up the dialogue of the story. Overall get book to read and get a good laugh out of it.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1.Talk to the kids about comedy, ask do they know what it is.

2.Set the class up in a mid-evil time concept and let them act out the parts (without anyone getting hurt).

3.Have parents to come and read to the kids. ( )
  cedric_edwards | Nov 12, 2016 |
I read this book with my fourth grade class and they loved it. I did find it a bit hard to read aloud with some of the slang dialogue. This story really makes you think and analyze what is going on, especially when reading it aloud to kids. I had to stop every page or so and discuss what was going on in the book. The kids really loved doing that and predicting what was going to happen next in this adventure filled tale. ( )
  celutz8191 | Oct 16, 2016 |
Sometimes these Newberry winners baffle me. This was not a bad book. But it's written for 2nd or 3rd graders, which I thought was a bit below the age range for Newberry consideration. The story is very simple, as are the characters. They have no depth. It would have been better suited to a longer picture book than a novel format.

That said, the story is of a dreadful prince, who, being the prince, cannot be spanked. So when he is naughty, they bring in the "whipping boy", who is a servant child who is punished in the prince's place. The prince decides to run away, and take the whipping boy with him. In the scant 90 pages, they run into murderous brigands, a girl with a dancing bear, soldiers, a kindly potato seller, and a sewer full of rats. The prince returns to the castle afterwards a changed boy and everyone (except the brigands) live happily ever after. ( )
  fingerpost | Sep 26, 2016 |
This book was great. I think I would read this book in a second great class as introduction to chapter books. I would read one to three chapters a day. The children could do activities about life and the lessons the boys learn, Fairness and etc. ( )
  skeltonmorgan | Sep 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fleischman, Sidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sís, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The young prince was known here and there (and just about everywhere else) as Prince Brat.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060521228, Paperback)

For kids to get their dose of action and thrills, they need not always go to the local multiplex for the latest bang 'em up film. They could try such books as The Whipping Boy, which relies not on exploding spaceships and demonic robots but mythic story, humorous characters and, ready or not, a moral. The plot involves the orphan Jemmy, who must take the whippings for the royal heir, Prince Brat. Jemmy plans to flee this arrangement until Prince Brat beats him to it, and takes Jemmy along. Jemmy then hears he's charged with the Prince's abduction as this Newbery Medal winning book turns toward a surprising close.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:43 -0400)

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A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws. Forced to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat, Jemmy plans to run away, but on the night of his escape, he and the Prince have a climactic confrontation. Prince Brat decides to run away from home, taking his much abused whipping boy, Jemmy, with him, but their roles are reversed when the boys are captured by the villains Cut-Water and Hold-Your-Nose-Billy. John Newbery Award, 1987. This highly original tale, a sort of takeoff on the Prince and the Pauper, shows what happens when an obnoxious prince switches places with the boy who is punished for the prince's every misdeed, the whipping boy. A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws. A shout comes echoing up the stairway, fetch the whipping boy. A young orphan named Jemmy rouses from his sleep. Ain't I already been whipped twice today? What's the prince done now? It was forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne. Jemmy had been plucked from the streets to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat. Dreaming of running away, Jemmy finds himself trapped in Prince Brat's own dream, at once brash and perilous. In this briskly told tale of high adventure, taut with suspense and rich with colorful characters, the whipping boy and Prince Brat must at last confront each other. Award winning author Sid Fleischman again blends the broadly comic with the deeply compassionate in this memorable novel; splendid entertainment and a Newbery Medal winning book in 1987. Fleischman's earlier works, such as the 1966 Chancy and the Grand Rascal and By the Great Horn Spoon, are also sure treats, and happily still in print.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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