The Whipping Boy

The Whipping Boy


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Award-winning author Sid Fleischman blends the broadly comic with the deeply compassionate in this memorable novel, winner of the Newbery Medal.

A Prince and a Pauper . . . Prince Brat and his whipping boy inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws. The two boys have nothing in common and even less reason to like each other. But when they find themselves taken hostage after running away, they are left with no choice but to trust each other. "A rollicking tale of adventure and mistaken identity . . . . Robust scenes and characters are vividly evoked."—Kirkus Reviews

This briskly told tale of high adventure, taut with suspense and rich with colorful characters, was named an ALA Notable Book. Sid Fleischman's celebrated novel features brief, action-packed chapters and includes black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Peter Sís. "An 18th century tale about the escapades of a resourceful orphan and a spoiled young prince. . . . Full of adventure, suspense, humor, and lively characters."—The New York Times

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060521226
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/15/2003
Series: HarperClassics
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 26,754
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.19(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sid Fleischman wrote more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. Among his many awards was the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy. The author described his wasted youth as a magician and newspaperman in his autobiography The Abracadabra Kid. His other titles include The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, a novel, and three biographies, Sir Charlie: Chaplin, The Funniest Man in the World; The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West; and Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.

Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and filmmaker. Among his works are three Caldecott Honor books: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain; Tibet: Through the Red Box; and Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei. He has illustrated five other novels by Sid Fleischman, including the Newbery Medal book The Whipping Boy. He lives with his family in New York State.

