Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

The Whipping Boy (original 1986; edition 1986)

by Sid Fleischman, Peter Sis (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,470761,534 (3.64)49
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

Work details

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (1986)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 49 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Lindsey Johnson

Book # 5

Historic realism

Book Summary: Jemmy has been brought to the streets to serve as the whipping boy for Prince Horace, who is better known as Prince Brat. It is illegal to whip a prince, so a whipping boy is used as an example. Jemmy never hollers when he is whipped, he won’t give the Prince the satisfaction. One night Prince Brat wakes Jemmy and says they are running away because he is bored. Shortly after they leave they are kidnapped by Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater. After they realize one of them is the Prince they want a ransom. They think Jemmy is the Prince because he can write and Prince Brat can’t, because he refused to learn. They get away and are chased by the men all over town. They make friends with a girl, Betsy, who has a dancing bear, and a man, Captain Nips, who sales boiled potatoes. Prince Brat tells them to turn them in for the prize he king has set up. They do and then Prince Brat promises to behave, in return for not whipping Jemmy, because they have become friends.

Personal Reaction: This is an excellent book. The setting is an old kingdom, and the author paints great pictures of the time with his words when he describes the village.

Extension Activities:
1. Create a diorama of the village, the kidnappers house, the sewer they hide in, or the castle.
2. Write a journal as Jemmy.
  LindseyJohnson | Mar 24, 2015 |
Summary: Prince Horace is of course royalty and is a very naughty boy, but being royalty can not be punished therefore they bring a Jemmy who is a rat catcher to come to the castle and take the Prince's beating for him. Prince Brat as he is called around the city and Jemmy set off an adventure. They are caught by two nasty scoundrels who take them to their hut and force Jemmy who is able to read and write to do the dirty work of taking care of the jewels they have stolen from the king. Once the boys escape due to Jemmy's intelligence, they return to the castle and are great friends from then on out and Prince Brat stops his terrible ways.

Personal Reaction: My first thought about this book is that everyone needs that one friend who will help them get over themselves. After seeing that Jemmy was willing to save Prince Brat too he knew he was in the wrong with how he had been acting.

Future Classroom Extensions: 1. Ask my students to decide who they consider his or her best friend.
2. Have them write about how they became friends and also which one of them was more like Prince Brat or Jemmy in the start of their friendship.
  LynleeRae | Nov 11, 2014 |
This book is about a prince who misbehaves a lot. the prince has whipping boy, who is an orphan, who was found on the streets, who gets whipped every time the prince misbehaves. The whipping boy dreams about escaping the castle. The prince decides to run away and take his whipping boy with him. they are kidnapped by some thieves, but out wit the thieves and escape. before their escape, the whipping gets the thieves to believe he is the prince so that the prince would be set free. The prince doesn't want to return to the castle, so he refuses to leave. The prince is whipped by the thieves. Eventually, the boys become friends. When they return to the castle, the prince tells his father not to punish the whipping boy. The prince also stops misbehaving after their return.

Personal Reaction:
I enjoyed this book because we all tend to take advantage of someone at sometime in our lives. This book shows the reader what it's like from both points of view.

Classroom Extensions:
This book would be a good book to have children read when learning about ancient traditions because centuries ago, royalty really did have whipping boys for their heirs to the throne.
I think this book would be a good book to be read out loud in the classroom. The class could discuss what it would be like to be the whipping boy or the prince who is neglected by his father, the king. The children could also discuss how and why the prince and the whipping boy become friends.
  theresazeigler | Nov 11, 2014 |
Newbery Award

Summary of book
This story takes place in the 15th century. It was illegal to spank a prince. A whipping boy named Jemmy was assigned to a Prince Horace to receive the physical punishment instead. Prince Horace was spoiled and misbehaved and Jemmy was frequently beaten for that. The Prince runaway and takes Jemmy as his servant. Through their adventures the Prince finally learns that his behavior has to change.

Personal reaction
This story reminded me of the subject of spanking. I personally don’t spank my children. Just like the prince in the story they learn their lesson without having to be spanked. I take away their favorite toy or whatever they are into.

Extension Idea
Discuss the feelings that are presented in the story. Have students write how they would feel if they were they were the prince or Jemmy. Have students present their work.
  readcindyread | Nov 11, 2014 |
A young boy was a whipping boy for a terrible disobedient prince. The prince loved to get into mischief and loved to watch his whipping boys scream and cry. This particular boy did not even flinch when whipped for the prince's misconduct. Displeased with the boy the prince decided to run away and make the whipping boy go with him. The twenty-four hours they were gone, they were fighting for their lives from two street villein. While roaming the streets the prince learned what everyone thought of him. Not please with himself he decided to go back home and help his new friend, the whipping boy stay alive and safe.

Personal Reaction:
This was a funny story that told a lesson without being obvious. It's great for young children, even those that need to learn to take responsibility for their own actions.

Classroom Extensions:
1. Make boiled potatoes.
2. Put on a play for the school.
  CRHamm | Nov 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fleischman, Sidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sís, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The young prince was known here and there (and just about everywhere else) as Prince Brat.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:50 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
386 avail.
61 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.64)
0.5 2
1 8
1.5 4
2 17
2.5 5
3 106
3.5 28
4 136
4.5 15
5 59


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,189,646 books! | Top bar: Always visible