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The Whipping Boy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
JenniferHauschildt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a spoiled prince who can not be whipped, so they find a boy on the streets and use him as the prince's whipping boy. The prince decides to run away and he takes his whipping boy with him. They have some adventures and eventually become friends. The prince learns some good lessons.Personal Reaction This was a good story. It starts out bad because the boy is always getting whipped, but I knew things had to get better, so I kept reading. In the end, the prince learns his lesson and they become friends. The story was fiction, but the concept of the whipping boy was true. It is a good book to learn about a negative part of history. Classroom Extension-I would use this as a small group book and have them make up questions about the book, so other groups could answer them.-I would also read this aloud in the classroom. The children could journal about how they thought the prince and whipping boy felt.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story is familiar - spoiled prince, mistaken identity, a growing understanding of the meaning and value of friendship. What makes Mr. Fleischman's story different is that it is fun! The bad guy is "Hold-your-nose-Billy" and though the prince and his whipping boy get into some tight spots, there's always a sense that things will turn out o.k. Perfect for a bedtime story.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Catching up on older classics, I recently read Sid Fleischman¿s Newbery Medal winning book from 1986, The Whipping Boy. I¿m not sure if it would win a Newbery Medal if it were published today, because later stories (like Kate DiCamillo¿s, The Tale of Despereaux and The Magician¿s Elephant), perhaps inspired by this comical, yet moving adventure story, have set a new standard for this style of writing. Nevertheless, The Whipping Boy is an amusing tale with plot twists and turns, as the kindly whipping boy is forced to accompany the hated, Prince Brat as he flees from King and castle. Lies and deceptions, murderous thieves, and compassionate peasants will keep the reader guessing about fates of Prince Brat and his whipping boy. Unlike DiCamillo¿s stories, The Whipping Boy is a tale of historical fiction, revealing the lifestyles of both medieval royalty and peasantry. And yes, if you¿re wondering, according to the author¿s end note, ¿some royal households of past centuries did keep whipping boys to suffer the punishments due a misbehaving prince. History is alive with lunacies and injustices.¿A quick read with black and white illustrations by the renowned Peter Sis, The Whipping Boy is still relevant today, more than 20 years after its debut.
MaowangVater on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Prince Brat decides to run away from home and takes his whipping boy, Jemmy, with him. They don't get very far before they're lost in the fog, and then captured by that notorious highwayman, Hold-Your-Nose Billy. Jemmy¿s plots to escape are spoiled by his spoiled master, who doesn¿t seem to want to escape. The prince is having too much fun! A wildly funny adventure ensues.
mitchellmerritt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story takes place in England in the 1800's.The tale is about the adventures of a whipping boy,someone who takes punishment for royalty,and his master, Prince Brat. Througout their incounters and escapes from two highwaymen, they began to understand each other. Their attitudes change from hate and mistrust to friendship and respect.
katitefft on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful fairytale that allows readers to see the difference between good and evil through the characters of a spoiled prince and his whipping boy, who takes all of the punishment for his prince's bad behavior. The prince and the whipping boy end up having some wild adventures together, which enlightens the prince and changes these two boy's opinions of one another. Finally, this fairytale rapidly takes readers from the climax of the story to a resolution that will leave everyone feeling satisfied and hopeful at the possiblitity of unlikely friendships forming in the real world.
imagrtdnlvr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This historical fiction book is about a prince, Prince Brat, and an orphan boy, Jemmy, who is his whipping boy. The prince is not to be disciplined, so the king has a whipping boy that receives the prince's punishment. Prince Brat decides to run away and takes Jemmy with him. Along the way, the two boys are kidnapped by two murderers that hope to get a large amount of gold for the prince. The adventures begin and the boys friendship grow.I enjoyed this book from start to finish. The suspense kept me reading until I was too tired to read any more. This reminded me of my childhood with my younger brother. My mother had the brilliant idea to discipline both of us even if the other was not involved. My brother would get in trouble just to see me get the same punishment. This did not work the way my mother wanted it to, we just ended up fighting more.As an extension, I would have the students write the unfamiliar words down as we read each chapter. I would have the students write a story about themselves if they were a prince or princess. I would also have the students compare/contrast the book to modern day.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this 1987 Newberry Medal award-winning book, living a charmed life in the castle, Prince Brat does not have to behave -- he has Jeremy, his lower class whipping boy to take the punishment for his rude, insolent, nasty behavior.Jeremy dreams of escaping back to his previous life as a rat catcher in the sewer, living in the dark tunnels away from the sharp whip cracks that sting and cut. He suddenly gets the opportunity to flee, only Prince Horace is the one instigating the escape.In a Prince in the Pauper fashion, Prince Horace is now stripped of his loftiness and Jeremy is assumed to be the prince as together they are captured by "Hold-Your-Noise Billy" and "Cutwater." These two ogre like characters stalk Prince Brat and Jeremy throughout the countryside where they meet Betsy and Petunia the dancing bear.In fairy tale fashion, there is a happy ending and the Price becomes humbled and a better person.
kbalenovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the book really much but it is ok for people that like adventure books.
kthomp25 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jemmy, an orphanced son or a rat catcher, is chosen to become the "whipping boy" for the King's son, Prince "Brat."When the Prince becomes bored with castle life, he runs away from the palace and takes his whipping boy with him for company. Quickly picked up by brigands who want to ransom the prince for gold, Jemmy must use all his wits to escape both the criminals and the king's soldiers who are looking for him.The Prince gets a taste of "real" life as he moves among the common people unrecognized.
sonyagreen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this as a child, and still vividly remember significant portions of the story - which is impressive for me. I remember being absolutely spellbound by the plot.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh, to be a prince! To do any sort of mischief and to have a whipping boy to bear the burden of one¿s punishment¿to have servants dress one, to feed one, to clean up after one¿What a life!But, perhaps, the life of a young prince is not the idyllic life others might imagine. For what does the prince, Prince Brat, as he is called by his people, want but to run away from his life. And away he runs, following his whipping boy, Jemmy, into a series of adventures involving cutthroats, kidnapping and ransom, a dancing bear, a hot-potato man, a rat catcher, and a chase down into the sewers.
SHARONTHEIL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a fantasy story, The Whipping Boy is a tall tale of robust action that is written in simple prose and rhythmic language. Its use of repetition and the prose's rhythm are reminiscent of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, and the plot borrows heavily from Mark Twain¿s The Prince and The Pauper. But, this is no mere reiteration or tired retelling; the author infuses this story with humor and a fast-paced, interesting plot. In this reworking of Twain¿s tale, the poor lad is the whipping boy who is kept on hand at the palace to take the punishments for the prince's misdeeds. This is a fresh and breezy adventure tale; compared to many other Newbery-winning books, it has no heavy morality, Puritan didactics, or challenging language.
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If I was 12 years younger, I would definately love this book. It was a simple story about a prince, called Prince Brat behind his back, and his whipping boy, Jemmy. Basically, Jemmy gets beat everytime Prince Brat does something which deserves a punishment, hence the job of whipping boy. Basically, the two boys run away and hilarity ensues.
caltstatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great little story of a young prince who is a brat and can never be whipped so the king provides a peasant boy to be whipped whenever the prince does wrong. Naturally, the whipping boy, Jemmy, had to get many licks for the wrongs of the prince until one night the prince decides to run away from the palace because he's bored. They are abducted by ruffians who want a ransom for the prince, but are hoodwinked several times because Jemmy outwits them. There are several times when Jemmy could have left the prince, but he didn't. The end of the story has the prince and Jemmy going back to the castle along with the people who helped them along the way. The prince promised Jemmy he wouldn't get into anymore trouble so Jemmy wouldn't get whipped anymore.This story would be a great lesson for 2nd-4th grade. Students at this age tend to want to run away from home and they could learn from the two boys and the dangers they faced while out on their own.
aheksch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this book a boy and a prince going to change places because the prince is in trouble.
Markesh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book a long time ago yet the images and the story remains a memory I can see and feel. Prince Horace is spoiled and unimaginable, however, as a prince; no one may raise a hand against him. His family needs a way to punish him and so they find a whipping boy, orphaned Jemmy, to take the Prince¿s punishments for him. It is hoped that wicked Horace will feel some empathy from the other¿s pain. This is not the case and Jemmy longs for the streets he lived on. Horace has ideas of his own and decides to run away from home demanding Jemmy come along as a servant to him. The boys escapades barely begin before they are kidnapped! Horace has to learn to trust, care, and quit being such a brat in order to escape alive from their kidnappers and become a real Prince that his people can look up to. This is a story of friendship first and foremost. It is also a story about learning to trust and what honour, courage, and being a Prince really means. A wonderful book for children who are bridging from picture books into the world of short stories and novels this is a great jumping off place.
avcr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Learning to forgive, learning to think critically about why a person behaves in a certain manner, and learning to appreciate and accept all walks of people. Although Fleishman sets the stage in a far off place/long ago time of Princes, Kings and peasants, the problems of poverty, authority figures, rules, injustice, kindness, and the social negotiations of the human dilemma can easily be seen in today¿s everyday life. Prince Horace (or Brat, as he is labeled by everyone due to his self-centered, troublesome behavior) is a spoiled Prince who underneath his cantankerous demeanor wishes fervently to be seen, to be liked, to be equal, and to have friends. He is truly unaware of this until he and his whipping boy Jemmy are on the lam together. Some royal households in past centuries did haul orphans off the streets, like Jemmy in the story, to suffer the punishments that Princes deserved, but were forbidden to receive; One of my favorites because it speaks to rational thinking, injustice, and love for and equality of all humankind (and animals). If You Liked This, Try Also: Maniac McGee by Jerry Spinelli, Bridge to Terabitha by Katherine Paterson, Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fifth grade class enjoyed this book as a read aloud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a whipping boy and a prince escaping the castle. But after they escaped they had to escape again because as they were riding away, two guys named Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cut-Water takes them and then they escaped from them. While they were running away they met a little girl looking for her bear. After that they went to a fair, but in the end they went back to the castle. Out of 5 stars i give this book 2 stars because it is really hard to picture it in your head. But there is a couple good parts but its really not a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
t was about 2 little boys won little boy was the prince and lived in royalty and the other little boy was the whipping boy and he would get spanked if the prince was bad the prince felt bad about making him get spanked so he became friends with the little boy and they ran from the castle but they returned home latter in the book it was bad i really did not get the book and it did not tell you what things looked like so i could not get a good visual or a good movie in the mind and it was not very surprising and it jumped from place to place so i did not really no what i was reading about.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
The book ¿The Whipping Boy¿ was a book that I feel was a fun story to read. This book was about a prince that everyone thought of as prince brat. The king, prince brat¿s father, had gone out to the street to find a homeless child to give a home. But its not what you think, the living opportunity came with a twist, the twist is that the kid has to get whipped every time the prince gets in trouble or does something bad. The prince decides that he wants to run away and he brings Jemmy, the whipping, boy with him. The boys run into a couple of cutthroats that kidnap them and write a ransom note to the king. Jemmy figures out a way to escape the two cutthroats and they run away until eventually they get caught again. Eventually the king figures out where they have been held hostage. When they arrive at the castle the prince decides to give Jemmy a break and take the whipping from his father instead of watching his friend get whipped. So in conclusion I felt that the story was entertaining for a short week long book to read, I would consider giving the book a chance and reading it.
vols2011 More than 1 year ago
How would you like to live in a time where you get whipped for things you did not even do? Well that's exactly what happens in The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman, this is a non fiction book. In this story there are two boys one named prince brat and the other Jemmy, he is a whipping boy from the sewers. A whipping boy is a kid that will get whipped instead of the prince because it's against the law to whip the prince. I liked this story because it's funny like this one time the bandits where whipping the prince and this girl Betsy and her dancing bear Petunia. Then she let the bear go and Petunia went and threw one of the bandits in a river and the other one ran of with his eyes the size of bowling balls. I would recommend this book to every one. I would recommend it for kids because its funny, but I would also recommend it to adults because it has some adult characters.
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